Ideal Soil chart

Ideal Soil chart

171 Pages · 2014 · 3.44 MB · English

Since the first e-book version was published in December of 2008, The Ideal Soil. Handbook has gone around the world, and the Ideal Soil method has been applied in every imaginable climate Agriculture, it is a how-to manual that tells exactly how to go about changing your farming, gardening, and 

Ideal Soil chart free download

TheIdealSoil2014 AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20 1 ThisBookisRespectfullyDedicatedtothelate,great WilliamAAlbrecht TheIdealSoilmethodevolvedfromtheresearchofDrWilliamAlbrechtandhis associatesattheUniversityofMissouriAgriculturalExperimentStationin Columbia,Missourifromthe1920sthroughtheearly1960sWilliamAAlbrecht(1888–1974)PhD,ChairmanoftheDepartmentofSoilsattheUniversityof Missouri19381959PresidentoftheSoilScienceSocietyofAmerica1939 Theworldischangedbythosewhoshowupforthejob TheIdealSoil2014:AHandbookforTheNewAgriculturev20 ByMichaelAsterawithAgricola Copyright2014SoilMineralscom ISBN#9780984487639 CoverphotoMineralWheelConcept,design,andphotographybyElizabethBrown, RoseMineralscomebook TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev202TableofContentsForeword:TheIdealSoil2014p4Foreword:TheIdealSoilv10p5Chapter1:TheNewAgriculturep7Chapter2:CationExchangep19TheIdeaSoilChartv20p28Interlude1:NotesontheIdeaSoilChartv20p29Interlude2:ConventionsUsedinthisBookp37Chapter3:ThePrimaryCations:Calcium,Magnesium,Potassium,andSodiump41Chapter4:ThePrimaryAnions:Phosphorus,Sulfur,andChlorinep52Chapter5:SecondaryElements:Boron,Iron,Manganese,Copper,andZincp57Chapter6:Micro(Trace)ElementsandNitrogenp63Chapter7:ConvertingPPMtoLbs/AcreKg/HaandotherWeightsandVolumesp76Chapter8:WritingtheSoilPrescriptionp80ConversionFactorsp92Chapter9:CalcareousandHighpHSoilsp93Chapter10:LowCECSoilsp102Epilogue:TheThreeLeggedStoolp111Appendices:IndextoAppendicesp118SoilSamplingInstructionsp115TheIdealSoilChartv20p116MineralcontentofUSDANOPOrganicfertilizeringredientsp117SoilReportBlankp118Kelptypicalanalysisp119Clayphosphateanalysisp120AnnualuptakeofPotassium,Magnesium,andSulfurp121 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev203Appendicescontinued:pHandnutrientavailabilityp122Reams’IdealSoilRecipep123ReamsvsAlbrechtp123Conversionfactorsp125NotesonCu,Zn,Fe,Mn,andBCopperp126Bordeauxmixturep129Burgundymixturep129Zincp131Ironp133Manganesep135Boronp137ReferencesCited(Bibliography)p139Recommendedreadingp139VariationinMineralCompositionofVegetablesbyBear,Toth,andPrinceRutgersUniversity,NewJersey,USA1948IntroductionandNotesp1401948Reportp142PrimitiveDiets:WestonAPrice’sfindingsonthedailyintakeofthemajornutrientsCalcium,Magnesium,Phosphorus,andIronamongisolatedgroupsconsumingtraditionalfoods,1939p150CalculatingTotalCationExchangeCapacity:Albrecht/BrooksideTCECp152EstimatingNitrogenReleaseENRfromSoilOrganicMatterandProteinp157DealingwithExcess:AlkalineandHighSodiumSoils,andWhenThereisAlreadyTooMuchp159AlkalineSoils(abovepH7)p161AgriculturalGypsumUsesp162LeachingExcessSodiump166The“FertileMulching”MethodforOrchardsandPerennialsp168PeriodicTableoftheElementsp169 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev204ForewardtoTheIdealSoil2014SincethefirstebookversionwaspublishedinDecemberof2008,TheIdealSoilHandbookhasgonearoundtheworld,andtheIdealSoilmethodhasbeenappliedineveryimaginableclimateandsoiltypeFromAustraliatoJapan,SouthAfricatoFinland,fromArgentinatoAlaskaandalmosteverywhereinbetween,readershavebalancedthemineralsoffarms,ranches,greenhousesandbackyardgardensThemethodisinuseoncoffeeplantationsinthehighlandsofLaosandthehillsofZambia,ricefarmsinThailandandthePhilippines,horsepasturesinBorneoandsheeppasturesinOregonAsthe2014Englisheditiongoestoprint,thefirstSpanisheditionisbeingprintedalongwithit,withaDutchtranslationalmostcompleteandthebeginningsofanIndonesianversionAtleasttworecentlypublishedbooksinEnglishwereinspiredbyandarebasedonthisbookInshorttheIdealSoilbookhasbeenwellreceivedandthemethodhasbeenprovensuccessfulwhereverithasbeenappliedVersion20istheresultofwhatwehavelearnedExceptfortheintroductorychapterandpartsoftheappendices,ithasbeencompletelyrewrittenandmuchnewmaterialhasbeenaddedThetwomostimportantadditionsareChapter9onCalcareousandHighpHSoils,andChapter10onWorkingwithLowCECsoilsThebiggestproblemencounteredwashowtogetanaccurateestimateofCECinordertobalancethemineralsinhighpHsoils;thathasbeensolvedwiththeAmmoniumAcetatepH82test,explainedinChapter9ThesecondbiggestproblemwaswhattodowithlowCECsoils,below7meqChapter10explainstheminimumamountsneededfortheIdealSoilmethodtoworkandsuggestsnumerouswaystoincreaseCECTheothermajorchangeisthatthemethodisexplainedusingpartspermillion,ppmWhentheamountsarecalculatedthisway,itissimpletoconverttheresultstopoundsperacre,kilogramsperhectare,gramspercubicmeter,oranyothersystemofweightsandmeasuresWenowhavedatashowingtheincreasednutritionalvalueofcropsgrowninmineralbalancedsoilOncenutritionalsuperiorityisdemonstrated,proven,thatwillnotjustsetthebarhigher,itwillsetawholenewbarTheworldofagricultureneedsanewdirection,andthisisthelogicalnextstepforatechnologicalsocietythatcaresaboutahealthyworldAtthesametime,thenewagricultureisn'tallhardscienceandlogicThewisdomoftheheartandtheknowingnessofintuitionarenottobeneglectedSincerethankstoallofyouwhoarecontributingnewknowledgeandinsights,andhelpingtospreadthevisionNotonlycanwedothis,togetherwearedoingitAgricola20thApril2014 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev205TheIdealSoil:AHandbookfortheNewAgricultureForeword:TowardsaNewAgricultureThisisabookabouttheNewAgriculture,butmorethanbeingonlyabouttheNewAgriculture,itisahowtomanualthattellsexactlyhowtogoaboutchangingyourfarming,gardening,andlandscapingpracticesovertoasustainableandhealthymodelthatdoesnotrequirelargeyeartoyearinputsoffertilizersormassiveinputsoforganicmatterOncethesoilmineralsarebalancedandpartofalivingsoil,theneedforinsecticidesandother"rescuechemicals"willdropawayaswellTheNewAgricultureispremisedontheideathatbeingwellfedleadstohealthLivingthingsthatarewellfeddonotattractdiseaseorparasitesFromthesmallestbacteriumtothelargesttreealllivingthingshaveageneticpotentialforgrowthandhealththatisonlylimitedwhensomethingismissingfromoroutofbalanceintheirenvironmentAsgardeners,farmers,andcaretakersofthelandwecannotcontrolthevariablesofclimateandwecannotcontrolrainfall;whatwecancontrolisthelevelandbalanceofessentialnutrientsinthesoil,butthatisplentyAsolidunderstandingofmineralshasbeentheweakestorevenmissinglegofsustainableagricultureupuntilnowThepurposeofthisbookistoputintothereader'shandsthetoolsneededtoapplyourpresentknowledgeofsoilmineralsinapracticalway,notjustaboutwhymineralsarenecessaryorwhattheydo,butexactlyhowtoapplythatknowledge:Howmuchofwhatmineralinwhatform?ThatisthequestionthatwecametosoonafterstartingtostudythesubjectandtheonethatwecouldnotfindtheanswertoinanyoftheotherbooksorontheworldwidewebHowmuchPotassium,howmuchPhosphorus,howmuchZinc?Inthesepagesyouwillfindtheanswers,answersthathavebeentestedandproventobehighlyeffectiveandsafeInordertobegin,weneedfirstofalltoknowwhatwearestartingwith,weneedtotakeinventoryThisbookisarecipeforcreatingtheidealsoil,butthatrecipewilldonogoodwithoutknowingwhatingredientswehavetostartwith,sothatweknowwhatotheringredientsmaybelackingTheonlywaytoknowwhatwearestartingwithistohavethesoilassayedbyasoiltestinglaboratoryOncethattestisinhand,therestisprettysimpleWithoutthesoiltestresults,weareflounderinginthedark,wearemerelyguessingSoiltestingisnotexpensiveTherearemanysoiltestinglabsaround;theyhavehundredsofthousandofdollarsofprecisionscientificequipmentandskilledtechnicianstooperateit,andtheyareinexpensiveandfastYouwillneedtheresultsofasoiltesttousetheinformationinthisbookWehaveheldbacknothingthatweknowIt'sallhere,everythingthatwehavelearnedovermanyyearsofreading,research,andexperimentingTothebestofour TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev206knowledge,nobooklikethishaseverbeforebeenpublished;noonebeforethishastiedallofthemajorandminorsoilnutrientstogetherandshowntheircorrectproportionsandrelationshipstoeachotherOurfondhopeisthatthosewhoreadandunderstandTheIdealSoilwillnolongerneedus,butwillhavealloftheinformationtogooutandbringtheirownsoiltotheirownversionofperfection,andperhapsgoonfromtheretoofferthatservicetoothersAtpresentthereareveryfewpersonswiththeknowledgeofhowtobalancethemineralnutrientsinthesoil;perhapsafewdozencompetentconsultantsonthesubjectintheUSA,andnotmanymoreworldwideNoneofthembeforenowhavehadaccesstothesystemexplainedinthisbookUntilthisfirstonlinepublicationinNovemberof2008,thisinformationhasbeenourtradesecret,knowntofewerthansixpeopleWehaveusedtheIdealSoilchartproportionsforanumberofyearsinmanydifferentclimatesandsoils,andcanconfidentlystatethatwehavehadfewifanyproblemsandnocomplaintsItjustworksFortheNewAgriculturetocomeintoitsownwillrequiremanymorepeopletounderstandtheseprinciplesPerhapsonedayeachcommunitywillhaveatrustedsoilphysicianjustastheyoncehadatrustedfamilyphysicianPerhapsyouthereaderwillbeoneofthemWesincerelyhopesoThescienceofsoilnutrientscantrumpremedialnutritionanditcantrumppharmaceuticalmedicineItisprimary;itcomesbeforeeitheroftheaboveandifappliedintelligentlycanmakethemunnecessaryAhealthywellfedbodywillsufferfromnonutritionaldeficienciesandwillneednosupplementsordrugsThereisnothingdifficultaboutlearningtobalancethesoilmineralsAveryrudimentaryunderstandingofchemistryandfifthgradearithmeticaretheonlybitsofknowledgeneededEverystepintheprocessandthereasonfordoingitareclearlyexplainedandshownYouareinvitedtotakethisknowledge,putitintopractice,addtoit,andmakeityourownYoucandothisAgricolaTerra,November6,2008 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev207TheIdealSoil:AHandbookfortheNewAgricultureChapter1TheNewAgriculture:WhatItIs,andWhatItIsNotHowdidweendupwherewearewithourfoodsupplytoday?MostwouldadmititlooksprettygrimSettingasideloomingfoodshortagesandpriceinflationworldwide,howdidweendupwithsuchabysmalnutritionalqualitycoupledwithhighlevelsofnoxiouschemicalsandcompoundedbydeterioratingagriculturalsoilsaroundtheworld?Unsurprisingly,ithasthesamerootsasourpresentabysmaleconomicprospects,beingrootedinshortsightedgreedcoupledwithignoranceandmanipulatedforthebenefitofafewattheexpenseoftherestUnlikeeconomics,however,whostandstogainwhenthewholeofhumanityisillandmalnourished?Nothumanity,that'sforsureThewealthymayhavemoremoneyandmoresecurity,buttheirfoodisnobetterthanthatoftheaveragepeasantandoftenworseThefallingtideofnutritionalqualityinfoodhaslefteveryone'sboathighanddrySurelythewealthyaren'tstarvingforbulkoffood,buttheysufferfromthesamediseasesofmalnutritionandtoxicityastherestofusdo,namelycancer,diabetes,heartdisease,andthevariousautoimmunediseasesrangingfromMStoAIDSWhetherdininginthefanciestrestaurantorthepooresthut,nutrientdeficiencyandtoxicoverloadareoneveryone'splateThisisthesituationbequeathedtousbyacenturyandahalfoftheincreasingdominanceofagriculturebyacorporateindustrialmodelfocusedsolelyonyieldandprofitThetruthoftheseobservationsisundeniabletoanyonewholooksobjectivelyatworldagriculturetodayThereareotherschoolsofagriculturethathaverejectedthechemicalindustrialmodelanddeservegreatcreditfortheirstruggletogrowcleanfoodandcreateahealthyenvironmentinharmonywithNatureOnthefollowingpageswewilltakealookatwhere,inouropinion,thealternativestoofallshortofthegoalofbeingtrulysustainableorprovidingthebestpossiblefoodWewillalsolearnalittleofthehistoryofmineralbalancedagricultureandit'spresentroleinworldfoodproductionNoneofthefollowingismeanttooffend,butitisnotsugarcoatedWhatTheNewAgricultureIsNotAlloftoday'sagriculturemovementsclamorthattheyhavetheanswers,butdothey?Thiswriterthinksnot TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev208The"betterlivingthroughchemistry"factionsarestillfloggingtheirtiredhorseHavingstrippedthesoilofitsrichness,burnedoutthehumusandkilledoffthesoillife,andhavingturnedmuchoftheirnotsolittlecornerofNatureintoanutrientdepletedtoxicwasteland,theyarenowdevelopingFrankenstein'smonstercrops,geneticallymodifiedorganismsorGMOs,bredtoliveintheseconditionsWecancountonthisturningoutaswellastheirpreviousbrightideasThisbookisallaboutscienceandchemistry,butscienceandchemistryintheserviceofhumanityandinharmonywithNature,notscienceandchemistrymisusedinavainattempttoexploitandbeatNatureintosubmissionHumansareaselfawareandintelligentlandanimalWehaveeyesandearsandbrains;legsandarmsandhandswithopposablethumbsWehavetheabilitytounderstandthepresentandenvisionthefutureOurroleshouldbethatofcaretakersofourhome,aswearetheonlyoneswhocandothatAnintelligentpersondoesnotcutdownthetreethatshadestheirhousefromthehotafternoonsunorpoursewageintheirfamily'sdrinkingwater,Attemptingtoexploitouronlyhomeforshorttermgainmakesnologicalsense;obviouslyithasn'tworked,isn'tworking,andwon'tworkinthefutureTheworldwideOrganicagriculturemovementanditsvariousoffshootshavesofaronlyofferedsimplisticsolutions,mostlyonesimplisticsolution:addmoreorganicmattertothesoilThisistheschoolfromwhichthisbook’sauthorscome,andmostgrowerswithwhomweworkareorganicgrowers“Moreorganicmatter”isastepintherightdirectionifthesoilislowinhumus,butdoeslittletoaddressnutritionaldeficiencies,especiallymineraldeficienciesYetitisfiercelydefendedandproclaimedtobe“theanswer”foreveryoneeverywhereIsit?NoWhileessential,soilbiologyandorganicmatterareonlyapartofwhatmakesahealthysoilandnutrientdensecropsNatureisnotsimple,andsimplisticonesizefitsallanswersarenotgoingtosolvethenutritionalandenvironmentalcriseswefaceThosewhofollowtheBiodynamicschoolaretobecommendedfortheirdeepappreciationofNatureandforhavingpreservedmuchtraditionalknowledgeandbroughtitintothepresentTheyhaveanunderstandingofenergythatgoesfarbeyondsimpleelectricalcurrentflow,butbynotfullyunderstandingthemineralsintheirsoil,theylimittheirpotentialPermacultureworksfineinmanyinstances,butismostlyanapproachtostabilizingtheexistingsoil,preventingerosionUnderapermaculturesystemthenutrientsthatareinthesoilarelargelyretained;whatistakenawayissupposedlyreplacedwithafreshlayeroforganicmatterIfeverybitofthecropthatwastakenawaywassomehowbroughtbackandreplaced,thesoilnutrientcontentwouldstillonlybewhatitwastostartwith,whichinthecaseofmostagriculturalsoilsisfarfromideal TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev209Thevariousfansandpromotersofsoilbiology,fromearthwormstofungus,tellusthatabioactivesoilwillbreakdowntoxicresidues,increasehumus,andthebeneficialsoilorganismswillmakemineralsandnutrientsavailabletotheplantThequestionthatisnotaskedis“whatiftheneededmineralsarenottobefoundinthesoil?”Thenewerhightechsolutions,suchashydroponics,orevennewer,aeroponics,rateacarefulexaminationCanwecountonthemtorescueagriculture?Notifthegoalistofeedtheworld'speopleandanimalsTheyarefineforgrowingsomeprettytomatoestosellatthesupermarket,orsomenicelettuceinthebasement,butthese"newandmodern"systemshaveanumberofbasicproblems,someoftheminsurmountableifthegoalsaresustainabilityandnutrientdensefoodThemostobviousfailingisthattheyareenergyhungryTheyusepumpsandfansandoftenlightsIntheinterestsofselfsufficiency,whereisthatenergytocomefrom?Ifthepowergoesoutisonegoingtopedalabicyclegeneratortokeepthepumpsandfansgoing?Inadditiontobeingenergyhungry,bothhydroponicsandaeroponicsrequirespecialcontainers,growingsolutions,trainingandhandlingTheyarenotautomaticThereareothernotsoobviousproblemswithhydroponicsAnytimeonehasaliquidbasedgrowingsolutiontheyneedwatersolublefertilizers,andthesemustbepureOnedoesnotputcompostinthehydroponictraysThismakesallnaturalorganichydroponicsprettydifficultAnotherdrawbackisthatonlycertaincropsaresuitable,mostlytheonesyouhaveseeninthestoressofar:lettuce,tomatoes,peppers,andsomeherbsOnewillnotraiseafieldofpotatoes,cassava,orturnipshydroponically,northousandsofacresofgrainsandlegumesOnewillnotgrowhaytofeedanimalshydroponicallyoraeroponicallyThemostseriousdownsidetothesesystems,though,isthelackofnutritionalcompletenessintheproduceDesignervegetablesgrowninnutrientsolutionsaregrownforlooks,notnutritionNoonehasyetshownthatanutritionallycompletedietcanbegrowninthisartificialmannerMentionshouldbemadeoftheultimateclosedenvironmenttheoryoftheday(ordecade),theallinonefishpondandhydroponicgardenAsyoumayknow,theideaisthatoneraisesfishinapond,thenusesthefishwatertoirrigatethehydroponictroughsThenutrientsfromthefishwaterareusedasfertilizerfortheplantsThewatercomesout"clean"attheotherendandisrecycledbacktothefishpondVarioustheoriessuggestwhatthefisheat,butthegrowergetstoeatthefishandthevegetablesThetheorysoundsgood,butallthedesignsseemtorequireglassorplasticdomesWewillnotfeedourselvesandhealourpollutedenvironmentbycreatingisolatedbubblesinthelandscapeThehightechsystemsabovearethingstolearnfromandwewillandhavegainedknowledgefromthemOnevaluablecontributionisthatweknowmoreaboutwhatmineralnutrientsareabsolutelyessentialforplantgrowthThese TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2010systems,however,arenotsuitableforfeedingyourfamilyandcommunity,andtheywillnotformthebasisoftheNewAgricultureTheplacetogrowacropisintheearth,innutrientrich,biologicallyactivesoil,notinmeterednutrientsolutions;undernaturalsunlight,notelectriclightsSunlightisveryenergydenseandplantsaregoodatusingitSunlightisalsofreeWithinthelimitsofone'sclimate,onecancreatemicroenvironmentsthatmaximizesolargain,andonecanchoosecropsthatdowellunderone'slocalconditionsInAlaskaandFinland,onemightchoosetogrowcabbages,notmelonsTheNewAgriculturewillnotcomeaboutthroughdogmaticinsistenceonsimplisticsolutionssuchasaddingorganicmattertothesoil,northroughforcefeedingofsyntheticfertilizersandapplyingtoxicrescuechemicalstoaddresstheinevitableproblemsTheanswerswillnotbefoundinenergyintensivetechnologyorartificialmicroenvironmentsThesolutionscertainlywon'tbefoundbyrefusingtolookoutsidewhateverideologicalboxonehasadoptedorbeenconvincedtoadoptTheNewAgricultureWhatwehavetodayisafragmentedagriculture,yetweneedn'tbesufferingthiscollectivedelusionandseparation;itservesnousefulpurposeformankindorNaturebutonlydividesusSohere'saproposal:Whatifweweretotakeagriculturetoanotherlevel,ahigherlevel,bypullingtogetherthebestfromallofmodernknowledge,andcombiningitwiththetraditionalwisdomaccumulatedoverthespanofhumanhistory?Ifweweretoincludethesciencesofsoilchemistryandnutrition(newtoolsinthe10,000yearhistoryofagriculture),withamodernunderstandingofsoilandplantbiology(alsonewtools),andourmodernknowledgeofenergy,bothelectromagneticandsubtle?Theonlyquestionsweneedaskare:Whatworksandwillcontinuetowork,andwhathasn'tworkedinthepastordoesn'tworknow?Nospecialemphasiswouldbelaidonanyonedogmaorschoolofagriculture;thefocuswouldbeonsoilhealth,nutrition,sustainability,andefficiencyTheemphasiswouldbeonconstantimprovementinhealth:oftheland,theplants,theanimals,andthepeopleWewouldbelookingforasystemthatworkswellwithanycropinanyclimate,producinghighyield,highquality,andhighnutritionalvalueswhilesharplyreducinginsectanddiseaseproblemsTheplantswouldthriveandbesuperblyhealthybecausetheywouldhaveallofthenutrientstheydesireavailablefreechoiceTheimmunesystemsoftheplantsandsoilwouldbestrongandhealthy;insectsanddiseasearenotattractedtostrong,healthyplantsTheanimalsandpeopleconsumingtheplantswouldgetthemosthighlynutritiousfooditwaspossibletogrowPeoplewouldn'tovereatbecausetheirbodywouldn'tbecravinganessentialmineral,carbohydrate,aminoacid,orlipidDiseasessuchasdiabetes,cancer,heartdisease,andtheautoimmunediseaseswouldbecomethingsofthepastChildrenwouldgrowupabletodeveloptotheirfullgenetic TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2011potential;theirintelligenceandstrengthwouldnolongerbelimitedbymalnutritionortoxicchemicalsFeweracresofcroplandcouldfeedmorepeopleandanimals,sustainably,astheemphasisshiftedfromquantitytoqualityUnbeknownsttomost,thebasisofthisnewagriculturealreadyexistsandhasforsometimeTheknowledgeofhowtoaccomplishthegoalsmentionedabovehaslargelybeenknownforoversixtyyearsThebasicscienceofsoilmineralbalanceanditsrelationtohealthandnutritionwasdiscoveredlongago,buthasbeenburiedandignoredIthasbeenhiddenfromtheschoolsandpractitionersofagriculture,bothsocalled"conventional"andthevariousalternativeschoolsItisnotmentioned,ormentioneddisparaginglyinuniversityagcollegesMany"alternative"growershaveneverheardofitThosewhohaveheardofitbutdon'tunderstanditandhavenevertriedorexperienceditneverthelesshaveopinionsonwhyitcouldn'tworkWeareinthesituationofhavingtheanswersreadilyavailablebutblindlyrefusingtoseethemMuchoftheworkthismineralbalancedagriculturereliesonwasdoneinthe1920s,'30sand'40'sDuringthedepressioneraofthe1930stherewasastrongemphasisonfindingoutwhatwentwronginagriculturethatledtothedustbowlyearsandageneraldeclineinthehealthofAmericansoilsandpeopleScientificnutritionwasanewfieldandmanyexcitingbreakthroughsweremadeBythelate1930sandearly1940sgreatstrideswerebeingmadeinbothsoilandanimalhealthAlongcameWWII,andthefoodproducers(farmers)wereurgentlyneeded;theywererecruitedbythegovernmentandmadepartofthewarmachine,subsidizedbyguaranteedcropprices,andwereencouragedtoinnovateTheendofWWIIsawmostoftheeconomiesoftheindustrializedworlddominatedbythefactoryproductionmodel,muchofitwarrelatedAfterWWIIthisindustrialmodelwasredirectedintotheproductionofgoods,machineryandchemicalsforpeacetimeBy1950itappearedtobeabravenewmodernworld,onewhereallproblemscouldbesolvedbydominatingNature,ratherthanlearningfromandcooperatingwithherBigchemicalcompaniestookoverthelandgrantuniversitiesandstartedreallypushingtheirchemicalbasedagricultureMostofthefarmerseagerlyadoptedthenewmodel;nolongerweretheyjustfarmers,theyweremodernizedcommodityfactoriesonthecuttingedgeofscienceOrsotheythoughtWhiletheyieldwentup,thenutritivevaluefell,andtheplantsforcegrownonsoondepletedsoilwereinsectanddiseasemagnets,callingformorechemicalseveryyearTheharshconcentratedfertilizersburnedupthehumusinthesoilandkilledoffsoillifeThesoilswererobbedoftheirmineralstores,astheonlynutrientsappliedwerethosenecessarytoachievehighyieldTheanimals(andpeople)raisedontheseforcefedfoodsbecamemalnourishedanddiseaseproneThelawofdiminishingreturnswasshowingupwithavengeance,butthe"scientific"solutiontotheproblemwasalwaysanotherandmorepowerfulchemicalandaplantbredtotolerateit TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2012Meanwhile,stillshortlyafterWWII,JIRodalestartedtheorganicgardeningmovementintheUSA,inspiredbytheworkofSirAlbertHowardandLadyEveBalfourintheUK,whileWilliamAlbrechtwasprovingthevalidityandvalueofmineralbalancedagricultureWilliamwho?ThelateWilliamAAlbrecht,PhD,andhiscrewofresearchersattheUniversityofMissouriagriculturalstationwereresponsiblefordevelopingthemineralbasisoftheNewAgriculture:theconceptofbalancingthealkalinenutrientsinthesoilbasedonthesoil'scapacitytoholdthemInthe1920stheydecidedtotakeacloselookatthevariousmineralfractionsofsoil:theclay,silt,andsandfractionsTheytooksomeofthelocalsoil,removedtheorganicmatter,andspunitinacentrifugetoseparateitbysizeandweightThisyieldedanalmostclear,jellylikelayerontopthatturnedouttobemadeupofincrediblytinyclayparticles,particlestoosmalltobeviewedbymostmicroscopesTheyweresotinythattheystayedsuspendedinwaterandwouldn'tevencentrifugeout,thoughtheydidn'tdissolveColloidsarewhatthistypeofparticleiscalled;thiswascolloidalclayWhatdidthesetinybitsdointhesoil?ItturnedouttheydidalotThosecolloidalclayparticleswerethebasisofthesoil'scationexchangecapacityTheystoredthealkalinenutrientsinthesoil,heldbyasimplestaticelectricalcharge,safefrombeingwashedaway,yetreadilyavailabletosoillifeTheplantsandsoillifetraded+chargedHydrogenionsforthese+chargednutrientsAlbrechtandcrewspentthenextthreedecadesexperimentingwithvariouscombinationsofmineralnutrients,growingthecropsandfeedingthemtoanimals,measuringthenutritionalvalueofthecropandthehealthoftheanimalsHowever,bythelate1950sandearly'60sthebigchemicalcompanieshadmanagedtotakeovermostoftheUSA'sagriculturalschoolsTheyofferedtofundnewbuildingsandresearchprojects,andpayfornewprofessorialchairs,butProfessorAlbrechtandtheotherholisticresearchersfromthe1920s,'30s,and'40shadtogoAlbrechthaddemonstratedthatthechemicalcompanies'approachwasanunnecessarypathtobankruptcyanddestructionandhewasn'tabouttoteachtheirpartyline,especiallyashehaddevelopedandspentyearsprovingabettersystemthatwassustainableandhealthyAlbrechtwasforcedintoretirementinthe1960s;hisworkwasburiedandwouldhavebeenlostifnotfortheeffortsofeconomistandeditorCharlesWalters,whostartedthemagazineAcresUSAin1970topromoteAlbrecht'sideasCharlesWalterscalledthisnewscienceofbalancingthecationmineralsinthesoilEcoagricultureIthasbeenimplementedonhundredsofthousandsofacresofcommercialfarmsintheUSandAustraliawithgreatsuccess,butthemineralbalancingmessagehasn'tyetgottentothehomegardenerorsmallproducer,norhasitgottentothevariousbranchesofalternativeagricultureThecorporatedominatedStateAgricultureCollegespretenditdoesn'texist TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2013JIRodaleworkedwithWmAlbrechtandLouisBromfieldatBromfield'sMalabarFarminOhioduringthelate1940sBromfieldwasworkingtorestorewornoutfarmlandbyapplyingAlbrecht'smineralbalancingprincipalsaswellastheorganicideasoftheEnglishagriculturistSirAlbertHowardThestoryisthatRodalehadafallingoutwiththeMalabarfarmgroupovertheuseofsomemanmadefertilizersthattheothersconsiderednottobeharmful,probablyammoniumsulfateRodalewasapuristandhisversionoforganichadnoroomforinputthatwasn't100%naturalSirAlbertHowardtaughtthattreesandotherdeeprootedplantswouldbringupanymineralsneeded,anddidn'tgiveitalotofthoughtbeyondthatRodalewasconvincedthatleavesfromdeeprootedtrees,androttingvegetablematteringeneral,couldsupplyallofthenutrientsplantsneededtothrive,eveninpoororwornoutsoilRodalewentontofoundOrganicFarmingandGardeningmagazine,today'sOrganicGardeningmagazine,andforthefirsttenyearsalmostallhewroteaboutwasorganicmatter;mulchandcompostwereallanyoneneeded,heseemedtothinkOnlylater,startinginthe1960s,didhebegintoacknowledgetheroleofmineralsandrecommendthem,particularlyrockphosphate,greensand,anddolomitelime;butordinarygardenlime,Calcium,wasseenmerelyasapHadjuster,insteadofbeingrecognizedasthesinglenutrientneededinmostquantityinthesoilthatitactuallyisJIRodalewasamanwithamission,andallofuswholearnedfromhimowehimgreathonorHewasalmostsinglehandedlyresponsibleforinspiringthestrongandvibrantorganicagriculturemovementintheUSAandaroundtheworldtodayAnyonewhoseeducationingardeningwasintheRodaleschool,however,isgoingtoknowthatmineralsareneeded,butisunlikelytoknowwhyorhowmuchorwheretheycomefromMeanwhile,Albrecht'smineralbalancedagriculture,aspromotedbyWaltersintheAcresUSAnewspaperandanumberofbooks,movedforwardthroughthe1980sand'90s,butonlyongoodsizedfarms,andfewenoughofthemVeryfewofthefarmersusingthemineralapproachknewmuchifanythingabouttheorganiccrowdBalancingsoilnutrientsbasedonthesoil'sexchangecapacityworkedandworkedwell,andwhenafarmerhadhadenoughofchemicalsandpoisons,orsawhisneighborgrowingbettercropsthanhewhileworkinglessandspendingless,manydidapplyProfessorAlbrecht'sprinciplesandtheycontinuetodosotodayIhaveheardofnooneswitchingbacktotheirearlierstyleoffarming,gardening,orranchingoncetheyhaveexperiencedtheresultsofamineralized,balancedsoilAnotherimportantpersoninbringingtheknowledgeofmineralnutritiontoagriculturewasthelateCareyReams,PhD,whodidmostofhislife'sworkinFlorida,USATheAlbrechtandReamsschoolshaveslightlydifferentbuteasilyreconciledphilosophies;theyagreeonthemineralbalance,butoftenusedifferentexplanationsandtermsStudentsofCareyReamsandWmAAlbrecht,andthestudentsof TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2014theirstudents,makeupmostofthemineralawareagriculturalconsultantsaroundtoday,worldwide,includingthisauthorOrganicgardening,unfortunately,wasstuckbackinthe1950s,andithaslargelyremainedtheresince:Compost,manure,mulch,andthat'saboutitTheotherschoolsofalternativeagricultureSteiner'sBiodynamics,Permaculture,ElaineIngham'sSoilFoodWebconcept,thevariousmiraclemicrobeschoolsetcallemphasizethebiologicalandcompostbasedapproachalmostexclusivelyTheoccasionalmentionismadeofrockdust,phosphaterock,ordolomitelime,butseldomwithanyunderstandingofthesoilchemistryinvolvedTheonetrulymineralorientedschoolof"mainstream"alternativeagricultureiswhatIcalltheGlacialRockDustschool,basedonthefamous1982bookTheSurvivalofCivilization,whoseauthorsarguedthattheretreatoftheglaciersattheendofthelasticeagewasthelasttimeoursoilshadafreshdoseofmineralsTheirsolutionwastoaddfreshlygroundrockpowdertothesoilasthesourceofthosemissingminerals,butthereislittleunderstandingoftheactualroleofminerals,andnoconceptionoftheamountsorbalanceofmineralsneededAaverageeverydaysoilwithacationexchangecapacityof10requiresaround3,000lbsofCalciuminexchangeableformperacre,and50orsopoundsofZincIsthatintherockdustornot?Doesthesoilneedthemineralsinthatparticularrockdustatall?Freshlygroundrockdustisagreatsoilamendment,butitcan'tbecountedontocorrectamineralimbalanceordeficiencyWhattheUSAendedupwithbythe1970swasagreatdivisionbetweenthosepracticingorganicagricultureandthosefarmingwithstrong,concentratedchemicalfertilizers,pesticidesandherbicidesNeithersidetalkedtotheother,theorganicgrouptakingthemoralhighgroundagainstpoisoningthelandandthechemicalfarmersderidingtheorganicfollowersasbackwardsLudditesNeithersideknewaboutthesuccessesofthoseusingthemethodsofAlbrechtorReamsHowcouldthey?OrganicGardeningwasheavilyinvestedintheideathatorganicmatterandsoilbiologyaloneweretheanswers,whilethechemicalfarmerswereconvincedthatthenexthybridcropandthenewestpesticideweregoingtosolvetheirgrowingproblemsNeitheronewasinterestedinlearningthattheywerebothwrong,thattherewasasystemalreadyupandrunningthatdidn'trequirescoresoftonsofcompostandmanureperacreanddidn'tneedtoxicrescuechemistryeitherOurStoryContinuesTodayBackatthecorporatelaboratoriesandboughtoffStateagriculturecolleges,thedyedinthewoolchemicalfarmingfansarestilltryingtoprovethatthegrowingoffoodcanbeforcedintoanindustrialproductionmodelTheirversionof"workingwithbiology"upuntilthe1990swashybridcrops,andhasnowmorphedintoGMOs,geneticallymodifiedorganismsBoththehybridsandtheGMOsareusuallyplantsthathavebeenbredtoliveonastarvationdietofNPKfertilizer TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2015whilebeingregularlydousedwithherbicides,fungicides,andinsecticidesYield,diseaseresistance,theabilitytosurviverepeateddosingwithnoxiouspoisonsthesearethegoalsofthemadscientistsleadingcorporatechemicalagricultureThehealthofthesoilandthenutritionalvalueofthecroparemeaninglesstothemIsthistooharshajudgment?LookatthenutritionalqualityofourfoodandthewornoutstateofourfarmlandstoanswerthatquestionI'dliketoinsertaratheresotericopinionhereItismycontentionthatattemptingtoturnagricultureintoanindustrialprocessbreaksafundamentalagreementthatmankindhashadwithnaturesincetheinceptionofthinkinghumansonthisplanetNotonlywithnatureingeneral,butwiththeindividualplantandanimalfamilieswithwhomwehavetheseancientagreementsTheagreementwithcattle,forinstance,isthattheirhumanherderswillofferprotectionfromwildpredators,shelterandwarmthwhennecessary,andprovidegoodfoodandwatertothemWewillhelpprotecttheiroffspring,careforthemwhentheyaresickorinjured,andworktoimprovethebreedInexchange,thecattleprovideforustheirmilk,meat,hides,manure,andsometimeslaborThishasbeenafairtradefortheanimalsandforthehumanstakingontheresponsibilityWehumanshavelonghadasimilaragreementwithmembersoftheplantkingdom:care,protectionfromcompetingplants,fertilesoilandabundantwater,workingtoimprovethebreedIndustrialagricultureandcorporategreedhavebrokentheseagreements,andmorethanbrokenthem:theseancientpactshavebeenviolatedinthemostobscenemannerAnoldEnglishtermforafarmerandlivestockpersonwasahusbandmanTohusbandwasaverbthatmeanttocareforasawife'shusbandwouldcarefortheirfamily:Tohusbandtheland,andthecrops,andtheanimalsWisehusbandmenpassedonabetterfarmthantheyinherited,passedthisontotheirchildrenandtothedescendantsoftheplantsandanimalstheyhadcaredforandpartneredwithWewhowishtocreateanewandbetterworldshouldstrivetogetbacktothatideal,andtoextendittoalloftheEarththatisinourcareGettingbacktoourcritiqueoftoday'sagriculture:Regardlessoftheirintent,neitherthegranolaheadsnorthenaturenazishaveproventohavemuchofacluewhenitcomestothebigpictureIt'stimetochangethatsituationInordertomakeanewagriculture,weneedtouseeverythingweknoworcanfindout,fromanydisciplineBeingabelieverandpuristofanyoneschoolorphilosophyofagriculture,andtryingtobendrealitytofitthoseacceptedtruths,isnotgoingtoleadusforwardMostorganicgrowershavenocluewhatmineralsareintheirsoilIsitnotso?Thechemicalgrowersaregenerallyalittlebetterinformed,astheyareusedtogettingtheirsoiltestedinordertofindouthowmanypoundsofchemicalfertilizertoadd,buttheyhavelittleunderstandingoftheessentialroleofthenutrientmineralseither TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2016Ourphysicalrealityismadeofminerals,alsoknownaselementsThereare90orsonaturallyoccurringelements,fromHydrogentoUranium,andwedon'treallyknowhowmanyofthemweneedinordertolive,butit'salotofthemWemusthaveIrontotransportOxygeninthebloodCalciumandPhosphorusareusedtobuildthecrystallatticeofourbonesandteethLackofZinccausessterility,decreasedbraindevelopment,lossofsensoryacutenessWhentheimmunesystemisthreatenedbyinfectionitreleasesitsstoresofCopperfromtheliverandpullsIronfromthebloodManymetalsarereusedoverandoverascatalystsintheformationofproteinsandaminoacidsTheyserveastemplates,shapes,thattheproteinsarefoldedaroundTheshapeoftheproteindeterminesitsfitintoitsintendeddestinationinalivingcellThehealth,growth,andreproductionofalllivingthingsisdependentontheavailabilityandproperbalanceofmineralelementsDespitethepervasiveignoranceinagriculture,weallknowfromournutritionalknowledgethatmineralsareessentialtoourhealthHowmanypeopletakeavitamin/mineralsupplement?OrCalciumsupplements?Thescienceofnutritioniswellawareofessentialminerals,andnutritionbooks,radioprograms,andwebsitesarealwaysdecryingthelackofmineralsinourfood,tellingushowthesoilisdepletedofminerals,andhowwecansaveourselvesfromthismenacebytakingamineralsupplementMeanwhile,theorganicfoodpromoterskeepclaimingthatorganicallygrownfoodhasmoreminerals,withouthavingacluewhetherthat'strueornot,andinmostcaseswithouthavinganinklingifthereareactuallyanymineralsinthesoilatallWhythedisconnect?Ifmineralsarenotinthefoodit'sbecausetheyarenotavailableinthesoilSowhynotaddthemtothesoilandgettheminyourfood?Atthesametime,feedandactivatethesoillife,bringthehumusleveluptooptimumforyoursoilandclimate,andprovidetheenergytheplantsandsoillifeneedThesoilwillbehealthy,theplantstoo,andsowillthepeopleandanimalswhoeatthenutrientdensefoodgrownintheIdealSoilIfwelookatagriculturalsoilsfromanutritionalstandpoint,theyaremuchmorethanananchorfortheroots,abasetokeepthecropsfromfallingoverEachcropharvestedandtakenawaydepletesthesoil’sstoreofessentialnutrientmineralsIfthemineralsarenotreplaced,weeventuallyreachapointwheretherearenotenoughlefttogrowahealthycropwiththeabilitytomatureseedsforthenextgenerationLongbeforethispointisreached,thenutrientdensityofthecropforhumanandanimalfoodhassufferedMuchofourarablelandworldwideisproducingemptycalories,mostlycarbohydratesmadefromtheatmosphericelementsCarbon,Hydrogen,andOxygenThesolution,theonlysolution(barringtheabilityofplantsorsoilorganismstotransmuteelementsalchemically),istosupplytheseneededmineralsfromasourcewheretheyareabundantThatsourceshouldideallybelocatedascloseaspossibletowherethemineralsareneededinordertominimizetransportationcostsItmakesnosensetoshipgroundlimestoneacrossthecountrywheneverystateintheUSAhaslimestone TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2017deposits,butwhenitcomestorareelementslikeSeleniumorBoronwhichareonlyfoundinconcentratedformafewplacesintheworld,thetransportcostsarejustifiedMiningoftheneededmineralsneednotentaillongtermenvironmentaldamageeitherMinesandquarriescanbecarefullyworkedbythosewhocareabouttheirhomeplanet,andwhentheminesaredepletedtheycanbelandscapedandplantedtobeasormorebeautifulthanbeforeminingIt’salsoworthnotingthatmanyoftheeconomicallyviablesourcesforagriculturalmineralscontainsuchhighconcentrationsofthesemineralsthattheyaretoxictosoillifeandlittleornothinggrowsthereRemovingthesetoxicconcentrationsandusingthemtomakeotherpartsoftheplanethealthierandmoreproductivecan,atthesametime,openuptheseformerlytoxicsoilstothegrowthofforestorgrasslandsNoneofthisshouldbedoneonthebasisofgreedorshorttermgain,butratherwisely,intelligently,andinharmonywithNatureAwonderfulthingaboutabalanced,mineralizedsoilbasedonthesoil'sexchangecapacityisthateverythingelsebecomeseasierThesoilpHselfadjuststoitsoptimum,plantdiseaseandinsectproblemslargelydisappear,waterretention,drainage,soiltexture,andrateofdecayoforganicmatterallbecomeselfregulatingandautomatic,weatherpermittingThegrowerknowsthatthenutrientsareinthecropbecausethenutrientsareavailableinthesoilThesoillifeisactiveandhealthyandhelpingtomakethesenutrientsavailable,andtheplantsgrowingonthisidealsoilhavefreechoiceofanynutrienttheywant,inbalance,abalancedesignedbyintelligentscienceandobservationAllofthiscanbeachievedusingmineralsintheformofnaturallyoccurringrocksandmineraloresortheirpurifiedforms,ancientseabeddeposits,oceanwater,andthebyproductsfromplantsandanimalsTheculturalpracticesoneispresentlyusingmaychangelittle,excepttobecomeeasierThisisrealscienceinharmonywithnature,usingallofthebestofancientandmodernknowledgeintelligently:theNewAgricultureThereareafewsimpleandbasicprinciplesthatgovernsoilmineralbalanceThemostimportanttounderstandisthesoil'sCationExchangeCapacity,orCEC,oftenreferredtosimplyasexchangecapacityorECThisisameasureofthequantityofnutrientsandnonnutrientsthesoilcanhold,howbigits"holdingtank"isThelowerthetankgets,themorethesoillifeandplantshavetostruggletogettheirnutrientsOntheotherhand,ifoneappliesmorenutrientsthanthesoilcanhold,thosenutrientswillwashawayinrainorirrigationwater,orbuildupinthesoilExcessnutrientsareeitherunnecessaryorharmfulOnewouldnotput30gallonsofgasolineinatwentygallontankandexpecttogainanythingExchangeCapacityECistheamountthesoilcanholdontoanduseOnemustknowtheir TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2018soil'sexchangecapacity,andits%ofsaturationbydifferentnutrients,toknowwhereoneisnow,andwhereoneneedstogoInthenextchapterwewillgainaworkingunderstandingofthesoil'scationexchangecapacityIfthesongbirdsaresinging,wearegettingclose TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2019TheIdealSoil:AHandbookfortheNewAgricultureChapter2CationExchangeCapacityinSoils,Simplified(RevisedDecember2013)AdsorbvsAbsorbadsorb(adsôrb,zôrb),vtPhysicalChemtogather(agas,liquid,ordissolvedsubstance)onasurfaceinacondensedlayer:CharcoalwilladsorbgasesPleasenotethedefinitionabove,takenfromthelargehardboundversionoftheRandomHouseSecondEditionUnabridgedDictionaryIt'snotabsorb,it'sadsorb,witha"d"Weallknowthataspongeabsorbswater,acastironpotabsorbsheat,aflatblackwallabsorbslightNoneofthosegathersanythingonthesurfaceinacondensedlayer,theysoakitrightin,theyabsorbitAdsorbisdifferent,becauseitmeanstogatheronasurfaceinacondensedlayerThisisprettymuchthesamethingasstaticcling,likewhenyoutakeasyntheticfabricshirtoutoftheclothesdryeranditwantstosticktoyouYoudon'tabsorbthenylonblouse,youadsorbitEveryonegotthat?GoodOntoCationExchangeCapacityTheExchangeCapacityofyoursoilisameasureofitsabilitytoholdandreleasevariouselementsandcompoundsWearemostlyconcernedwiththesoil'sabilitytoholdandreleaseplantnutrients,obviouslySpecificallyheretoday,weareconcernedwiththesoil'sabilitytoholdandreleasepositivelychargednutrientsSomethingthathasapositive(+)chargeiscalledacation,pronouncedcateyeonIfithasanegativecharge()itiscalledananion,pronouncedanneyeon(Bothwordsareaccentedonthefirstsyllable)Theword"ion"simplymeansachargedparticle;apositivechargeisattractedtoanegativechargeandviceversaPositivelychargedparticlesareknownascationsTherearetwotypesofcations,acidicoracidformingcations,andbasic,oralkalineformingcationsTheHydrogencationH+andtheAluminumcationAl+++areacidformingNeitherareplantnutrientsAsoilwithhighlevelsofH+orAl+++isanacidsoil,withalowpHThepositivelychargednutrientsthatwewillbediscussinghereareCalcium,Magnesium,PotassiumandSodiumTheseareallalkalinecations,alsocalledbasiccationsorbasesBothtypesofcations(alkalineoracidic)maybeadsorbedontoeitheraclayparticleorsoilorganicmatter(SOM)Allofthenutrientsinthesoilneedtobeheldtheresomehow,ortheywilljustwashawaywhenyouwater TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2020thegardenorgetagoodrainstormClayparticlesgenerallyhaveanegative()charge,sotheyattractandholdpositively(+)chargednutrientsandnonnutrientsSoilorganicmatter(SOMorjustOM)hasbothpositiveandnegativecharges,soitcanholdontobothcationsandanionsBoththeclayparticlesandtheorganicmatterhavenegativelychargedsitesthatattractandholdpositivelychargedparticlesCationExchangeCapacityisthemeasureofhowmanynegativelychargedsitesareavailableinyoursoilTheCationExchangeCapacityofyoursoilcouldbelikenedtoabucket:somesoilsarelikeabigbucket(highCEC),somearelikeasmallbucket(lowCEC)Generallyspeaking,asandysoilwithlittleorganicmatterwillhaveaverylowCECwhileaclaysoilwithalotoforganicmatter(ashumus)willhaveahighCECOrganicmatter(ashumus)alwayshasahighCEC;withclaysoils,CECdependsonthetypeofclayBaseSaturation%Fromthe1920stothelate1940s,agreatandlargelyunsungheroofagriculture,DrWilliamAlbrecht,didalotofexperimentingwithdifferentratiosofnutrientcations,theCalcium,Magnesium,PotassiumandSodiummentionedaboveHeandhisassociates,workingattheUniversityofMissouriAgriculturalExperimentStation,cametotheconclusionthatthestrongest,healthiest,andmostnutritiouscropsweregrowninasoilwherethesoil'sCECwassaturatedtoabout65%Calcium,15%Magnesium,4%Potassium,and1%to5%Sodium(No,theydon'taddto100%;we'llgettothat)Thisrationotonlyprovidedluxurylevelsofthesenutrientstothecropandtothesoillife,butalsostronglyaffectedthesoiltextureandpHThepercentageoftheCECthataparticularcationoccupiesisalsoknownasthebasesaturationpercentage,orpercentofbasesaturation,soanotherwayofdescribingAlbrecht'sidealratioisthatyouwant65%basesaturationofCalcium,15%basesaturationofMagnesiumetcDon'tgettoohunguponthesepercentages;theyaregeneralguidelinesandcanvaryquiteabitdependingonsoiltextureandotherfactorsIt'sstillalittleknownfactthattheCalciumtoMagnesiumratiodetermineshowtightorlooseasoilisThemoreCalciumasoilhas,thelooseritis;themoreMagnesium,thetighteritis,uptoapointOtherthingsbeingequal,ahighCalciumsoilwillhavemoreOxygen,drainmorefreely,andsupportmoreaerobicbreakdownoforganicmatter,whileahighMagnesiumsoilwillhavelessOxygen,tendtodrainslowly,andorganicmatterwillbreakdownpoorlyifatallInasoilwithMagnesiumhigherthanCalcium,organicmattermayfermentandproducealcoholandevenformaldehyde,bothofwhicharepreservativesIfyoutilluplastyearscornstalksandtheyarestillshinyandgreen,youmayhaveasoilwithaninvertedCalcium/MagnesiumratioOntheotherhand,ifyougettheCalciumlevel TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2021toohigh,thesoilmayloseitsbeneficialgranulationandstructureandtheexcessiveCalciumwillinterferewiththeavailabilityofothernutrientsIfyougetthemjustrightforyourparticularsoil,youcandriveoverthegardenandnothaveaproblemwithsoilcompactionBecauseCalciumtendstoloosensoilandMagnesiumtightensit,inaheavyclaysoilyoumaywant70%oreven80%Calciumand10%Magnesium;inaloosesandysoil60%Caand20%MgmightbebetterbecauseitwilltightenupthesoilandimprovewaterretentionIftogethertheyaddto80%,withabout4%Potassiumand13%Sodium,thatleaves1215%oftheexchangecapacityfreeforotherelements,andaninterestingthinghappens4%or5%ofthatCECwillbefilledwithotherbasessuchasCopperandZinc,IronandManganese,andtheremainderwillbeoccupiedbyexchangeableHydrogen,H+ThepHofthesoilwillautomaticallystabilizeataround64,whichisthe"perfectsoilpH"notonlyfororganic/biologicalagriculture,butisalsotheidealpHofsapinahealthyplant,andthepHofsalivaandurineinahealthyhumanSowearelookingattwonewthingssofar:1)TheCationExchangeCapacity,and2)Theproportionofthosecationsinrelationtoeachother:thepercentofbasesaturation(%basesaturation)andtheireffectonpHWearealsolookingattwooldfamiliarthings,clayandsoilorganicmatter,andtheselasttwoneedabitmoreclarificationHowClayandHumusFormClayparticlesarereallytinyTheyaresosmallthattheycan'tevenbeseeninmostmicroscopesTheyaresosmallthatwhenmixedinwatertheymaytakedays,weeks,ormonthstosettleout,ortheymayneversettleoutandjustremainsuspendedinthewaterAparticlethatremainssuspendedinwaterlikethis,suspendedbutnotdissolved,isknownasacolloidOrganicmatter,asitbreaksdown,alsoformssmallerandsmallerparticles,untilitbreaksdownasfarasitcangoandstillbeorganicmatterAtthatstageitiscalledhumus,andhumusisalsoacolloid;whenmixedintowaterhumuswillnotreadilysettleoutorfloattothetopColloids,becausetheyaresosmall,haveaverylargesurfaceareaperunitvolumeorbyweightSomeclays,suchasmontmorilloniteandvermiculite,haveasurfaceareaashighas800squaremeterspergram,over200,000squarefeet(almostfiveacres)perounce!ThesurfaceareaoffullydevelopedhumusisaboutthesameorevenhigherOtherclayshaveamuchlowersurfacearea;someclaysactuallyhaveaverylowexchangecapacity,whilehumusalwayshasahighexchangecapacity TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2022Mineralsoilsareformedbythebreakdownofrocks,knownastheparentmaterialHeatingandcooling,freezingandthawing,windandwatererosion,acidrain(allrainisacid;carbondioxideintheairformscarbonicacidintherain),andbiologicalactivityallbreakdowntheparentmaterialintofinerandfinerparticlesEventuallytheparticlesgetsosmallthatsomeofthemreform,thatistheyrecrystallizeintotinyflatplateletsandbecomecolloidalclay,madeupmostlyofsilicaandaluminaclayparticlesaggregatedintothin,flatsheetsthatstacktogetherinlayersClay"History"HowoldasoilisusuallydetermineshowmuchclayithasThemorerainfallasoilgets,thefasteritbreaksdownintoclayAridregionsaremostlysandyandrockysoil,unlesstheyhaveareasof"fossil"clayRiverbottomsinaridregionswilloftenhavemoreclaybecausethesmallclayparticleswashawayeasilyfromareaswithoutvegetationcoverAsnotedabove,claystendtosticktogetherinmicroscopiclayersNewlyformedclayswilloftenbemadeupoflayersofsilicaandaluminasandwichedwithpotassiumorironOntheseyoungclays,theonlyavailableexchangesitesareontheedgesAstheclaysage,the"filling"inthesandwichgetstakenoutbyacidrainorsoillifeorplantroots,openingupmoreandmorenegativelychargedexchangesitesandincreasingtheexchangecapacityEventuallytheseclaysbecometinylayersofsilicaandaluminaseparatedbyathinfilmofwaterThesearetheexpandingclays;whentheygetwettheyswell,andwhentheydryouttheyshrinkandcrackdeeplyBecausetheseexpandingclayshaveexchangesitesavailablebetweentheirlayersandnotjustontheedges,theyhaveamuchgreaterexchangecapacitythanfreshlyformedclaysOneofthefastestwaystoageaclayandreducethesoil’sexchangecapacityistousePotassiumChloridefertilizer,KClKCldoesthisbyrefillingthespacebetweentheclaylayerswithlockedinPotassiumandbydamagingtheedgesoftheclaylayerssothattheexchangesitesarenolongeravailableKClisthecheapPotassiumfertilizerusedinmostcommercialmixes;notonlydoesitdestroytheexchangecapacityofyoursoil,butthehighChlorinecontentkillsoffsoillifeItisdifficulttohaveamineralbalanced,biologicallyactive,healthysoilifoneisusingmuchPotassiumchlorideInthesouthernhalfoftheUSA,theageoftheclayfractionofthesoilgenerallyincreasesgoingfromWesttoEastThearidregions,fromCaliforniatowesternTexas,arelargelyyoungsoils,containingalotofsandandgravelandsomeyoungclayswithoutalotofexchangecapacityThecentralregions,fromWestcentralTexasandaboveintoOklahoma,Kansas,andNebraska,containwelldevelopedclayswithhighCECMovingEast,therainfallincreases,thesoilsareolder,andtheclaysaregenerallyagedandhavelostmuchoftheirabilitytoexchangecationsAcrossLouisiana,Mississippi,Alabama,andGeorgiatheclayshavebeenrainedonandleachedoutformillionsofyearsTheirreservesof TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2023CalciumandMagnesiumareoftenlonggoneThenortherntierstates,fromWashingtonintheWesttoPennsylvaniaandNewYorkintheEastwerelargelycoveredwithglaciersasrecentlyas10,000yearsago,whichbroughtthemafreshsupplyofminerals,andclaysofhighexchangecapacityarecommonOrganicMatterandHumusRegardingsoilorganicmatter(SOM)andhumus,obviouslyanyareathatgetsmorerainfalltendstogrowmorevegetation,sothefractionofthesoilthatismadeupofdecayingorganicmatterwillusuallyincreasewithmorerainfallBreakdownoforganicmatterislargelydependentonmoisture,temperature,andavailabilityofoxygenAsanyoftheseincrease,theorganicmatterwillbreakdownfasterMoistureandoxygenbeingequal,coldernorthernareaswilltendtobuildupmoreorganicmatterinthesoilthanhottersouthernclimates,withoneextremebeingfoundinthetropicswhereorganicmatterbreaksdownanddisappearsveryquickly,andtheotherextremebeingthevast,deeppeatbedsand"muck"soilsofsomeNorthtemperateclimatesAsalways,thereareexceptions,suchastheevergladesofFlorida,wherelackofoxygencombinedwithstagnantwaterhaveformedthelargestpeatbedsintheworld;theareaaroundSacramentoCaliforniaisanotherexample:thereweremuck(peat)soils100feetdeepwhenthatriverdeltawasfirstfarmedbyEuropeansettlersOrdinaryorganicmatterfromthecompostormanurepile,ortheremainsoflastyears’crops,doesn'thavemuchexchangecapacityuntilithasbeenbrokendownintohumus,andfromwhatweknow,theformationofhumusseemstorequiretheactionofsoilmicroorganisms,earthworms,fungi,andinsectsWhennoneofthemcandoanythingwithorganicmatterasfoodanymore,ithasbecomeaverysmallbutverycomplexcarbonstructure(acolloid)thatcanholdandreleasemanytimesitsweightinwaterandplantnutrientsThehigherthehumuslevelofthesoil,thegreatertheexchangecapacityOnewaytoincreasehumusinyoursoilisbyaddingorganicmatterandhavinghealthysoillifetobreakitdownortoaddasoilamendmentsuchaslignite(alsoknownasLeonardite),atypeofsoftcoalthatcontainslargeamountsofhumusandhumicacidsIfthemineralbalanceofthesoilisoptimal,especiallywithanadequatesupplyofSulfur,anyfreshorganicmattergrowninoraddedtothesoilwilltendtoformstablehumusWithoutbalancedmineralsandadequateSulfur,muchoftheorganicmatterwilldecomposecompletelyandbeoffgassedasammoniaandCO2VariableExchangeCapacityHumuscanhaveanexchangecapacitygreaterthaneventhehighestCECclays,butitisavariableexchangecapacitythatcorrelateswithsoilpHInsoilswithapHbelow6therewillbeanexcessofH+ionsinthesoil/watersolutionandmanyofthenegative–exchangesiteswillbeoccupiedbyacidiccationssuchasAl+++andFe++AssoilpHincreasesduetoaddedCa,Mg,K,andNa,theseAlandFeionswillcombinewithnegativelychargedOHionsinthesoilwatersolution,forminginsolubleAluminumandIronoxidesandfreeingupthenegativelycharged TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2024sitesonthehumustoplayaroleinnutrientexchangeAhighorganicmattersoilwillhavealow“effective”exchangecapacityatlowpH,becausemanyofthenegativeexchangesiteswillbefilledwithtightlyboundAlandFeAddingbasecations,especiallyCalcium,willraisethepHandtheCalcium++ionswilldisplacetheAlandFewith“exchangeable”CaOK,let’spullthisinformationtogetherWehavediscoveredthat:1)Alkalinesoilnutrients,largelyCalcium,Magnesium,Potassium,andSodium,arepositivelychargedcations(+)andareheldonnegativelycharged()sitesonclayandhumus2)Theamountofhumus,andtheamountandtypeofclay,determinehowmuchCationExchangeCapacityagivensoilhas3)WehavealsodiscussedtheidealbasesaturationpercentagesofthesenutrientswhichaccordingtotheworkofProfessorAlbrecht,isapproximately:65%Ca(Calcium)15%Mg(Magnesium)4%K(Potassium),13%Na(Sodium)4)WehavetalkedalittleabouttheeffectofthoseratiosonsoiltextureandpHandwhytheyarenothardandfast"rules"Thenextstepistounderstandhowtheplant,andthesoillife,getsthosenutrientsfromtheexchangesites,the"exchange"partofthestoryTrading+for+Inthesamewaythatacidraincanleachcationsfromthesoil,plantsandsoilmicroorganismsmoreorless"leach"thecationnutrientsfromtheirexchangesitesThesealkalinenutrientsareonlyheldonthesurfacewithaweak,staticelectricalcharge,ietheyare"adsorbed"Theyareconstantlyoscillatingandmovingabit,pulledandpushedthiswayandthatbyotherchargedparticles(ions)inthesoilsolutionaroundthemWhattheplantrootsandsoilmicroorganismsdoisexudeorgiveoffHydrogenions,H+ions,andiftheseH+ionsareinhighenoughconcentrationinthesoilsolutionthatsomeofthemsurroundthenutrientcationandgetclosertothenegatively()chargedexchangesitethanthenutrientcationis,theH+ionswillfilltheexchangesite,neutralizethe()charge,andthenutrientcationwillbefreeofitsstaticbondandcanthenbetakenupbytheplantormicroorganismThewaythisworksspecificallywithplantrootsandmicrobesisthattheyexpireorbreatheoutcarbondioxideintothesoilThiscarbondioxide(CO2)combineswithwaterinthesoilandformscarbonicacid(H2CO3);theH+Hydrogenionsfromthe TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2025carbonicacidarewhatreplacesthecationnutrientontheexchangesiteACalciumionthatisheldtotheexchangesitehasadoublepositivecharge,writtenCa++WhenenoughH+ionssurrounditthatsomeofthemgetclosertotheexchangesitethantheCa++ionis,twoH+ionsreplacetheCa++ionandtheplantormicrobeisfreetotaketheCa++upasanutrientHowtheCECismeasured,andwhattodowiththatinformationonceyouhaveitExchangecapacityismeasuredinmilligramequivalents,abbreviatedMEormeqAmilligramisofcourse1/1000thofagram,andthemilligrambeingreferredtoisamilligramofH+exchangeableHydrogenThecomparisonthatisusedis1milligramofH+Hydrogento100gramsofsoilIfalloftheexchangesitesonthat100gramsofsoilcouldbefilledbythat1milligramofH+,thenthesoilwouldhaveaCECof1Onewhat?OneME,onemilligramequivalent(meq),theabilitytoadsorbandholdonemilligramofH+HydrogenionsLetmerepeatthat:100gramsofasoilwithaCECof1couldhaveallofitsnegative()exchangesitesfilleduporneutralizedby1/1000thofagramofH+exchangeableHydrogenIfithadaCECof2,itwouldtake2milligramsofHydrogenH+,ifitsCECwas120itwouldtake120milligramsofH+tofillupallofthenegative()exchangesiteson100gramsofsoilThe"equivalent"partofMEormeqmeansthatotherpositively(+)chargedionscouldbesubstitutedfortheHydrogenIfallofthesiteswereemptyinthat100gramsofsoil,andthatsoilhadaCECof1,20milligramsofCalcium(Ca++),or12milligramsofMagnesium(Mg++),or39milligramsofPotassium(K+)wouldfillthesameexchangesitesas1milligramofHydrogenH+Whythedifference?Whydoesittake20timesasmuchCalciumasHydrogen,byweight?It'sbecauseCalciumhasanatomicweightof40,whileHydrogen,thelightestelement,hasanatomicweightof1OneatomofCalciumweighsfortytimesasmuchasoneatomofHydrogenCalciumalsohasadoublepositivecharge,Ca++,Hydrogenasinglecharge,H+,soeachCa++ioncanfilltwoexchangesitesItonlytakeshalfasmanyCalciumionstofillthe()sites,butCalciumis40timesasheavyasHydrogen,soittakes20timesasmuchCalciummeq/100gvscmolc/kgThecurrentmodernnotationforscientificaudiencesiscmolc/kg(centimolesofchargeperkgsoil)The“c”subscriptbeforetheslashincmolc/kgdenotes“charge”Themagnitudeofthenumbersremainsthesame10meq/100g=10cmolc/kgManysoiltestinglaboratoriesstillusemeq/100g,andwewillbeusingmeq/100ginthisbookbecausethatisthenotationusedbyAlbrechtandwhatwillbefoundintheolderresearchthatmuchofourknowledgeofexchangecapacityisbasedon TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2026byweighttoneutralizethose()charges,or12timesasmuchMagnesium,atomicweight24(Mg++,alsoadoublecharge),or39timesasmuchPotassium+(Potassium'satomicweightis39,andithasasinglepositivecharge,K+,soittakes39timesasmuchK+asH+tofillalltheexchangesites,onceagainbyweight)Theamountof+charges,thequantitiyofatoms,ofK+orH+,isthesame)WhatWeHaveLearnedWehavenowlearnedthebasicsofCEC,cationexchange,inthesoil1)Clayandorganicmatterhavenegativechargesthatcanholdandreleasepositivelychargednutrients(Thecationsareadsorbedontothesurfaceoftheclayorhumus)Thatstaticchargekeepsthenutrientsfrombeingwashedaway,andholdsthemsotheyareavailabletoplantrootsandsoilmicroorganisms2)TherootsandmicroorganismsgetthesenutrientsbyexchangingfreehydrogenionsThefreehydrogenH+fillsthe()siteandallowsthecationnutrienttobeabsorbedbytherootormicroorganism3)Theunitofmeasureforthisexchangecapacityisthemilligramequivalent,MEormeq,whichstandsfor1milligram(1/1000ofagram)ofexchangeableH+Inasoilwithanexchangecapacity(CEC)of1,each100gramsofsoilcontainanamountofnegative()sitesequaltotheamountofpositive(+)ionsin1/1000thofagramofH+BasesaturationequivalentsforH+,Ca++,Mg++,K+andNa+:Per100gramsofsoil,1meqorME=1milligramH+20mgofCalciumCa++(atomicweight40)12mgofMagnesiumMg++(atomicweight24)39mgofPotassiumK+(atomicweight39)23mgofSodiumNa+(atomicweight23)PerAcre,toadepthof6”to7”,1meqorME=20lbHydrogenH+400lbCalciumCa++240lbMagnesiumMg++780lbPotassiumK+460lbSodiumNa+Per1000squarefeet,6”to7”depth,1meqorME=O46lbofHydrogenH+92lbofCalciumCa++55lborMagnesiumMg++179lbofPotassiumK+ TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2027106lbofSodiumNa+PerHectare,toadepthof15cmto17cm,1meqorME=20kgofHydrogenH+400kgofCalciumCa++240kgofMagnesiumMg++780kgofPotassiumK+460kgofSodiumNa+Toconverthectaresto100m2movethedecimalpoint2placestotheleft:400kg/ha=40kg/100m2MetricMeasurements:KilogramsandHectares:Theconventionusedforestimatinglbs/AcreintheEnglish/Avoirdupoissystemisthatthetop6”to7"(15to18cm)ofanacreofsoilweighs2000000(twomillion)pounds,soonepartpermillion(1ppm)=2lbs/acreTheconventionusedforestimatingkilogramsperhectare(kg/ha)isthatthetop15to18cm(6”to7")ofahectareofsoilweighs2000000kg,so1ppm=2kg/haConsideringthehugevarianceinsoildensities,fromlightweightpeattypesoilstoheavyclays,unlessonewishestodigup,dry,measure,andweighavolumesampleoftheparticularsoiltheyareworkingwith,it’ssafeenoughforagriculturalpurposestosimplysay:1ppm=2lb/acre=2kg/hectare1ppm=20g/1000ft2=20g/100m2Whencalculatingsoilamendments,beconservativeIfyouthinktheamountyouareputtingonmaybetoomuch,uselessIt’saloteasiertoaddmorethanitistotakesomethingoutafteraddingtoomuchTocalculateCECaccurately,seetheappendixsection“CalculatingTCEC” TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2028TheIdealSoilChart(Agricola’sBestGuessv20January2014)BasedonaSoilTestusingtheMehlich3methodOrganicMatter(OM)2%—10%DependingonclimatepH64–65BalancethemineralsandpHwilltakecareofitselfPrimaryCationsas%ofCationExchangeCapacity(CEC)Seeappendix“CalculatingTCEC”p125Calcium(Ca)++min750ppm60%—85%(Ideal68%)Ca&Mgtogethershouldaddto80%ofexchangecapacityinmostagriculturalsoilspH7andlowerMagnesium(Mg)++min100ppm10%—20%(Ideal12%)Potassium(K)+min100ppm2%—5%(Ideal4%)SeePhosphorus(P)Sodium(Na)+min25ppm1%—4%(Ideal15%)EssentialforhumansandanimalsHydrogen(H)+5%—10%(Ideal10%)AloneprotonThe“freeagent”PrimaryAnionsPhosphorusPmin100ppmP=IdealKbyweight(ppm)BUT:phosphate(P205)shouldbe~2Xpotash(K2O)NeedsahighlybioactivesoiltokeepitavailableSulfurSmin50ppm1/2xIdealKupto300ppmNeedforSulfuraminoacidsConservessoilNandCarbonSecondaryelementsIron(Fe)+min50ppmManganese(Mn)+min25ppmZinc(Zn)+min10ppmCopper(Cu)+min5ppmFe:1/3to1/2xIdealKMn:1/3to1/2xFeZn:1/10xP(upto50ppm)Cu:1/2xZn(upto25ppm)IronandManganesearetwins/oppositesandsynergists,asareCopperandZincBoronB3+or(cationoranion)min1ppm1/1000ofCalcium(max4ppm)EssentialforCalciumutilizationCalciumtransportssugarsChlorine(Cl)min25ppm1xto2xSodiumEssential,butagesclaysrapidlywhenusedinlargeamountsSiliconSi4+or(cationoranion)IdealunknownSiisthemostabundantmineralinmostsoilsActivesoilbiologyandbalancedmineralchemistrywillensureavailabilityMicro(trace)ElementsChromiumCrCobalt(Co)+Iodine(I)MolybdenumMoSelenium(Se)Tin(Sn)+Vanadium(V)+Nickel(Ni)+Fluorine(F)–Alloftheseareessentialinsmallamounts052ppmisenoughSomeofthemicroelements(egMo,Se)canbetoxictoplantsandsoilorganismsinquantitiesabove12ppmUseCautionwhenapplyingmicro/traceelementsinpurifiedformsThereareprobably30orsootherelementsneededtogrowfullynutritiousfoodSourcesareamendmentssuchasseaweed,rockdust,ancientseabedorvolcanicdeposits,rockphosphate,greensandetcPlantsneedatleast17ofthe23elementslistedabove,aswellasNitrogen,Carbon,Hydrogen,andOxygen TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2029Interlude1:IntroductiontoAgricola’sBestGuessNotesonTheIdealSoilChartversion20January2014TheIdealSoilchartevolvedfromtheresearchofDrWilliamAlbrechtandhisassociatesattheUniversityofMissouriAgriculturalExperimentStationinColumbia,Missourifromthe1920sthroughtheearly1960sWilliamAAlbrecht(1888–1974)PhD,ChairmanoftheDepartmentofSoilsattheUniversityofMissouri19381959PresidentoftheSoilScienceSocietyofAmerica1939“Hewasaveryseriousman,butveryfriendlyandhelpful,especiallywhenitcametohelpingfarmersHeusedtosaythat,whenhewasyoung,hehadajobcleaningouttheofficesforamedicaldoctorofwhomhethoughtatremendousamountItwasbecauseofthatmanthehewenttocollegetostudymedicineInhispremedyearshetooksomeplantphysiologyandsoilcourses,andhisinterestbegantogrowHesaidthathebecamedisillusionedwithmedicinewhenherealizedthattheyweremoreinterestedinmakingmoneythanhelpingpeopleHealsosaid“IrealisedIcouldhelpmorepeoplethroughsoilsciencebecauseofthelinktohealththanIcouldfrombecomingamedicaldoctor”LongtimeadvocateoftheAlbrechtmethodNealKinseyinterviewedinthebook“NutritionRules”byGraemeSait,2003,p13 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2030“Intermsofhisstandingintheacademicworldandthefarmingcommunityitselfandremember,hetravelledandaddressedcongressesthroughouttheworldIbelievethatimpactatthattimewasprobablygreaterstillthannowThereasonIsaythatwasbecausetherewerequiteanumberofinfluentialpeoplethatwerereadytobackthatprograminthe1940s,‘50s,and‘60sIthasbeensaidthat,hadThomasDeweywontheelectioninsteadofHarryTruman,thefellowthatwouldhavebeenSecretaryofAgriculture,wasajournalistcalledLouisBromfieldThisguyactuallyusedtheAlbrechtsystemandwantedtoseeitpromotedIfLouisBromfeildhadbecomeSecretaryofAgriculture,heintendedtointroduceAlbrecht’ssystemastheagriculturalfertiliserprogramforalloftheUnitedStatesIfthathadhappened,wewouldhavehadamuchdifferentoutcometoday”Sait,opcit,p12Q:Thereareanumberofconspiracytheoriesrelatedtothedeposition[deposing]ofAlbrechtasheadoftheDepartmentofSoilScienceinMissouriCanyouthrowanymorelightonthesubject?AI’mafraidIcan’tcommentonthosetheories,butIdoknowthatjealousyandcompetitionwithintheUniversitymayhavealsoplayedapartIoncesatdownandtalkedwithoneofDrAlbrecht’sclosestassociatesattheUniversity,andhetoldmethathewillalwaysrememberameetingaddressedbyDrAlbrechtandattendedbytheDeanoftheSchoolofVeterinaryMedicineAtthatmeeting,DrAlbrechtsuggestedthat“ifwecouldcorrectoursoils,wewouldcorrectmanyoftheproblemswearehavingwithanimalhealth”thiscolleaguebelievedthattheDeanbecameconvincedthat,ifthesoilsprogrambecamereallysuccessful,thenthiswouldreducetheneedorimportanceofveterinaryscienceFromthatdayontheDeanwasstronglyopposedtothesoilsdepartment,andtheveterinaryschoolalwayshadfarmoremoneyCharlesWalters,whowasaveryclosefriendofAlbrecht’s,tellsthat,whentheyactuallyaskedthedoctortostepdownfromthesoilsdepartment,hewastoldthat“weneedsomeonewhoislessofaresearchscientistandmoreofafundraiser”InJuneof1938,theAmericanJournalofBotanypublishedabombshellpaperentitledTheColloidalClayFractionofSoilasaCulturalMediumbyWmAAlbrechtandTMMcCallaThepaperclearlydemonstratedthat,contrarytotheprevailingwisdom,neitherplantsnorbacteriawerelimitedtotakinginnutrientssolelyfromthesoilwatersolution;onthecontrarytheywereperfectlycapableofobtainingnutrientionsdirectlyfromcolloidalclayonwhichthenutrientswereadsorbedEXPERIMENTALSTUDIESUSINGCOLLOIDALCLAYMEDIARecentstudieshaveshownthattheclayfractionofthesoilmayserveasasourceofnutrientsAsevidenceofthispossibility,experimentscarriedouttodateusingnutrientsadsorbedontheclayandthusnotwatersolubleshowthatsuchcanbe(a)removedbysoilmicroorganismsusingthemasasourceofenergy,astheammoniumion,forexample,isoxidizedtonitrates;(b)usedbysoilmicroorganismsintheirregularmetabolic TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2031processesforgrowth,ascalcium,forexample,istakenbylegumebacteria(Rhizobia);and(c)takenupbyplantsfortheirregulargrowthprocessesinquantitiesrelatedtothesupplywhichisdeterminedeitherbythetotalclayorbythedegreeofsaturationoftheclaywiththerespectivenutrientions[emphasisadded]TheColloidalClayFractionofSoilasaCulturalMediumbyWmAAlbrechtandTMMcCalla,AmericanJournalofBotany,Vol25,No6(Jun,1938),pp403407FortheprecedingcenturytheconventionalwisdomhadbeenthatnutrientsmustbeinthesoilwatersolutiontobeavailableTherehadbeencountlessattemptstoachievesolutionswithahighenoughconcentrationofCalcium,forinstance,togrowRhizobia(theNitrogenfixingbacteriathatformnodulesontherootsoflegumes)underlaboratoryconditions,butithadprovenimpossibleThemaximumthatcouldbedissolvedinwaterwas13meq(milligramequivalents)ofCalciumperliterBythesimplemethodofsaturatingacolloidalclaywithCalcium,AlbrechtandMcCallacouldcreateagrowingmediumwith6meqormoreofCaEventhoughAshby'smediumascommonlyusedforRhizobiumgrowthinthelaboratoryissaturatedwithcalciumcarbonate,itcontainsperliteronly13MEofsolublecalciumTheIdealSoilChartOverthepasteightyearstheIdealSoilmineralratioshavebeenappliedtoeveryimaginablesoiltypeonmanyhundredsoffarmsandgardensaroundtheworldIthasbeenprovensafe,dependable,andhighlyeffectiveforgrowingnutrientdense TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2032foodcropsinallclimatesVersion10wasassembledin2005;thefirstpublishedversionwasv18in2008Thepresentversion20hasonlyafewminorchangesandrefinementsfromv18;itmaybeusedwithconfidenceEverythingonthechartisrelatedtoeverythingelsebasedontheCationExchangeCapacity(CEC)ofthesoilyouareworkingwithBecauseofthat,thestartingpointisareliableestimateofthesoil’sCEC,percentofsaturationofthatCECwiththebasecationsCalcium,Magnesium,PotassiumandSodium,andtheratioofthosecationstoeachotherThefirststepistogetaprofessionallaboratorysoiltestOnereallyshouldhaveasoiltestbeforeaddinganymineralsatallYouneedtoknowwhatyouarestartingwithTherecommendedsoiltestforbalancingmineralsaccordingtotheIdealSoilmethodistheMehlich3testTheMehlich3orM3soiltestisastrongacid(pH25)extractionItwillmeasurenotonlythemineralsthatarereadilyavailable,butalsothosethatarepotentiallyavailable,thereservesTheMehlich3testisavailablefrommostmodernsoiltestinglabsTwoothersoiltestsareincommonusearoundtheworld,theAmmoniumAcetate70pHtestandtheMorganorModifiedMorgantestAlthoughitisusefulformeasuringreadilyavailablenutrients,duetothehigherpH(48)oftheMorganextractingsolution,theMorgantestresultsarenotsuitableforestimatingCECorbalancingtheBaseCationSaturationRatios,nordoestheMorgansolutionextractsufficientPhosphorus,Iron,Manganese,Copper,orZinctogiveanaccurateassessmentofthesoilreservesForsoilsofpH7andbelow,theAmmoniumAcetatepH70testwillgiveagoodestimateofCECandtheBaseCationSaturationRatios,butliketheMorgantests,theAA70pHsolutiondoesnotextractenoughofthesecondarymineralstoaccuratelyshowsoilreservesForbestresults,youwantaMehlich3soiltestwithamountsinpartspermillionppmforallofthesemineralelements:PrimaryCationsPrimaryAnionsSecondaryElementsCalciumMagnesiumPotassiumSodiumPhosphorusSulfurBoronIronManganeseCopperZincThesearemineralswhosefunctionweunderstandwellanditisessentialthattheyallbeinyoursoilinsufficientquantitiesYoudonotneedtoknowtheamountsof TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2033themicrotraceelementstostartwith(thoseattheverybottomofAgricola’schart),andordinarysoiltestsdon’tmeasurethemanywayThelaboratorymayalsoestimatetheCEC(cationexchangecapacity)andthebasesaturationpercentofCalcium,Magnesium,Potassium,SodiumandHydrogeninyoursoilsampleUnlessyouknowthatthemethodthelabisusingtocalculateCECisthesameonedescribedinthisbookintheappendixonCalculatingTCEC,itwouldbebesttocalculateityourselfbasedontheamountsofCa,Mg,K,andNaandsoilpHat1:1soil:waterbyweightIfthesoilpHisabove70,thesoilprobablycontainsfree,undissolvedCalciumand/orMagnesiumcarbonates,andboththeAA70testandtheMehlich3testarelikelytodissolvethemandgivetoohighareadingforCaandMg,leadingtoanoverestimateofCECForsoilsabovepH70,theAmmoniumAcetatepH82test(AA82)isrecommendedfordeterminingCECandbasesaturationpercentagesonlyYouwillstillneedtheMehlich3testresultsforallothermineralelementsSeeChapter9onCalcareousandHighpHsoilsformoredetailInhighdoses,manymineralelementscanbetoxictopeople,animals,plantsandsoilorganismsThisistrueregardlessofwhethertheyareinanaturallyoccurringorpurified,concentratedformKeepthemoutofpondsandstreamsAnymineral,ifusedinexcess,canthrowthingsoutofbalance,sotakeiteasyItismucheasiertoputtheminthantogetthembackoutofthesoilCautionWhenApplyingMineralAmendmentsHighlevelsofsomemineralsinthesoilmayinhibitsproutingofseedsBoronisdefinitelyknowntodothisHighlevelsoffreeminerals(notbiologicallyassimilated)canalso“plugup”thevascularsystemsofyoungplants,stuntingtheirgrowthSeedsmaysproutfinebutstalloutafterthefirstsetoftrueleavesThisseemstobeparticularlytrueafteraddinghighamountsofCalciumForthesereasonsitisbesttowaituntilthemineralsarechemicallyandbiologicallyapartofthesoilbeforestartingseedsinitTransplantsusuallydofineifyouwaitaweekorsoafteraddinglargequantitiesofmineralsbeforereplantingthem,andwehaveseennoproblemswithestablishedplantings,trees,orpasturesAddingmineralsinthefallorintheearlyspringworksbestIfmineralsareaddeddirectlytopottingmixesthemixshouldbemoistenedaftermixingintheminerals,anditisbesttogiveitalittletime,aweekorso,to“settlein”beforethepottingmixisusedAddingabiologicalactivatorsuchasbeneficialbacteriaorfungitothemixcangreatlyspeeduptheprocessThemineralconcentrationsshownonthischartareperfectlysafeforplantsoncetheyareassimilatedintothelivingsoilIfthechart’sguidelinesarefollowedyouwon’tendupwithtoomuchofanything–manysoilsnaturallycontainhigherlevelsofavailablemineralsthanthechartcallsfor TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2034Ifyouareacautiousordoubtfulperson,ortheexpenseseemstoogreat,youmaychoosenottobalancethemineralsonthewholefarmorthewholegardenorpastureatonceStartwithmaybeonehalfoftheareaandseehowthingsgo,ordivideitintotwoormorepartsandtreatthemslightlydifferently,forinstanceputtingthewholeamountcalledforononepartandonlyhalfthatamountontheotherItisalwaysagoodideatoleaveasmallrepresentativeareauntouchedasacontrolAfterayearorsoyouwillenjoypointingoutthatareaandsaying“See,that’swhatIstartedwith!”Don’texpectimmediateandfantasticresultsfromaddingsomemineralstoyoursoilIttakestimeforthemtoworktheirwayintothelivingsystemsofthesoilAsthemineralssettleintothesoilecology,somewillbecomeavailabletotheplantsandsoilmicroorganismsandothersmaygettiedupforawhileAddingalittlebitofabadlyneededmineralnutrienttothesoilmaygreatlyincreasemicroorganismandfungalactivity,andmaycatalyzethereleaseofotherpreviouslyboundupmineralsIfyouareseriousaboutgardeningorfarmingandhavingthehealthiestsoilandplantspossibleyouwillwanttogetasoiltestatleastonceayearTwiceayear,inthespringandinthefallisevenbetterThespringtestwillshowyouwhatyoushouldapplyforthisyear’scrop,andthefalltestwilltellyouwhattoaddtosettleinoverthewinterCalciumandMagnesium,forexample,becomemuchmorebioavailableiftheyarespreadontopofthesoilinthefallandallowedtoleachintothesoilwiththewinter’srainorsnowWhenthemineralbalanceofthesoilisbroughtintolinewiththeIdealSoilChart,thepHwillselfcorrecttowhatisperfectforyoursoilandclimateMotherNatureandthesoilareveryforgivingandyoudonothavetobeexactintheseproportionsItwouldbeunlikelytofindtwosoilsamplestakenonefootapartthatwereidenticalThesoiltestwillgiveyouthegeneralidea,andaslongasyougoslowandtakeiteasyeverythingwillbefineIfalargeareaistobebalancedandcostprecludesapplyingthefullamountsofalloftheneededminerals,startwiththemostimportantcationminerals,CalciumandMagnesiumTheyarefullyasimportantinthesoilastheyareinthehumanbodyandtheleastexpensivetobuyInaverylooseandsandysoilwithalowexchangecapacityyouwillwantabout60%Casaturationand20%Mgsaturation,inaheavyclaysoilwithahighexchangecapacity,70%to80%Cato10%MgThisisbecausethehighertheratioofCalciumtoMagnesium,thelooserthesoilgets,andastheMagnesiumportiongetshigher,thesoilgetstighterAhigherlevelofMgwillpullaloosesandysoiltogether;ahigherlevelofCawillopenupadense,heavysoil TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2035Calciumsources:Agriculturalsweetlime(Calciumcarbonate)andgypsum(Calciumsulfate)arethepreferredsourcesofcalciumGypsumsuppliesreadilyavailableCalcium,andisalsoagoodsourceofSulfur,anelementthatisseriouslylackinginmostagriculturalsoilsAgriculturallimesuppliesCarbonaswellasCalciumCarbonhelpsmakeasoillessstickyIfyoualreadyhaveplentyofCarboninyoursoilasorganicmatter,butarelowonSulfur,gypsumisabetterbetThevariousrockphosphatesandregularsuperphosphatealsocontainsignificantCalcium,buttheirCalciumcontentischemicallyboundtoPhosphorusandisnotavailableinexchangeableform,soshouldnotbeconsideredaspartoftheCalciumbeingaddedtobalancetheCECratiosAsarule,don’tuseDolomitelime,regardlessofwhatyoumayhavereadinvariousgardeningbooks,unlessyouaresurethatyouneedMagnesiumDolomiteisahighMagnesiumlimestoneUsingdolomitewilltightenthesoil,reducingairinthesoilandinducinganaerobicalcoholfermentationorevenformaldehydepreservationoforganicmatterratherthanaerobicdecompositionIfthesoiltestcallsformoreMagnesium,Magnesiumsulfate(Epsomsalts)orKMag(alsoknownasSulPoMag,sulfateofpotashmagnesia,orLangbeinite),aregenerallysaferandquickeractingsourcesofMagnesiumthandolomiteMagnesiumoxideisthepurestandquickestactingMagnesiumadditive,butisnotpresentlyallowedunderUSDANOPorganicrules,forsomereasonAbouttheonlytimedolomitelimemightbecalledforwouldbeifthesoilalreadyhadtoohighalevelofSulfurtouseMagnesiumsulfate(Epsomsalts)orKMag,orifothersourcesofMagnesiumwerenotavailableIfoneisnotconcernedwithbeing“certified”organicunderUSDArules,MagnesiumoxideisthebestbetMgO(MagnesiumOxide)isaround50%Mg,amuchhigherpercentagethandolomitelime(13%Mg)orEpsomsalts(10%Mg)soitisalsoamuchcheapersourceofMgIfyouarenotconcernedaboutbeingcertifiedbythegovernment,IwouldrecommendusingMgOAgricola’schartsaysthatPhosphorusandPotassiumshouldbeequal,butthat’snotassimpleasitlooksOnabagoffertilizersoldintheUSAorCanada,suchas101010,thenumbersstandforNPK,inthatorderTheNnumberisforNitrogen,butthePnumberactuallystandsforphosphate,P2O5,andtheKnumberstandsforpotash,K2O(KisfromtheGermanwordKalium,meaningPotassium)Phosphateis44%Phosphorus,whilepotashis83%PotassiumSo,oneneedsabouttwiceasmuchphosphateaspotashforthePandKtobeequalA102010ora242fertilizerwouldhavethatcorrectratioItisalsoimportanttoknowwhatformofPandKthesoiltestislistingSomelabsgivethePnumberasphosphate,P2O5,soyoucantakethattimes44andfindtheactualamountofPhosphorusinyoursoilSomegivetheKnumberasK2O,someasactualKItisbesttorequestthatthelabresultsbelistedinpartspermillionofthepureelementbeingmeasuredAlthoughthischartemphasizesminerals,youwouldnothavemuchlucktryingtogrowfoodinasoilthatwasn’tbioactiveevenifitcontainedtheperfectmineral TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2036balanceThegoalistogetthesemineralsintothesoilinabiologicaloratleastbioavailableformWeaddthemandletthesoillifeassimilatethemovertimeInsomecasesmineralsmaybeaddedtothecompostpiletostartthebioavailabilityprocess,butit’sagoodideatokeepgoodrecordsofhowmuchofwhatisinwhichpileForexample,onecouldmixabagofrockphosphateintoagoodsizedcompostpile,butitwouldbenicetoknowjusthowmuchPhosphorus,Calciumetcwasinthebagtostartwith,andthatitwasallinthatpileandcouldbespreadoverXamountofareaKnowalltheingredientsofanythingyouaddtothesoilifatallpossibleHowmuchCadmium(atoxicheavymetal)doesthatphosphaterockhaveinit?Glacialrockdust,granitedustetccfanbegreatsourcesoffreshminerals,buttheycan’tbereliedontosupplytheprimarycationsandanionsMostofthemhavelowenoughnumbersofthemajornutrientsthattheywon’tthrowthingsoutofbalance,though,andbecausetheyarefreshlygroundupandsharpgrainsofrock,theywillincreasetheenergylevelinthesoilBothheatandelectricalchargeconcentrateatsharppointsHandyFacts:Thetop6to7inchesofanacreofsoilisassumedbyconventiontoweightwomillionpounds(2000000lbs)Thetop15to17centimetersofonehectareofsoilisassumedtoweightwomillionkilograms(2000000kg)Thisisreferredtoastheplowlayer,andiswheremostofthegrowthhappensandwheremostoftheavailablenutrientsareOnepartpermillion(1ppm)oftheplowlayerequalstwo(2)poundsperacreortwo(2)kilogramsperhectare:1ppm=2lbs/acre1ppm=2kg/haAnacreis43560squarefeet,orcloseto45000ft2Apoundis453grams,orabout450gramsOnepartpermillion=approx2gramsper100squarefeet1pound/acre=1gram/100ft21ppm=2grams/100ft21ppm=2gramsper10meters2(TocalculateTotalCationExchangeCapacityTCECaccurately,seetheAppendixsectiononCalculatingCEC) TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2037AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfInterlude2:ConventionsUsedinThisBookTheDecimalMark(DecimalPoint)Thedecimalmarkiswhatseparateswholeunitsfromtenths,hundredthsetcInEuropeancountries(excepttheUKandIreland),inSouthAmerica(exceptEcuador),andinSouthAfrica,thedecimalmarkisacomma:1,01meansoneandoneonehundredth(1+1/100th)InNorthAmerica,India,EastAsia,andAustraliatheperiodordotisusedinstead:101meansoneandoneonehundredthThisgetsevenmoreconfusingwhencommasordotsareusedtoseparatelargenumbersintogroups1000000,00meansonemillionandnohundredthsinmanycountries;thesamewouldbewritten1,000,00000inEnglishspeakingandmanyothercountriesThe22ndGeneralConferenceonWeightsandMeasuresdeclaredin2003that"thesymbolforthedecimalmarkershallbeeitherthepointontheline()orthecommaontheline(,)Itfurtherruledthat"numbersmaybedividedingroupsofthreeinordertofacilitatereading;neitherdotsnorcommasareeverinsertedinthespacesbetweengroups"Thusonemillionmaybewritten1000000,00or100000000Inthisbookwewillusethedotorperiod()toseparatethewholenumbersfromthefractionaldecimals,andwillseparategroupsofthreewithonlyaspace,eg:1000000001(onemillionandoneonethousandth)WeightofSoilPerUnitofAreaIntheexamplesinthisbookwewillgenerallybedealingwiththe“plowlayer”,theupperhorizon,thetopsoilWewillassumethattheplowlayerofahectareoflandweighs2000000(twomillion)kg,andtheplowlayerofanacreoflandweighs2000000lbsInmostsoilsthiswillbethetop15to17cmofonehectare,orthetop6to7inchesofoneacrePartsPerMillionppmInthenextseveralchapterswewillbewritingasoilmineralRxbasedontheresultsofaMehlich3soiltestTheunitswewillbeusingarepartspermillion(ppm)ofweightOnegramisoneppmofonemilliongrams(1000kgor1metricton)1milligramis1ppmof1kilogram1poundis1ppmof1000000poundsOnalargefieldonewillbecalculatingfor2millionkgofsoilperhectare(2millionlbs/ac)ormore;foragreenhouseonemaybecalculatinghowmuchtoaddtoafewkilogramsofpottingsoilmixWorkingwithppmallowsustodothecalculationsonce,inasimplemanner,andthenapplythemtoanyunitsofweightwewish:grams,pounds,ounces,kilograms,ortons,andtoanyarea:ares,hectares,squaremeters,acres,squarefeet,cubicmetersorcubicyards TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2038Toreadilyusethecalculationsinthefollowingchapters,ifyoursoiltestresultsarenotalreadyinppm,youwillneedtoconvertthenumbersyouhavetoppmManysoiltestinglaboratoriesalreadyreporttheirtestresultsinppm;some,mostlyintheUSA,reportinpoundsperacreIfthelabyouareusingusuallyreportsinlbs/acre(orkg/hectare)youcanaskthemtoprintyoursoilreportinppm,ordotheconversionyourself,basedontheconventionthatforadepthof6”or15cm,1ppm=2kg/hectare(or2lbs/acre)Justdividethelbs/acreorkg/hectareresultby21000lbs/acre÷2=500ppm1000kg/hectare÷2=500ppmIfthesoilsamplewastakentoadepthotherthan6”or15cm,andthelabresultsareinlbs/acreorkg/hectare,youwillneedtocompensateforthedifferenceinweightIfthesamplingdepthisdoubledto12”or30cm,theweightwouldbe2xasmuch,4millionlbs/acreorkg/hectare,and1ppmwouldbe4lbs/acreor4kg/hectareSampleDepthWeightinkg/haorlbs/acre1ppm=kg/haorlbs/acre4”or10cm13333331336”or15cm2000000208”or20cm26666662612”or30cm400000040ConvertingPhosphateandPotashintoPhosphorusandPotassiumAgainmostlyintheUSA,somelabsreportPhosphorusasP2O5,phosphate,andPotassiumasK2O,potashIfthelabyouareusingdoesthis,theconversiontoelementalPandKis:P2O5(phosphate)x044=elementalP(Phosphorus)K2O(potash)x083=elementalK(Potassium)Inanyevent,youwillwanttoendupwithallofthelabtestdataonyourworksheetinppmoftheelementstestedAcresandHectaresOnehectare(abbreviatedha)is10000meters2(100mx100m)1/100thofthatis100m2,anareaofmeasurealsoknownasanAre(pronounced“air”)100Ares=1hectareThismakestheconversionfromkg/hectaretokg/Aresimple:justmovethedecimalpoint2spacestotheleft120kg/ha=120kg/Are(1Are=100m2=1076sqft)TheacreoriginatedinEuropeastheareaonemancouldplowwithateamofoxeninadayThiswasmeasuredinchains(achainis22yardsor66ftlong)Anacrewas(is)definedasanarea1chainwideand10chainslong,22yardsx220yards1acre=66ftx660ft=43560ft2Anacre(abbreviatedac)isabout40%ofahectare–slightlysmallerthananAmericanfootballfield,whichis50yardsx100yards(45000ft2)ThecountriesthatpresentlyusetheacreincludetheUnitedStates,Australia,India,Pakistan, TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2039BurmaandtheUnitedKingdom(asof2010,theacreisnolongerofficiallyusedintheUnitedKingdom,thoughisstillusedinrealestatedescriptions)Itisalsostillused,toalargeextent,inCanadaAnaveragehomevegetablegardenisaround25ftx40ft=1000ft2Thereare43561000ft2sectionsinanacreToconvertlbs/acreintolbs/1000ft2,dividelbs/acreby4356WebLinksinHardcopyandEbookLettersthataregreycoloredorunderlinedinthehardcopyversionofTheIdealSoilareURLlinkstowebsitesortootherpagesinTheIdealSoilintheebookversionmeq/100gvscmolc/kgTheacceptedmodernnotationforscientificaudiencesiscmolc/kg(centimolesofchargeperkgsoil)The“c”subscriptbeforetheslashincmolc/kgdenotes“charge”Themagnitudeofthenumbersremainsthesame10meq/100g=10cmolc/kgManysoiltestinglaboratoriesstillusemeq/100g,andwewillbeusingmeq/100ginthisbookbecausethatisthenotationusedbyAlbrechtandwhatwillbefoundintheolderresearchthatmuchofourknowledgeofexchangecapacityisbasedonCapitalizationofNamesofElementsThenamesoftheelementsarecapitalizedinthisbookThevariouschemistrytermsthatrefertotheircombinationwithotherelementsarenotcapitalized;egSulfurinSulfurtrioxideSO3willbecapitalized;sulfateinMagnesiumsulfateMgSO4willnotbecapitalizedbecausesulfatereferstotheSO4molecule,notthepureelementSPrimary,Secondary,andMicroElementsThecommonEnglishagronomictermsMajor,Minor,andTraceelementscanbeconfusingbecausetheydon’taccuratelydescribeeithertheimportanceortherelativeamountsoftheelementinthesoilortheplantNeitherdotheytranslateeasilyintosomelanguagesorretainthesamemeaningwhentranslatedastheydoinEnglishAnothercommonusageisMacroMicroandTraceelements,whichisnotmuchbetterthanMajorandMinorUsingtheprefixesMacroMeso(middle,medium)andMicrowasconsideredbutrejectedbecauseitwouldentailintroducing“meso”,atermnotincommonusageinmanylanguagesIntheevent,thisbookwillusethetermsPrimary,Secondary,andMicrotodescribeandrankmineralelementsinageneralwaybytheirrequiredamountsinthesoilandpercentageoccurrenceinthecropsgrownPrimary,Secondary,andMicroarenotmeanttoreflecttherelativeimportanceofanelementinthehealthoflivingthings,butonlytheirapproximateratioofabundanceinafertile,balancedsoil TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2040EssentialPrimary,Secondary,andMicroElementsTotheleftisanillustrationofJustusvonLiebig’s“LawoftheMinimum”showingmostofthefactorsthatlimitgrowth,fromlighttoheattosoilmineralsandairNitrogenistheshortstave,thelimitingfactor,inthebarrelontheleftThebarrelontherightshowsNitrogenbroughtuptothedesiredlevel;nowPotassiumisthelimitingfactorItcantrulybesaidthatalloftheessentialelementsareequallyimportantWhicheveroneisinshortestsupplywilllimitthehealthandgrowthoftheentireorganismPrimaryElementsNeededinlargeamountsinsoilSecondaryElementsNeededinlesseramountsinsoilMicroElementsNeededinverysmallamountsinsoilAnionsSulfurSPhosphorusPNitrateNO3*CationsCalciumCaMagnesiumMgPotassiumKAmmoniumNH4+*(*Amolecule,notanelement)AnionsBoronBChlorineClSiliconSiCationsSodiumNaIronFeManganeseMnCopperCuZincZnCobaltCoSeleniumSeMolybdenumMoNickelNiVanadiumVChromiumCrYttriumYtCesiumCsStrontiumSrFluorineFlIodineITitaniumTiLanthanumLaCeriumCe…andmanymoreFigure1:Liebig'sLawoftheMinimumshowingmostofthefactorsthatcanlimitthegrowthofcrops TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2041AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter3BalancingtheCationNutrients(Seeappendix“CalculatingTCEC”)CalciumCa++,MagnesiumMg++,PotassiumK+andSodiumNa+Pleasereadtheprevioussection“ConventionsUsedinThisBook”,especiallythepartaboutpartspermillionWewillbeworkingwithppminthenext4chaptersThesoilisthestorehouseoffertility,oratleastitshouldbeThemineralsthattheplantsneedinordertogrowandreproduceanotherhealthygenerationallcomefromthesoilandarestoredthere,inorononeofthefollowingforms:•Theclayfraction•Theorganicfraction:bothlivinganddead/decaying•Rockmineralsofvarioussizesandtypes,fromsilttoboulders•Thesoil/watersolution:dissolvednutrients,easilyavailable,alsoeasilyleachedoutThestorehousecapacityweareconcernedwithrightnowisapropertyofthefirsttwoitemsonthelist,theclayandorganicfractionsThesoil/watersolutionandtherocksarenotconsideredpartoftheexchangecapacityWhatwewishtodoistoloadthestorehouseupwiththemineralnutrientsintheproperbalanceThiswillaccomplishanumberofthings:•Onaphysicallevel,itwillkeepthesoillooseandfriablesoair,water,plantrootsandsoilorganismscanmovethroughitfreely•Onthelevelofchemistry,itwillallowtheacid/alkalinebalance,thepH,toselfadjust,ideallytoaroundpH64ApHof64iswherethemaximumamountofnutrientsareavailable•Byhavingtheproperbalanceofcationnutrientsfillingtheexchangesites,thosenutrientswillbereadilyavailabletotheplantrootsandsoilorganisms,sotheycan“trade”HydrogenH+ionsforthenutrientstheyneed•Whenthecationnutrientsareheldtothesoilcolloids(clayandhumus)theyarenotsubjecttoleachingorwashingawayduetorainfallorirrigation TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2042HereisthelaboratorySoilTestReportwewillbeworkingwithinthisbookElementResultsCommentsTotalCationExchangeCapacityTCEC114pHofSoilSample558OrganicMatter%56%AnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)20PhosphorusPppm100CationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1250CaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit116MgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit89KBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit26NaBaseSaturation15%OtherBases62%H+ExchHydrogen1015%270%OtherElementsppmBoron021IronFe50ManganeseMn11CopperCu107ZincZn164Aluminum1841Normal TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2043OuroverallgoalistofeedthesoilandthesoilorganismsthatinturnfeedtheplantsOurspecificgoalisthatthesoilshouldcontainperfectnutritionforthecropwewishtogrowInthecaseofplantsgrownforfood,wealsowantthecroptocontainallofthenutrientsessentialforthehealthofthepeopleoranimalsthatwillbeeatingthefoodbeinggrownLuckily,mostfoodcropsdobestwiththesamesoilmineralbalanceTheCalcium:MagnesiumratiosetsthestageforalloftherestoftheelementsIftheCalciumlevelistoohighinrelationtoMagnesium,thesoilwillbeloosebutwillloseitstextureandcohesivenessandwatermaydrainthroughtooeasilyandbelostItwillalsobemorepronetoerosionfromwindorwaterIftheMagnesiumlevelistoohigh,thesoilwillbetight,preventingwaterandairfrommovingthrougheasilyFromtheIdealSoilchart,hereisthepreferredrangeofbasesaturationformostplants:Calcium(Ca)++min750ppm60%—85%Optimum68%Ca&Mgtogethershouldaddto80%ofexchangecapacityinmostagriculturalsoilspH7andlowerMagnesium(Mg)++min100ppm10%—20%Optimum12%Potassium(K)+min100ppm2%—5%Optimum4%SeePhosphorus(P)Sodium(Na)+min25ppm1%—4%Optimum15%EssentialforhumansandanimalsHydrogen(H)+5%—10%Optimum10%AloneprotonThe“freeagent”Averyheavyclaysoilneedstobeloosenedup,soonewouldwishtoseeaCa:Mgsaturationratioofperhaps75%(orevenmore)Calciumto10%MagnesiumAveryloosesandysoilneedstobetighteneduptoholdwaterandpreventerosion;inthatcase60%Calciumand20%MagnesiumwouldbedesiredHeavyclay:75%(ormore)Calcium,10%MagnesiumLoosesand:60%Calcium,20%MagnesiumAtnotimedowewanttheCalciumsaturationtobebelow60%ortheMagnesiumsaturationbelow10%unlesswearegrowingspecialtycropssuchasblueberriesorrhododendronsthatlikeahighMagnesiumandsomewhatacidsoilorcertainplantsthatpreferaveryhighCalcium“chalky”soilInan“ideal”soilthathasagoodmixofsand,silt,andclayaswellasagoodleveloforganicmatter,ProfessorAlbrechtdeterminedthatthebestratiowas65%Calciumto15%MagnesiumFurtherexperiencehasconvincedotheragronomiststhatslightlydifferentratiosworkbetterforthemAtsoilmineralscomweusuallyrecommenda“perfect”ratioof68%Calciumto12%MagnesiumforsoilsbelowpH7Thisseemstobetheidealproportionnotonlytogivetheplantsandsoillifethe TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2044meq/100gvscmolc/kgTheacceptedmodernnotationforscientificaudiencesiscmolc/kg(centimolesofchargeperkgsoil)The“c”subscriptbeforetheslashincmolc/kgdenotes“charge”Themagnitudeofthenumbersremainsthesame1meq/100g=1cmolc/kgManysoiltestinglaboratoriesstillusemeq/100g,andwewillbeusingmeq/100ginthisbookbecausethatisthenotationusedbyAlbrechtandwhatwillbefoundintheolderresearchthatmuchofourknowledgeofexchangecapacityisbasedonnutrientstheyneedintheproperratio,buttokeepthesoillooseandfriablewhileretainingsoilmoistureHereisouridealsoilcationsaturationratio:Calcium68%Magnesium12%Potassium4%Sodium15%Otherbases4%to5%FreeHydrogenH+10%AsoilwiththisratioofcationmineralswillselfadjusttoapHofabout64givenadequatesoilmoistureMostoftheseelementsarebeingheldontheclayfractioninaclaysoil,andontheorganic(humus)fractioninasandyorhighorganicmattersoilsuchaspeatormucksoilsSandandgravelhavealmostnoexchangecapacityAgedclays,especiallyinthetropicsandsubtropics,alsohaveverylowexchangecapacityMethodsofincreasingtheexchangecapacityoflowCECsoilsincludeaddingorganicmatter,charcoal(biochar),highCECclay(egmontmorillonite/bentonite),orhumicacidsourcesBiocharandmontmorilloniteclaywillbothconferpermanentexchangecapacity~~Let’stakeanotherlookatthelistfromtheendoftheCationExchangeCapacitySimplifiedchapter:Per100gramsofsoil,1milligramequivalent(meqorME)=1milligramHydrogenH+or20mgofCalciumCa++or12mgofMagnesiumMg++or39mgofPotassiumK+or23mgofSodiumNa+Again,ifyoutake100gramsofovendrysoil,withaCECof1,onemilligramoffreeHydrogenH+willfillallofthenegativeexchangesitesAswewillbeworking TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2045withpartspermillion,and100gramsis1/10thof1kilogram,wemultiplytheabovenumbersx10togetmg/kgorppm:1meq(orcmolc/kg)=10ppmHydrogenH+200ppmCalciumCa++120ppmMagnesiumMg++390ppmPotassiumK+230ppmSodiumNa+Toconvertthesenumberstokg/haorlbs/acre,multiplyby2:200ppm=400kg/hectareor400lbs/acreSohowdoweputthisinformationtouse?Let’ssaywehaveasoilwithaCECof1meqThisisanormalsoil,notsandyorhighinclayWedecidethatwewishtoendupwith65%oftheexchangesitesfilledwithCalciumand15%withMagnesium,Albrecht’soptimumratioWeknowfromabovethat200ppmofCalciumwillfill100%oftheexchangesitesWewantonly65%filledwithCa,so200x065=130ppmCaWewant15%basesaturationofMagnesium,andknowfromabovethat120ppmMgwillsaturate100%120x015=18ppmMg130ppmofCaand18ppmofMgwillgiveusthe65:15ratio,onasoilwithaCECof1Howaboutthe“ideal”ratiomentionedabove,68%Ca,12%Mg,4%K,and15%Na?StillworkingwithasoilwhereCEC=1:Calcium:200ppmx068=136ppmMagnesium:120ppmx012=144ppmPotassium:390ppmx004=156ppmSodium:230ppmx0015=345ppm TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2046NotethatPotassiumandMagnesiumarealmostthesameweightinpartspermillion,despitethefactthatMagnesiumisfilling12%oftheECwhilePotassiumonlyfills4%oftheexchangesitesWithfewexceptions,exchangeablePotassiumandMagnesiumshouldbeapproximatelyequalinweightinthesoil********EnougharithmeticforabitLet’sreviewwhywearedoingwhatwearedoingTheprimarycationsCa,Mg,K,andNathatwearebalancingareallnutrientsforplantsandanimalsTheyarealsochemicalelementswiththeirownpropertiesTheyinteractwitheachother,andcompetefortheavailableexchangesitesToomuchofonemaymeannotenoughofanotherIfthewholeCECweresaturatedwithCalcium,wherewouldtheMagnesiumbestored?Answer:Itwouldn’tbestored;itwouldbeeitherinthesoilsolutionorheadingforthewatertableonitswaytotheoceanAswecoveredinChapter2:CationExchangeSimplified,thesenutrientmineralsareheldontheclayorhumusbyastaticelectricchargeTheyarepositivelycharged+,thesiteswheretheyareattractedandheldarenegativelychargedPlantrootsandmicroorganismscandonateacoupleofH+HydrogenionstofillthetwonegativesitesoccupiedbytheCa++ion,thusfreeingtheCatobeabsorbedasanutrientThat’stheexchange:2H+for1Ca++,or2H+for1Mg++Or1H+for1K+orMg++forCa++or2K+for1Ca++Acationnutrientthatisheldtoanexchangesite,sayCa++,maybeexchangedfor2H+ionsOvertime,asmoreandmoreCa++ionsareexchangedforH+ionsreleasedfromplantroots,fromsoilmicroorganisms,orsimplyfromfreeH+inrainfall,moresitesbecomefilledwithH+andthesoilbecomesmoresouroracidThepHgetslowerApHof49wouldbe44%saturatedwithHydrogen,fartooacidicformostplantsApHof70,neutral,wouldhavenoexchangeableH+adsorbedonthecolloidsatall,andapHofmorethan70wouldhavemore+mineralsavailableinthesoilthantheexchangesitescouldholdInagarden,field,ororchardwherecropsaregrown,harvested,andtakenaway,themineralnutrientsaretakenawayalongwiththecropThesameistrueforpastureswhereanimalsaregrazedformilkormeatInordertocontinuetoraisehighqualitynutrientdensefoodcrops,wemustreplacewhathasbeentakenaway;wealsowanttocontinuetohavetheproperbalanceofmineralnutrientsavailableGettingStarted:BelowaretheprimarycationresultsfromthesoilreportwewillbeusingthroughoutthisbookWewillusethemandtheinformationdiscussedabovetodeterminethepercentofbasesaturationofthecationnutrients,determineifweneedtoaddmore,andhowmuchwewouldneedtoaddtoachievetheIdealSoil TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2047ratiooranyotherratiowewantThecompletesoilreportisattheendofthischapterExchangeCapacityCalciumppmfoundMagnesiumppmfoundPotassiumppmfoundSodiumppmfound11412501168926Firstwewilldeterminethepercentageofbasesaturationofeachoftheseelements,andthenfigureoutifweneedtoaddmoreandifso,howmuchThesoil’sexchangecapacityis114meqStartingwithCalcium,wemultiplyeachelementbytheamountneeded(inppm)tosaturatethat114CEC100%:Ca;114x200=2280ppmMg:114x120=1368ppmK:114x390=4446ppmNa:114x230=2622ppmThetableaboveshowshowmanypartspermillionthesoiltestfoundTofindoutthepercentbasesaturationforeachelementinourworkingexample,wedividetheamountmeasuredbythelabtestbytheamountneededtosaturate100%:Ca:1250/2280=0548or55%Mg:116/1368=00848or85%K:89/4446=0020or2%Na:26/2622=00099or10%PercentBaseSaturationofWorksheetSampleCalciumMagnesiumPotassiumSodium550%85%20%10%Recallwewant68%Ca,12%Mg,4%K,and15%NaTocalculatewhatthat“ideal”ratiowouldbeinthissoilwesimplymultiplytheexchangecapacity(114meq)bytheamountneededtosaturate100%of1meq,andthenmultiplythatresultbythepercentageofsaturationdesired TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev204868%Calcium:114x200x068=1550ppm12%Magnesium:114x120x012=164ppm4%Potassium:114x390x004=178ppm15%Sodium:114x230x0015=39ppmThisworksthesamewaynomatterwhatcationyouareworkingwithorwhatpercentageofbasesaturationyoudesireIfyouwanted4%Na,itwouldbe114x230x004=105ppmandsoonNextwesubtracttheamountmeasuredonthesoilreportfromtheidealamountcalculatedabovetofindtheamountweneedtoadd:Ca:15501250=300ppmMg:164116=48ppmK:178–89=89ppmNa:3926=13ppmAmountNeededtoRaiseBaseSaturationtoIdealLevelCalciumMagnesiumPotassiumSodium300ppm48ppm89ppm13ppmAddingtheseamountstotheinitialvaluesreportedfromthesoiltestwillgiveusthesetotalsTotalofMajorCationsafterBalancingCalciumppmMagnesiumppmPotassiumppmSodiumppm1250+300=1550=68%116+48=164=12%89+89=178=4%26+13=39=15%InthenextchapterwewillusetheamountofPotassiumshowninthetableabovetodeterminewhatourideallevelofPhosphorusshouldbeInthischapterwehavelearnedhowtousesimplearithmetictocalculatepercentageofbasesaturationforthemajornutrientcations,andhowtofigureoutwhatweneedtoaddinordertoachievethepercentagewedesireAsnotedearlier,differentsoilsmayneedadifferentratiothanthe“ideal”ratioHeavyclaysoilsmayneedupto80%ormoreCasaturation,lightsandysoilsupto20%MgAsageneralrule,theamountofK,Potassium,shouldequaltheamountofMg,Magnesium,byweight,buttheKlevelshouldnotbemorethan5%ofbasesaturationSodium%isnotcritical,aslongasitisabove05%andbelow5%, TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2049howeverifthe%ofNaisbelow2%itgivesustheopportunitytoaddseasalttothesoil,anexcellentsourceforallofthetracemineralsdissolvedintheoceanManylaboratorysoilreportswilllist%saturationofthecationsCa,Mg,K,andsometimesNaUnlessyoualreadyknowandtrustwhatmethodthelabisusingforcalculatingCECandpercentsaturation,itisagoodideatodoublecheckbyrecalculatingthemyourselfWhatifthesoiltestshowslevelsofthemajorcationsthatarealreadytoohigh?Therearemanysoilsfoundaroundtheworldthathavean“inverted”Ca/Mgratio,withMagnesiumhigherthanCalciumoratleasthigherthan20%Mg,orSodiumlevelsabove5%TherearealsomanysoilsthatnaturallyhaveveryhighCalciumlevels(above80%basesaturation)butlackMagnesiumTheusualapproachtocorrectthisproblemistoaddelementalSulfurinoneformoranother,orasulfateformoftheneededcationMostsoilsworldwideareSulfurdeficient,andplantsloveSulfurDependingonthesituation,theanswermaybetoaddpure90%agriculturalSulfur,Magnesiumsulfate,Calciumsulfate,Potassiumsulfate,orKMag(sulfateofpotashmagnesia)WhichoneisusedwilldependupontheoverallbalanceofthemajorcationsCalciumtoohigh,Magnesiumlow:AddMagnesiumsulfate,(Epsomsalts)Magnesiumtoohigh,Calciumlow:AddCalciumsulfate,(gypsum)Calciumand/orMagnesiumhigh,Potassiumlow:AddPotassiumsulfateCa,Mg,andKallhighoradequate,highpH:Add90%agriculturalSulfurSodiumhigh:Addthesulfatesaltofwhicheveroftheothermajorcationsisdeficient,or90%agSulfurWhataddingSulfurorsulfatesdoesisinducethesulfurtochemicallybondwithwhateverothercationisinexcessForinstance,ifoneaddsMagnesiumsulfate(Epsomsalts),toasoilthatishighinCalciumbutlowinMagnesium,theSulfurintheEpsomsaltswilltendtoattachtotheCalcium,pullingtheexcessCalciumfromtheexchangesiteandleavinganatomofMagnesiumTheresultisfreeCalciumsulfate(gypsum)inthesoil/watersolutionGypsumiswatersolubleandmobile;rainandirrigationwaterwilltendtoleachitdownwardsoutoftherootzoneCalcium,incidentally,alwaysendsupleachingoutoftopsoilintosubsoilIfonedigsadeeptrenchandteststhesoilatdifferentlevelsinthetrench,thehighestCalciumlevelswillbefoundlowerinthetrenchThatdepthdependsontheamountofrainfallInamaritimeclimatesuchasthePacificNorthwestUSA,whererainfallaveragesaround100cm(40inches)peryear,ahighCalciumlayerwilloftenbefoundatadepthofaround25m(8feet)Thisismuchtoodeepforthe TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2050rootsofmostcropstoreachInhighlyleachedsoilssuchasthisthereisoftenaCalciumdeficiencyinthetopsoil;thattendstoattractextremelydeeprootedplantssuchasdandelionandCanadathistleTheseplantshavealongtaprootthatreachesdowntotheCalciumlayerandpullstheCalciumbackuptothetopsoilIfyouhaveadandelionprobleminyourlawnorgarden,suspectCalciumdeficiencyInmorearidclimatessuchastheAmericanSouthwest,thedepthoftheCalciumlayerwillbemuchless,usually30to90cm(13feet)deepBecausethereisseldomenoughraininthesearidclimatestocarrytheCalciumanydeeper,itoftenformsahard,whitishcoloredlayerthatisimpervioustowater,knownascalicheThiscalichelayerisakintoconcreteandmustbebrokenuptoallowdeeprootedplantssuchasfruittreestoextendtheirrootsintothesubsoilandtoallowdrainageofirrigationwaterAgriculturalSulfur(90100%S)mustbeconvertedtothesulfate(SO4)formbeforeitcanbeusedbyplantsThisisdonebySulfurconvertingbacteriawhichnaturallyoccurinsoilsThesoiltemperaturemustbeabove13°C(55°F)forthebacteriatodotheirworkDuringtheconversion,4atomsofOxygenwillbetakenfromH2OtoformSO4,leaving8atomsoffreeHydrogenH+,whichisacidicandwilllowerthesoilpHWhenSulfurisappliedasCa,Mg,orKsulfateitgenerallywillnotaffectthesoilpHmuchFerroussulfate(Ironsulfate)willlowerthesoilpHOnthenextpageisthesoilreportthatweareworkingwith,showingtherequirementsforCalcium,Magnesium,PotassiumandSodiumthatwehavedeterminedinthischapter TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2051SoilReportandCommentsElementResultsCommentsTotalCationExchangeCapacityTCEC114pHofSoilSample558OrganicMatter%56%AnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)20PhosphorusPppm100CationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add300ppmCalciumCaCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add48ppmMagnesiumMgMgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add89ppmPotassiumKKBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit39261310%Add13ppmSodiumNaNaBaseSaturation15%OtherBases62%H+ExchHydrogen1015%270%OtherElementsppmBoron021IronFe50ManganeseMn11CopperCu107ZincZn164Aluminum1841Normal TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2052AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter4ThePrimaryAnionsPhosphorusP,SulfurS,andChlorineClInchapter3welookedatsomesoiltestresultsandcalculatedhowmuchofthevariousprimarycationnutrientsneededtobeaddedtothesoiltobringthebasesaturationleveltoouridealsoilbalanceof68%Ca,12%Mg,4%K,and15%NaInthischapterwewilllearntocalculatetherequiredamountsoftheprimaryanionsSulfur,Phosphorus,andChlorineHereiswhatwecalculatedfortheIdealSoilratioofcationsinchapter3:TotalofMajorCationsafterBalancingCalciumMagnesiumPotassiumSodium1550ppm164ppm178ppm39ppmAlloftherestofourcalculationsforthesoilmineralprescriptionwillbebasedonthesenumbersPhosphorusPandPotassiumHereisthePhosphorussectionoftheIdealSoilchart:Othermajornutrients(anions)PhosphorusPmin100ppmP=IdealKbyweight(ppm)BUT:phosphate(P205)shouldbe~2Xpotash(K2O)NeedsahighlybioactivesoiltokeepitavailableThechartsaysthatPotassiumandPhosphorusshouldbeequalbyweightinthesoilIfwearegoingtoendupwith178ppmofPotassium;wewanttoendupwith178ppmofPhosphorustooThisgetsalittletrickyforacoupleofreasons:•OnafertilizerlabelintheUSAandsomeothercountries,thelettersN,P,andKdonotstandforNitrogen,Phosphorus,andPotassiumTheystandforNitrogen,phosphate,andpotashNiselementalNitrogen,butphosphateisP2O5,2atomsofPhosphorusand5atomsofOxygenPotashisK2O,2atomsofPotassiumand1atomofOxygenMoreonthisbelow,butineffectthePonthefertilizerlabelisonly44%Phosphorusbyweight,whiletheKonthefertilizerlabelis83%PotassiumbyweightThereisalmosttwiceasmuchPotassiumbyweightinpotashasthereis TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2053PhosphorusinphosphateThisiswhytheIdealSoilchartsaysphosphateshouldbe2Xpotash•DifferentsoiltestinglaboratoriesusedifferentconventionswhenreportingresultsSomelabsreportPasactualPhosphorus,somereportitasphosphateItisthesamewithPotassiumandpotashSomelabsoilreportslistPotassiuminppmK,butshowPhosphorusasP2O5phosphateWhateverlaboneisusing,itisnecessarytoknowwhatformofPandKtheyarereportingIfyouarebuyingacommercialNPKlabeledfertilizerintheUSA,andyouwanttomaintaintheIdealSoilratioofP=Kbyweight,youwouldnotwantonelabeled101010,butratheronelabeled102010,or5105Let’slookatthatalittlecloser:SayyouboughtanNPKfertilizerthatwaslabeled101010,andknewthatmeant10%Nitrogen,10%phosphate,and10%potash10%iselementalNitrogenN,butthephosphateisonly44%Phosphorusandthepotashisonly83%PotassiumTheactualratioandamountofelementalnutrientsinthat101010is10%N,44%P,and83%KAlabelthatsaid102010wouldbe10%N,88%P,and83%K,muchclosertotheP=KratiobyweightthatwehavecalledforintheIdealSoilThiswriterhasreaddifferentstoriesastowhythePandKonfertilizerlabelsarelistedastheyare,onetheorybeingthatearlyanalyticalchemistsonlypurifiedthesamplestotheoxideformandthenweighedthatThebestguessastowhytheyarestilllistedthatwayisthatitmakesitappearthereismorefertilizerinthebagthanthereactuallyisHere’swhyphosphateis44%actualPhosphorus:ThechemicalformulaofphosphateisP2O5,2partsPhosphorusand5partsOxygenTheperiodictableoftheelementstellsusthattheatomicweightofPhosphorusis31,andthatofOxygenis16Sowehave2x31=62(theweightofP)5x16=80(theweightofO)addedtogether,theweightis142DividetheweightofPbythetotalweight62/142=0437,or44%PForpotash,theformulaisK2O,2partsPotassiumandonepartOxygenPotassium’satomicweightis39,Oxygenisstill162x39=78(theweightofK)1x16=16(theweightofO) TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2054Thetotalweightis94DividetheweightofKbythetotalweight78/94=0829or83%actualelementalKIfthesoiltestreportyouareworkingfromlistsPhosphorusasP2O5,youshouldfirstconvertP2O5toelementalPhosphorusbymultiplyingP2O5x044CalculatingPhosphorusFiguringouttheamountofPhosphorusweneedissimpleandstraightforwardHereistheAnionsectionfromthesoilreport:AnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)20PhosphorusPppm[227ppmP2O5]100OurPotassium(actualK)is178ppm,sowesimplysubtracttheamountofactualPshownonthesoilreportfromtheamountoftotalKinourIdealSoil178ppm–100ppm=78ppmWewillneedtoadd78ppmofelementalPhosphorustothesoilSulfurSHereistheSulfurpartoftheIdealSoilchart:SulfurSmin50ppm1/2xIdealKupto300ppmNeedforSulfuraminoacidsConservessoilNandCarbonHereistheSulfurreadingfromoursoilreport:SulfurS(partspermillion)20Wecalculatedabovethatwewishtoendupwith178ppmofPotassiumK,andtheIdealSoilcharttellsusthatwewant½asmuchSulfuras“Ideal”K(K=4%ofCEC),sowedividetheKamountby2:178/2=89ppmSwouldbeourdesiredamountSubtractourexistingSulfurlevelof20ppm:8920=69ppm TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2055Weneedtoadd69ppmofSulfurSChlorineClandPotassiumChlorideKClFertilizerChlorineisanessentialnutrientforplants,animals,andpeople,butitisnotmeasuredonastandardsoiltestUndernaturalconditionsChlorineinsuppliedfromthebreakdownofchloridemineralsinthesoilsuchasSodiumorPotassiumchlorideClisalsonaturallyfoundinrainwater,especiallynearseacoastsAreasfarfromtheoceansuchasmidcontinentareasmayhavelittlenaturalClintheatmosphereorrainbutmaystillhavesignificantamountsderivedfromburningfossilfuelsChlorinedeficiencyisrareinmostagriculturalsoilstoday;chlorineexcessismuchmorecommon,duetousingchlorinatedwaterforirrigationorevenmorecommonly,PotassiumchloridefertilizersMostcommercialfertilizersthatcontainPotassiumareformulatedwithPotassiumchloride,KCl,becauseitischeapandreadilyavailableItisalsoeffectiveintheshortterm,givingastronggrowthresponseHowever,inlargeamountsitistoxictosoilorganisms,frombacteriatoearthwormsUseofKClwillalsoprematurelyagetheclayinthesoil,reducingtheexchangecapacityAnothermajordrawbackisthatKClfertilizercanrapidlydepletetheuppersoillayersofCalciumInthesoiltheK+canexchangeforCa++onanegative–site(orKClcanreactwithfreeCaorwithlimepresentinthesoil),releasingaCalciumion,butthatCa++ionmayimmediatelybondwiththeChlorineionfromtheKCl,formingCalciumchlorideCaCl2CalciumchlorideishighlywatersolubleandwilleasilyleachtoalowersoilhorizonItisimpossibletohaveahealthy,livingsoilifPotassiumchlorideisbeingusedinlargequantities,egmorethan20%ofKsupplyPotassiumsulfate,whilemoreexpensive,doesnotharmthesoillifePotassiumsulfateisallowedforCertifiedOrganicusebytheUSDANationalOrganicProgramPotassiumchlorideisnotallowedFromtheIdealSoilChartChlorine(Cl)min25ppm1xto2xSodiumEssential,butagesclaysrapidlywhenusedinlargeamountsThesimplestwaytoensureadequateChlorineinthesoilistoaddregularsalt,SodiumchlorideNaClSeasalt,mineralsaltslikeRedmond’s,oreventablesaltNaClis40%Sodiumand60%ChlorineIfthereisreasontobelievethesoilneedsmoreChlorine,butthesoilalreadycontainsadequateorhighlevelsofNa,orifamendmentslikeSodiumnitrateareto TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2056beused,Potassium,Magnesium,orCalciumchloridecouldbeusedasaClsourceinsteadofNaClAmountofPrimaryCationsandAnionsneededThesearetheprimaryplantnutrientsthataremeasuredonastandardsoiltestInthenextchapterwewilldiscussthemineralsBoron,Iron,Manganese,CopperandZincAnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)20Add69ppmSulfurSPhosphorusPppm100Add78ppmPhosphorusPCationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add300ppmCalciumCaCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add48ppmMagnesiumMgMgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add89ppmPotassiumKKBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit39261310%Add13ppmSodiumNaNaBaseSaturation15% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2057AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter5TheSecondaryElementsBoron,Iron,Manganese,CopperandZincThesefivewillcompleteouranalysisofthenutrientmineralsthataremeasuredonastandardsoiltestBBoronFeIronMnManganeseCuCopperZnZincHereisthepartofthesoilreportwewillbeworkingwithinthischapter:OtherElementsppmBoronB021IronFe50ManganeseMn11CopperCu107ZincZn164BoronBBoronisoneofthemorerareelementsonplanetEarthOnaverage,theearth’scrustcontains50,000ppmofCalciumbutonly9ppmofBoronBoronisonlyminedinafewdryplacesTurkeyandtheMojaveDesertofCaliforniaaretheworld’sprimarysourcesofBoronSomeboronisalsorefinedfromtheSodiumnitratedepositsfoundintheAtacamadesertofChileBoronisaclosepartnerwithCalcium;Calciumtransportsmanynutrientsintotheplantandwithintheplant,butitneedsborontokeepitmobileThesayingisthatCalciumisthetruck,BoronisthedriverFreeBoroninthesoilishighlywatersolubleandleachesouteasilyPlantsalsotakeitupreadilyInmosthighproductionagriculturalsoilsBoron(andSulfur)willneedtobeappliedeveryyearBoronseemstobeheldontheorganic(Carbon)portionofthesoilandisonlyavailabletotheplantwhensoilmoistureisadequateintheupperorganichorizonofthesoilAlfalfacropswilloftenshowaBoron TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2058deficiencyinmidtolatesummerifthetopsoilgetsverydry;thedeeprootedalfalfacanstillbringupwaterfromthesubsoil,buttheBoronistiedupintheorganicmatterinthedrytopsoilIfthefieldcannotbeirrigated,itmaybeeffectivetoapplyafoliarBoronsprayThissprayshouldbehighlydilutedtonomorethan1or2poundsofBoronperacre(1or2kgofBperhectare)Althoughabsolutelyessential,BoroncanalsobetoxictosoillifeinhighdosesandisknowntoinhibitthesproutingofseedsAslongasonekeepsitclosetotheratioof1partBoronto1000partsCalciumtherewillbenoproblemsHereistheBoronsectionfromtheIdealSoilchart:BoronB–min1ppm1/1000ofCalcium(max4ppm)EssentialforCalciumutilizationSimpleenough1/1000thofCalciumOurdesiredCalciumlevelisCalciumCa++ppmDesired15501550ppm/1000=155ppmBorondesiredOurBoronlevelfromthesoilreportisBoronB021Subtractthesoiltestreadingfromthedesiredlevel155021=134ppmofBWeneedtoadd134ppmBoronIronFeFromtheIdealSoilChart:Iron(Fe)+min50ppmManganese(Mn)+min25ppmZinc(Zn)+min10ppmCopper(Cu)+min5ppmFe:1/3to1/2xIdealKMn:1/3to1/2xFeZn:1/10xP(upto50ppm)Cu:1/2xZn(upto25ppm)IronandManganesearetwins/oppositesandsynergists,asareCopperandZincIronshouldbe1/3to1/2ofIdealK,PotassiumWedecidetosetthedesiredFelevelat1/2ofK,thesamelevelweusedforSulfurSDesiredK(4%ofCEC)is178ppm;wewillwanttoendupwith1/2ofthat:178ppm/2=89ppmtotalFedesiredThesoilreportweareusingtellsuswehave TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2059IronFe5089ppm–50ppm=39ppm39ppmofIronshouldbeaddedtothissoilManganeseMnManganeseisessentialfortheproductionoffertileseedsThereisanatomofManganeseatthecenterofthegermofeveryseedFruitslikepeachesandplumsareoftenfoundwithashriveledseediftheplantisdeficientinManganeseThisdoesnotnecessarilymeanthesoilislackinginManganese;itmaysimplybedeficientinoneoftheotheressentialmineralssuchasIron,Zinc,orCopperTheyallneedtobethereintheirproperproportionTheIdealSoilchartcallsforMntobe1/3to1/2ofIronUnlessthesoilCECisabove15meqandthetestshowsitcontainsabove150ppmFe,wedonotneedorwanttogoabove50ppmManganese,andideally,wedonotwantMntobemorethan½ofIronOnereasonforthisisthathighlevelsofManganesehavebeenlinkedtoBSE(MadCowDisease)andotherdegenerativeneurologicalailments,especiallyinsoilsthataredeficientinCopperandZincThisdoesnotmeanthatallhighMnsoilsaredangerousorwillposeproblems,butitiswisetoaddsufficientIrontoahighMnsoilSeethesectiononManganeseintheappendixformoredetailsThesoilreporttellsusthattheMnlevelisManganeseMn11OurdesiredIronlevelis89ppm,so“ideal”Manganeseshouldbe½ofthator45ppm45ppm–11ppm=34ppm34ppmofManganeseshouldbeaddedtothissoilCopperCuCoppershouldequal½ofZincZincis164ppm,whichwewilldecidebelowisadequateCopperneedstobe164/2=82ppmtotaldesiredCopperThesoilreportreadsCopperCu107 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev206082ppm107ppm=713ppmCopperneededWeneedtoadd713ppmofCoppertothissoilZincZnTheIdealSoilchartsaysZincshouldequal1/10ofPhosphorusInthelastchapterwedeterminedouridealPhosphoruslevelforthissoiltobe178ppm(100ppminthesoil,plus78ppmtobeadded)178ppmx010=178ppmtotalisourdesiredlevelofZnThesoilreportreadingforZincis164ppm178ppm–164ppm=14ppmThisislessthan10%oftheidealtotal,andwellwithinthemarginoferrorforsoilsamplingandlabtestingItiscloseenoughWedonotneedtoaddanyZincThat’sitWearedonecalculatingtheamountsoftheprimaryandsecondarymineralsthatneedtobeamendedNextwewilltakeabrieflookatthetracemineralsandmicroelements,andthenwewillbereadytowritethesoilprescriptionThecompletedsoilreportwithallofourworksofarisonthepagefollowingthecommentsaboutCopperandZincbelowNotesonFertilizingwithCopperandZinc:TheIdealSoilguidelinesareforelementalZinctobeat10%ofelementalPhosphorusbyweight,andforCoppertobe1/2ofZincCautionisadvisedwhenamendingtheCopperlevelsinthesoilbecause"free"CoppercanbetoxictosoilorganismsaswellasfishandotheraquaticlifeKeepCopperoutofstreamsandponds;don’tapplyclosetothewaterorwheretheCucanwashintotothewaterbeforeitsoaksintothesoilAsageneralrule,itissafeenoughtoadd35to5ppmofelementalCoppertomostsoilsatanyonetimeSoilsthatarehighinorganicmatter,highCECclayswithagoodamountofCalcium,andhighCasoilsingeneralhavealargebufferingcapacityandcaneasilyadjusttohigheramountsofCopperinasingleapplicationthanlowCECsoilsTheCopperexampleabovecallsfor14kg/haor7ppmofCopperThisisasafeamounttoaddtothissoilinasingleapplicationaslongastheothermineralsonthesoilRxareaddedaswell TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2061Sheepneedcopperbutmorethanalittlecanbedeadlytothem,causingliverdamageOncetheaddedCopperhasbeenassimilatedintoamineralbalanced,biologicallyactivesoiltheplantsshouldnottakeupexcessiveCopperthatmightposeadangertosheepInadditionwhateverCoppertheforagedoescontainwillbebalancedbytheproperamountofmanyothermineralsNonetheless,onewillwanttoerronthelowsidewhenprescribingCopperforsheeppastures,andnotaddalargeamountatonce25ppmCuwouldbeasafeamountforasingleapplicationwhenamendingpasturesforsheeporothergrazinganimalsthatareknowntobeCoppersensitiveAninterestingwayoflearningifthepastureorfeedisCopperdeficientistowireapieceofcoppertubingtoafenceorotherareawheretheanimalsspendtimeIftheanimalslickthecoppertubeenoughtomakeitshiny,theyneedcopperFreeCoppercanalsobehardonfungiandonthephotosynthesizingalgaethatgrowonthesoilsurfaceThesafestwaytoapplyCopperonly(asasoloamendment)istomixitwithsomeorganicmattersuchascompostZinc:TheamountofZincthatcanbeaddedtoagriculturalsoilsperyearisregulatedbylawinsomepartsofCanadaandtheUSA;intheUSstateofWashingtonthelimitis7lbsofZincperacreperyear(14kg/haor35ppmaddedtothetop15cm)Oddlyenough,CopperasafertilizerisnotregulatedinWashingtonItisourunderstandingthattheWashingtonStateruleswerecopiedandpastedfrompreexistingCanadianrulesForamoreindepthdiscussionofCopperandZinc,seetheappendix TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2062SoilReportandCommentsThecompletedworksheet,inppm,forchapters3through6ofTheIdealSoil2014ElementResultsCommentsCationExchangeCapacityCECmeq114pHofSoilSample558OrganicMatter%56%AnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)20Add69ppmSulfurSPhosphorusPppm100Add78ppmPhosphorusPCationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add300ppmCalciumCaCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add48ppmMagnesiumMgMgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add89ppmPotassiumKKBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit39261310%Add13ppmSodiumNaNaBaseSaturation15%OtherBases62%H+ExchHydrogen1015%270%OtherElementsppmBoronB021Add134ppmBoronBIronFe50Add39ppmIronFeManganeseMn11Add34ppmManganeseMnCopperCu107Add713ppmCopperCuZincZn164OKAluminum1841Normal TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2063AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter6MicroElementsandNitrogen(WithafewnotesonBeneficialSoilOrganismsandHumates)ThebottomsectionofTheIdealSoilchart:Micro(trace)ElementsChromiumCrCobaltCo+IodineIMolybdenumMoSeleniumSeTinSn+VanadiumV+NickelNi+FluorineF–Alloftheseareessentialinsmallamounts052ppmisenoughSomeofthemicroelements(egMo,Se)canbetoxictoplantsandsoilorganismsinquantitiesabove12ppmUseCautionwhenapplyingmicro/traceelementsinpurifiedformsThereareprobably30orsootherelementsneededinaperfectsoilSourcesareamendmentssuchasseaweed,rockdust,ancientseabedorvolcanicdeposits,rockphosphategreensandetcThescienceofmicro(trace)mineralsandtheirrelationshiptosoil,plant,andanimalhealthisstillinitsinfancyUntilafewyearsagonoonehadanyideathatChromiumandVanadiumwereessentialnutrientsbuttheyassuredlyareAtsoilmineralscomwerelymostlyonnaturalmicromineralsourcessuchasthoselistedintherighthandcolumnofthetableabove;thesesourcescontaindozensorscoresofdifferentelementsMostmicromineralsareonlyneededinverytinyquantities;oftenafewpartsperbillionaresufficientAstandardsoiltestdoesnottestforthesemicronutrientsIttestsonlyfortheelementswehaveexaminedinthepreviouschapters,withtheadditionofperhapsNitrogenorAluminumAnychemicalassayonlymeasurestheelementsthatarespecificallybeingtestedforMostsoiltestinglaboratorieswilldospecialtests,suchasforCobalt,Molybdenum,orSelenium,buttheseareindividualteststhatmustberequestedandpaidforinadditiontothecostofthestandardtestAnexampleofwhereitmaybeworthwhiletorequestamicroelementtestwouldbeifonehadalargeareaofpastureandsuspectedthatanessentialtraceminerallikeSeleniumorCobaltwasseriouslydeficientIfitisnotpracticaloraffordabletoapplyhundredsofpoundsperacreofabroadspectrummicromineralsourcetoalargearea,itmaybepracticaltoapplyafewouncesperacreofarefinedsourceTheelementSeleniumisagoodexampleofthisSeleniumisessentialforproperimmunefunction,itisacofactorwithvitaminE,anditisassociatedwithresistancetovirusesSevereSeleniumdeficiencyinpastureandfeedleadstowhitemuscle TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2064diseaseinruminants,whichisfatalInthe1970sinvestigationsintohighratesofheartdiseaseintheKeshanprovinceofChinaledtothediscoveryoftheessentialroleofSeleniuminhumannutritionThesandstonebedrockthathadformedthebasisofthesoilinKeshanprovincewasfoundtobecompletelylackinginSelenium,andthatlackturnedouttobethesourceoftheongoingepidemicheartdiseasePriortothisdiscovery,Seleniumwasconsideredatoxin,whichitcanbeinconcentrationsgreaterthanafewpartspermillionAddingSeleniumtothesoilsofKeshanprovinceproducedadramaticdeclineinheartdiseaseThecountryofFinland,whichalsohadveryhighratesofheartdisease,turnedouttoalsobeSeleniumdeficient,andreportedlyalloftheagriculturallandinFinlandwassubsequentlyamendedwithSeleniumThesocalledlocoweedoftheAmericanWestisamemberofthepeafamilythat,whengrowingonhighSeleniumsoil,concentratesenoughSeleniumtobetoxictoanimalsgrazingonitCobaltisanessentialmineralthatisonlyneededinminutequantitiesRuminantanimalssuchascattleandsheepproducevitaminB12intheirdigestivesystemwhenCobaltisavailableintheirforageWithoutCobalttheyaresubjecttohookworm,bacterialinfections,brucellosis,andneurologicaldiseasesThisconnectionwasfirstmadeincattleonCobaltdeficientpasturesinFlorida,USA,duringthe1930sandhassincebeenfoundtobeaprobleminmanyareasoftheworldrangingfromRussiatoNewZealandAslittleastwoouncesofCobaltperacrecanalleviatethedeficiencyMolybdenum:AlloftheknownNitrogenfixingbacteriarequireMolybdenumasacatalyst,boththefreelivingtypesandthosesuchasrhizobiathatformnodulesontherootsoflegumesNoMolybdenum,noNitrogenfixationinthesoilOnlyvanishinglysmallquantitiesofMolybdenumareneededWerecommendwhereverpossiblethatnaturalsourcesofmultipletracemineralsbeused,inadditiontowhateverprimaryandsecondarymineralshavebeenfoundlackingonthesoiltestKelpandseasalt,aswellasancientseabeddeposits,havethewidestrangeoftracemineralstobefoundanywhereRegularoceansaltcontainsatleast80differentmineralsSeasaltandMineralSaltsManypeoplearefearfulofusingseasaltontheirgardensorfieldsThisfearmaygobacktotheancientstoryoftheRomanssaltingthefieldsofCarthageaftertheCarthaginiansweredefeatedWhetherthereisanytruthtothattale,whoknows,andwhoknowswhattypeof“salt”wasused?WhileitistruethathighconcentrationsofSodiumareharmfultoplantandsoillife,manyinlandsoilsareSodiumdeficient,especiallyinhighrainfallareasAfterthedeadlytsunamisthatwashedovertheshoresoftheIndianOceanin2004,manyexpectedtheinundatedfarmlandstobeharmed,butallthereportsthiswriterhasseenindicate TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2065thatthesubsequentcropswereexcellentWegenerallytrytokeepSodiumconcentrationsbelow3%basesaturation,butanythingupto5%isnoproblemformostfoodcrops,andingenerallevelsupto10%ofCECwillnotposeaproblemaslongastheotherprimarycationmineralsareinbalanceSeasaltisatmostalittleover40%SodiumInthe114meqsoilreportthatweareusingasanexampleinthisbook,5%basesaturationwouldbeover650kg/haofseasalt,or65kgper100squaremetersSugarbeet,celery,Swisschard,turnips,andspinacharecropsthatbenefitfromrelativelyhighSodiumlevelsRedmondmineralsaltisapopularculinary,livestockfeed,andsoilamendmentsaltfromtheUSARedmondsaltisminedfromanancientseabedinthestateofUtahItcontainsoverfiftymineralsKelpandotherseaweedsaresomeoftheverybestmicromineralsources,andsomeofthefewgoodsourcesofIodineSeawatercontainsasmallamountofIodine,butseasalthasbeenevaporatedeitherinthehotsunoranovenIodinebeingveryvolatile,mostoftheIodineislostinthedryingprocessSeaweedsconcentrateIodineandlockitinaspartoftheirorganicstructureSeaweedsalsocontaininterestingplanthormonesthatactasgrowthstimulantsandmanyaminoacidstofeedthesoillifeandtheplantsTheonlysignificantmineralsourceofIodineisunrefinedChileanSodiumnitrate,whichcontains004008%iodateaswellasbeingagoodsourceofBoronandhighlyavailablenitrateNitrogenUSDANOPorganicrulesallowChilenitrateofsodatobeusedforupto20%ofyearlyNapplicationWhetherornotthepresumablyrefinedChilenitratebeingmarketedintheUSin2013containssignificantamountsofBoronandIodineispresentlyunknownRockDustThesimplestsolutionformicromineralsinthesoilistofindalocalrockorgravelquarrythathasacrusheroperationandmakeadealwiththemfortheircrusherdustItisawasteproducttothemsoexpecttogetagoodpriceOneshoulddotheirbesttodeterminethemineralmakeupoftherockdust;ifthequarryhascontractswiththegovernmentorlargeconstructionfirmstheymayhavebeenrequiredtogetachemicalassayoftherockandwillknowthemineralcompositionoftheirproductAnotherfacetofnewlycrushedrockisthatitissharp;thecrystalsarefreshlybrokenandhavesharppointsandedgesEnergy,heat,andelectricchargeallgotoapoint,whichcouldconceivablyincreaseelectricalchargeinthesoil;agoodthinginmanysoils,especiallyoldersoils,claysoils,andthoseveryhighinorganicmattersuchaspeatandmucksoilsInaddition,sharpedgesandpointsmakeiteasierforsoilacidsandmicrobestoattacktherockandetchnew,freshmineralsfromthem TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2066FreshlygroundrockmayalsoincreasetheparamagneticqualitiesofthesoilParamagnetismisarathernewaspectofagriculturehavingtodowithasoil’sabilitytointeractwiththeEarth’smagneticandelectricalfieldTheauthorhasdonetrialswithhighlyparamagneticbasaltfromCanadawithverygoodresultsManysoils,especiallyolderagriculturalsoils,aredeficientinparamagnetismAdetaileddiscussionofthesubjectisbeyondthescopeofthischapter,butthoseintriguedshouldcheckouttheworkofPhilCallahanPhD,startingwithhisbookParamagnetismOxygenisthemostparamagneticelementofall,andsimplygettingOxygenintoyoursoilwillgoalongwaytowardincreasingitsenergylevelGlacialrockdustdoesnotcomefromglaciers,atleastnotdirectlyThebigbuzzonglacialrockdustbeganwiththepublicationofJohnHamakerandDonaldWeaver’sbookTheSurvivalofCivilizationin1982HamakerandWeaverarguedthatthelasttimetheplanet’ssoilshadagooddoseoffreshmineralswaswhentheglaciersmeltedattheendofthelasticeage,around10,000yearsago,anddepositedtheloadsofboulders,gravel,andfinerockdustthattheyhadpickedupwhilemovingtowardtheequatorfrompolarregionsThepopularityofglacialrockdustisnodoubtalsoduetoDrRobertMcCarrison’s1921bookStudiesinDeficiencyDiseases,wherehedescribedthelonglivedandhealthypeopleoftheHunzavalleyintheHimalayasTheirfieldsandgardenswereirrigatedfrommountainstreamsrunningoffofglaciers,andthewaterwasmilkycoloredfromtheamountofrockdustsuspendedinitWhatismarketedtodayasglacialrockdustiscrusherdustfromaquarry,butthequarryislocatedonorinaglacialtillormoraine,alargedepositofrocksleftbehindwhentheglaciersretreatedOnceagainitisgenerallyawasteproductfromthecrusheroperationandshouldnotbeterriblyexpensiveTheadvantageofsocalledglacialrockdustisthatthemoraineconsistsofamixtureofrocks,someperhapscarriedfromhundredsofmilesaway,andwillhaveawiderrangeofmineralsthanthedustfromaquarrycrushinglocalbedrockMorerecommendedmicromineralsources:AzomiteVolcanicRockPowder:Anancientdepositofvolcanicashthatlaterbecameaseabed,Azomiteisasuperbsourceof67naturallychelatedmineralsAzomitestandsfor"AtoZOfMineralsIncludingTraceElements"Azomiteisminedfromthe“pink”hillsofUtahTennesseeBrownPhosphate:Tennesseebrownphosphateishighlyreactiveandhighlyavailable,andisagoodchoiceforsoilsabovepH7Totalphosphatecontentrunsfrom21to25%TennesseeBrownphosphatecontainsmorethan50microelementsColloidalClayPhosphate,softrockphosphate,SRP,CalPhos:Asoft,powderyphosphate,Calcium,andmicroelementsourcefromFloridaHighexchange TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2067capacityandreadilyavailableinacidsoilsAnaverageanalysisforthisamendment(reproducedintheappendixofthisbook)lists27mineralsJerseyGreensand:ThisfamousslowreleasePotassiumandIronsourceisfromanancientseabedinNewJerseyJIRodalerecommendedithighlyItisalsoasourceofCalcium,Magnesium,andphosphatealongwith30ormoremicroelementsGreensand,alsocalledglauconite,isfoundinmanypartsoftheworld,notjustNewJerseyTheremaybeaglauconitedepositclosetoyouThemineralratiointheglauconitescanvaryquiteabitHumateOresandHumicAcidSourcesWheneveravailable,werecommendaddingasourceofhumicandfulvicacidstothesoilTheseamendmentsstimulatesoillife,increaseexchangecapacity,andbringlifeandoxygentothelowerlevelsoftherootzone,whichincreasesthefriabilityoftightsoilsandcreatesdeepertopsoilThemostcommonsourcesarehumicshale,lignitecoal(asoftpeatcoalalsoknownasLeonardite),andhumatedepositsHumatedepositscomefromtheremainsofplantandanimallifethataccumulatedinanancientfreshwaterseainthewesternUSandothersimilarlocationsaroundtheworldHumateoresarefrequentlygoodsourcesofmicromineralsandoftencontainhighlevelsofPotassiumDoesyoursoilneedmicrominerals?WhetherornotyouneedtoaddamicroelementsourcetoyoursoildependsonwhattypeofsoilyouhaveanditspasthistoryAdensetropicalorsubtropicalclaythathasbeenleachedandweatheredformillionsofyearsisunlikelytocontainmanymicroelementsSuchasoilisverylikelyinneedofallthehelpitcangetAchernozemtypeprairiesoil,suchasfoundintheuppercentralUSA,mayhaveplentyofmicromineralreserves,especiallyiftheareawasglaciatedandcontainsjumbledrocksfrommanysourcesAcoarseandundevelopedsoil,thetypefoundinmanyaridregions,mayormaynotneedadditionalmicrominerals,dependingonthesourcerocksInallcases,creatingabiologicallyactivesoilandbringingthehumusleveluptooptimumwillnotonlyhelptomakewhatevermineralsarepresentmoreavailable,butalsohelptoretainthemintherootzoneAnotherconsiderationiswhatthesoilhasbeenusedforinthepastLongtermagriculturalcroppingofsoilswherethemineralshavebeentakenupbytheplantsandthecropsharvestedandtakenawaydepletesallofthemineralreservesItispossibletoassayallofthemineralsinasampleofsoil,includingthosethatarestillintheformofsand,gravel,androcksThisisdonebygrindingthesoiltoaveryfinepowderanddissolvingitcompletelyinaheatedsolutionofAquaRegia,amixtureofconcentratedntricandhydrochloricacidsFromthisassayonecoulddeterminethetotalamountof,forexample,Calciumthattherootzonecontained,measuretheamountofCalciumthatthecropsbeinggrowntookupeachyear,and TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2068calculatehowmanyyearsacropcouldbegrownonthatsoilbeforetheamountofCalciumorothermineralnutrienthadbeencompletelytakenupandshippedawayWehavefoundonechartshowingacompleteassayofsoilmineralsandanestimateofhowmanyyears’supplythesoilcontainsThetablewaspublishedinSoilChemistrybyBohn,McNeal,andO’Connorin1985ItisbasedontheworkofthescientistVinogradovwhomweassumewasRussianHereareafewexamplesfromthatchart:TotalSoilMineralReservesto1MeterDepthMineralelementPlantuptakeperyearkg/hectareYearsofsupplyataverageplantuptakeCalcium50260Potassium30430Magnesium44,600Iron05100,000Sulfur2320Selenium0000340Accordingtothenotesontheoriginal,thesearethetotalreservesinthesoiltoadepthof1meterNoindicationisgivenofwherethissoilwasfrom,butclearlyitwasafertilesoilifitcontainedpotentialreservesofPotassiumtofeedcropsfor430yearsThequestionofwhichcropsisnotaddressedLookingattheSulfurreserves,320yearsat2kgperyearwouldgiveus640kg/haofSulfurinthissoilPerhapssomecropsmayonlytakeaway2kg/ha(18lbs)ofSperyearfromthesoil,butmorecommonlycropswilluptake20ormorekg/haAgoodcropofsugarbeetswilluseasmuchas50kg/hectareperyearofSulfurThat640kgofSulfurwouldonlybeenoughtogrowsugarbeetsforadozenyears,evenassumingtheplantscouldsomehowaccesseverybitofSulfurinthetop100cmofsoil(whichofcoursetheycouldn’t)WecanseehowasoilcouldberapidlydepletedAnevenmoredramaticexampleisSeleniuminthebottomrowofthechartonlyenoughfor40yearsofgrowing,andasourarithmeticabovehasshown,perhapsformuchlesstimethanthatWebegintoseewhysoilsarespokenofas“wornout”ThiscanbetheconsequenceofshortsightedexploitativeagriculturewheresolubleNPKfertilizershavebeenappliedinlargeamountsinordertoforcemaximumgrowthandyieldPlantscannotliveandreproducesolelyonadietofNPK;theymusthavetheotheressentialmineralstoo,sotheydrawthemfromthesoilreserves,depletingthosereservesyearafteryearAsthecropsareharvestedandsoldaway;theminerals TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2069arenotreplacedIneffect,thisisminingthesoilAmineisonlyapayingpropositionaslongasthemineralbeingminedlastsManyagriculturalsoilsworldwidehavebeenabusedoverthelastfewthousandyearsTheplainsofNorthAfricathatoncewerethebreadbasketoftheRomanEmpirearenowdesertswhereevengoatscanbarelysurviveThissituationhasnotimprovedsincesolubleNPKfertilizerswereintroducedinthe1800sThefollowingtwoparagraphsfromtheendofchapter1arecopiedherebecausetheybearrepeating:Ifwelookatagriculturalsoilsfromanutritionalstandpoint,theyaremuchmorethanananchorfortheroots,abasetokeepthecropsfromfallingoverEachcropharvestedandtakenawaydepletesthesoil’sstoreofessentialnutrientmineralsIfthemineralsarenotreplaced,weeventuallyreachapointwheretherearenotenoughlefttogrowahealthycropwiththeabilitytomatureseedsforthenextgenerationLongbeforethispointisreached,thenutrientdensityofthecropforhumanandanimalfoodhassufferedMuchofourarablelandworldwideisproducingemptycalories,mostlycarbohydratesmadefromtheatmosphericelementsCarbon,Hydrogen,andOxygenThesolution,theonlysolution(barringtheabilityofplantsorsoilorganismstotransmuteelementsalchemically),istosupplytheseneededmineralsfromasourcewheretheyareabundantThatsourceshouldideallybelocatedascloseaspossibletowherethemineralsareneededinordertominimizetransportationcostsItmakesnosensetoshipgroundlimestoneacrossthecountrywheneverystateintheUSAhaslimestonedeposits,butwhenitcomestorareelementslikeSeleniumorBoronwhichareonlyfoundinconcentratedformafewplacesintheworld,thetransportcostsarejustifiedMiningoftheneededmineralsneednotentaillongtermenvironmentaldamageeitherMinesandquarriescanbecarefullyworkedbythosewhocareabouttheirhomeplanet,andwhentheminesaredepletedtheycanbelandscapedandplantedtobeasormorebeautifulthanbeforeminingIt’salsoworthnotingthatmanyoftheeconomicallyviablesourcesforagriculturalmineralscontainsuchhighconcentrationsofthesemineralsthattheyaretoxictosoillifeandlittleornothinggrowsthereRemovingthesetoxicconcentrationsandusingthemtomakeotherpartsoftheplanethealthierandmoreproductivecan,atthesametime,openuptheseformerlytoxicsoilstothegrowthofforestorgrasslandsNoneofthisshouldbedoneonthebasisofgreedorshorttermgain,butratherwisely,intelligently,andinharmonywithNatureBeneficialBacteriaandFungiBSOs:BeneficialSoilOrganismsWerecommendandusebeneficialsoilfungiandbacteriaforthesamereasonthatbakersusebreadyeast,champagnemakersusechampagneyeast,brewersusebeeryeast,yogurtmakersuseyogurtstarter,andcheesemakersusetheculture TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2070thatwillmakethekindofcheesetheywishtomakeOnecanwaitaroundandhopethattherightyeastsporewillfallintothevatandcreatechampagne,oronecanincreasetheoddsintheirfavorbyaddingtheculturesthattheywantrightatthestartWewanttobesurethatthebestpossiblesoillife"culture"isthereandreadytomakethemineralsandorganicnutrientsinthesoilavailableBeneficialSoilOrganisms(BSOs)haveproventheirvalueinbringingvibrantlifetothesoil,inprotectingthesoilandplantsfromdiseaseanddrought,andinmakingsoilnutrientsreadilyavailableBSOsarealsovaluableforfreeingnutrientsthatareinthesoilbut"tiedup"Forexample,soilsmayhavegoodphosphatereserves,yettheplantsgrowingonthosesoilsarestarvingforphosphateManyfarmersandgardenersinthissituationresorttoaddingsolublephosphatefertilizerstoasoilthatalreadyhasplentyofphosphate,onlytohavetheaddedphosphatechemicallycombinewithcationsinthesoilandbecomeunavailabletoplantswithinafewweeksThereasonforthisisthatelementalPhosphorusisanextremelyactive"acid"mineralIthasapowerfulnegativecharge,andjustcan'twaittolatchontothenearest+chargeThenearest+chargeisusuallyCalcium,andtogetherCaandPformCalciumphosphate,averystablecompoundandexactlywhatbonesaremadeofSeenanywatersolubleboneslately?IttakeseitherstrongacidsortherightmicroorganismstobreaktheCaPbondAnothergoodreasontouseprobioticsoilculturesisthatmanysoilshaveahardtimebreakingdownorganicmattertoformhumusSeedingthesoilorthecompostpilewiththerightbiologywillgreatlyassistinbreakingdowntoughplantroots,woodchips,cornstalks,andother"chunks"oforganicmatterinthesoil,releasingthetiedupnutrientsallalongthewayHereisathirdimportantreasontouseagoodBSOculturetoseedthesoil:Healthysoilsalwayscontainhealthysymbioticfungi95%ofplantspecieshaveanaturalandancientalliancewiththesoilfungiSomefungisendouttheirlong"roots"calledhyphae(hifee)formanymeters,bothdeepintothesoilandjustbelowthesurfaceinthetopsoilTheysearchoutnutrientsandmoistureandbringthembacktosharewiththeplantsOtherfungiaresmaller,andonlyliveclosetotheplantstheyarepartnerswithTheybreakdownsmallrockparticleswhilesearchingfornutrients,digestdeadorganicmatter,andevenprotecttheplantsfromdiseasebyproducingantibiotics;theoriginalsforallofourantibioticswerefromthefungi(Penicillinisproducedbythecommonbluebreadmold)Inexchangeforbeingfed,helped,anddefended,theplantsfeedthefungi,sharingthesugarsandothercarbohydratesthattheymakeintheopenairandsunshinewiththefungithatneverseethesunThenameforthesetypesofsymbioticfungiismycorrhizae(mykorizee),ormycorrhizal(mykorizal)fungiMycomeansfungusandrhizaecomesfrom TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2071rhizomeandmeansrootsFungusrootorrootfungiiswhatthey'renamedandwhattheyareSomemycorrhizae(mykorizee)actuallyintergrowwiththetinyroothairsoftheplantsTheplant'srootsarethenacombinationoffungusandroottissue;thefungisharetheirownsapwiththeplantsthataretheirpartners;thistypeiscalledendomycorrhizaebecauseitlivespartlywithin(endo=inside)theplantsthatareitssymbiotes90%ofcultivatedplantspartnerwithendomycorrhizaeOthermycorrhizaegrowrightnexttotheplantroots,sharingnutrientswiththeplantsthroughthesoilwater/nutrientsolutionEctomeansoutside;ectoMycorrhizaeliveentirelyoutsidetheplantrootsMosttreesandshrubspartnerwithectomycorrhizaeAgoodtipifyouareplantingneworhavingtroublewitholdshrubsandtrees,eitherornamentalsorfruitingtypes,istofindaplacewherethesameplantishealthyandgrowingwellandscrapeoffalittleofthetopsoilorsurfaceduffto"seed"thesoilaroundyourneworproblemplantswiththebeneficialandsymbioticfungifromwherethesameplantsarethrivingPlantscanusuallylivewithouttheirfungalandbacterialpartners,buttheywon'tthrivethesamewaytheydowhentheyhaveallthehelptheycangetOnecanhopethattherightyeastsporeformakingchampagnewillfallintothevat,butlikeprofessionalbakersandwinemakers,manygrowersuseaculturethattheytrusttoworkandgivethemtheresultstheyexpectThereareanumberofgoodsourcesforBSOs,includingfungalmixesforspecialpurposessuchasgrowingconifersandspecializedbacteriaformakingcompostWewouldrecommendtryingafewdifferenttypestodecidewhichworksbestforyouNitrogenN(alsoseeEstimatingNitrogenReleaseENRinappendix)ManysoillaboratoriesomitNitrogenfromthesoilreport;thesoilreportweareusingfortheexamplesinthisbookdoesnotincludeNThereasonforthisisthatNlevelsareveryunstable;Nitrogenisconstantlyleakingoffintotheair,leachingdownwardsoutofreachoftheroots,orsimplybecomingunavailableduetothesoiltemperaturebeingtoocoldforbiologicalactiontoreleaseNfromtheorganicmatterreservesofthesoilAnytestforNitrogenprovidesonlyasnapshotofwhatisavailableatthetimeandatthetemperaturethetestisdoneInsomecases,Nitrogenlevelsaresimplyestimatedbasedonthesoil’sorganicmattercontentIfthesoil’sorganicmattercontentis4%orabove,thereislikelytobeagoodamountofNitrogenpotentiallyavailableHumusinthesoilgenerallyhasa10:1CarbontoNitrogenratioNitrogenisfoundinthesoilintwoforms,ammoniaNH4+andnitrateNO3NH4+isacationbaseandcanbeheldonthenegativelychargedsoilcolloids,humus,andclayNitrateNO3ishighlywatersolubleandismorelikelytobeleachedaway;in TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2072additionmicrobialactionisconstantlychangingNH4intoNO3NitrogenisacomponentofallproteinsandaminoacidsWhenlivingthingsdie,theirproteinbreaksdownandammoniacalNH4isreleasedNitrateNitrogenisassociatedwithrapidgrowthwhileammoniaNitrogenisassociatedwithflowering,fruiting,andplantmaturityHavinganoptimumlevelofSulfurisimportanttoconserveNinthesoilIntheabsenceofadequateSulfur,muchoftheammoniaNgeneratedfromthebreakdownoforganicmatterinthesoilorincompostwilloffgastotheairandbelostAtthesametimemuchoftheCarbonwillbelostasitoffgassesasCO2WhenoptimumlevelsofSarepresent,agreaterportionofNandCwillbeincorporatedintostablehumusandremaininthesoilTherecommendedSulfuramountfortheIdealSoilmethodis½ofIdealPotassium,withaminimumof50ppmSforanyproductiveagriculturalsoilTheonlywaytogetanaccurateNtestthatwilltellwhatisavailableinthesoilrightnowistoexpressmailasampletothelab,ortouseahometestingsystemsuchastheLaMottesoiltest,whichisdesignedtomeasureonlythoseelementsimmediatelyavailableinthesoil,nottheamountofreservesNitrogenrequirementsvarygreatlyduetoclimateandcrop,andshouldbeaddressedbyindividualcropneedsSomecropssuchascorn(maize)andalliums(onions,leeks,garlic)benefitgreatlyfromanNboostortwoduringthegrowingseason;forothercropsthiswouldonlycauserankgrowthanddelayfloweringandmaturityMostcropsdowellwitharound40to50ppmavailableN,splitevenlybetweennitrateandammoniaforms(SeeCareyReams’IdealSoilrecipeintheappendix)TheonlynaturallyoccurringmineralsourceofNitrogenisChileannitrateofsoda,whichcontainsaround16%NItisagreatsourceofnaturalN,especiallyincoldsoils,butshouldnotbeusedformorethan25%ofNitrogenneedsduetoitshighlevelofSodiumChileannitratemaynotbeallowedundersomeorganiccertificationrulesIfyourfarmisCertifiedOrganic,checkwithyourcertifyingagencybeforeusingChileannitrateTheEthicsofNitrogeninOrganicAgricultureHerearetheNfertilityinputsallowedundertheUSDANOPorganicrules:BloodmealFishmealBonemealFeathermealAnimalmanuresChileannitrateofsodaand TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2073Oilseedmeals:Soybean,flaxseed,rapeseed,andcottonseedmealsthataremostlyGMOandhavebeenprocessedwithpetroleumderivedhexanesolventtoextracttheoilsThemealleftafterextractionisusedforanimalfeedaswellas“organic”agricultureThisseedmealcontainsupto05%hexaneresidues,enoughtokillbabypigsHexaneisanextremelycheapbyproductofgasolinerefining;OvertonSVandJJManura(1997)foundhigherthanexpectedlevelsofpentane,hexane,heptane,octaneandbenzenederivativesinall6hexaneextractedcookingoilsamplestestedIfthosesolventsareinthevegetableoils,theyareintheseedmealsaswellAmoderatesized100,000bushelperdaysoybeanoilextractingfacilitycanlose6,000poundsofhexaneperdaytotheenvironment(atmosphericleaksfromdistillation,decanting,openvessels,andthemeal)http://wwwkarllorencom/Diabetes/p47htmOnlyoneUSDANationalOrganicProgramallowedsource,Chilenitrateofsoda,doesnotcomefromeitherindustrialagriculture,industrialtrawlingofoceanfish,orconfinedanimalfeedingoperationsChilenitrateofsodaneedstobeimportedfromSouthAmericaandislimitedinusefulnessbecauseofitshighSodiumcontentDoesthismakesense,thattheonlyNsourcesallowedinwhatissupposedtobeethicalandhealthyagriculturecomefromGMO,chemicallyfarmed,herbicidesprayedseedscontaminatedwithhexaneandotherpetroleumsolvents,fromgiantfactoryshipssweepingupallsealife,orfromgrim,unnaturalanimalfactories?Ontheotherhand,ammoniumsulfate,ureaandother“synthetic”NitrogenfertilizersarereadilyavailableNsourcesmadefromatmosphericNitrogenTheycanbemadeanywhereratherthanneedinglongdistancetransportationNoanimalsaremistreatedintheirmanufactureNooceansareseinedbygiantfactoryshipsTheyarenotGMO,notchemicallycontaminated,andcontainonlypureformsofthedesiredplantnutrientsWhichNitrogensourceiscleaner,healthier,andmoreethicaltouse?Making“Synthetic”NitrogenThemainprocessusedforextractingNfromtheair,theHaberBosch,producesammonia“TheHaberprocess,alsocalledtheHaberBoschprocess,istheindustrialimplementationofthereactionofnitrogengasandhydrogengasItisthemainindustrialroutetoammonia:N2+3H22NH3 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2074NitrogenisacriticallimitingmineralnutrientinplantgrowthCarbonandoxygenarealsocritical,butareeasilyobtainedbyplantsfromsoilandairEventhoughairis78%nitrogen,atmosphericnitrogenisnutritionallyunavailablebecausenitrogenmoleculesareheldtogetherbystrongtriplebondsNitrogenmustbe'fixed',ieconvertedintosomebioavailableform,throughnaturalormanmadeprocessesItwasnotuntiltheearly20thcenturythatFritzHaberdevelopedthefirstpracticalprocesstoconvertatmosphericnitrogentoammonia,whichisnutritionallyavailable”http://enwikipediaorg/wiki/Haber_processThesourceoftheN2istheatmosphere;theHydrogenneeded,aswellasthesourceofheat,hastraditionallycomefrommethane,ienaturalgasUnderhightemperatureandextremelyhighpressure(200+atmospheres)thegaseousmixtureofNitrogenandHydrogenisrepeatedlypassedoverabedofmetallicIron;theironworksasacatalysttochemicallybondtheNandH,formingNH3,ammoniaSurelyeveryonehasheardof“petroleumbasedfertilizers”?Inreality,theHaberBoschprocessistheonlyindustrialfertilizerprocessthathasany“petroleum”connection,andthat'sastretch,callingmethanefromnaturalgaspetroleumTherefiningprocessesforPhosphorusandPotassiumfertilizersusenohydrocarbonsDoes“synthetic”Nkillsoillife?Itcan,whenmisusedandoverusedProbablytheworstexampleis'knifing'anhydrousammoniaintotherootzoneofmaize/cornWhilethatcangiveaquickboostingrowthandyield,thehighdoseofammoniakillsoffmostsoillife,whileburninguphumusatthesametimeArdenAndersen(ScienceinAgriculture)writesthatinjectionsofanhydrousammoniawereusedinWWIIinthePacifictoquicklyturnjunglesoilsintohardpackedlandingstripsforaircraftOntheotherhand,addingasmallamountofAmmoniumsulfatetocompostpilesortothesoilcangreatlyacceleratemicrobialactioninbreakingdownorganicmatterintostablehumusBothnitrateNandammoniaNoccurnaturallyinallagriculturalsoilsWeareawareofnoevidencethatthereisanychemicaldifferencebetweennaturallyoccurringandindustriallyproducedammoniaandnitrateANewEcologicallySoundProcessfor“Fixing”AtmosphericN30January2013ResearchersfromtheUniversityofStrathclydeandtheUniversityofStAndrewshavedemonstratedthatammoniacanbesynthesizeddirectlyfromair(insteadofN2)andH2O(insteadofH2)underamildcondition(roomtemperature,oneatmosphere)withsuppliedelectricitywhichcanbeobtainedfromrenewableresourcessuchassolar,windormarine…theirprocesscouldalsoreducethepressureonrenewableenergystorage,theynote TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2075Globally131milliontonsofammoniawereproducedin2010ThedominantammoniaproductionprocessistheHaberBoschprocessinventedin1904whichrequireshightemperature(~500°C)andhighpressure(150–300bar),inadditiontoefficientcatalystsNaturalgasorcoalisusedastheenergysourceoftheammoniaindustry187tonsofCO2isreleasedpertonofammoniaproducedIntheHaberBoschprocess,thepresenceofppmleveloxygenmaypoisonthecommonlyusedFebasedcatalystsInindustry,extensivepurificationofN2andH2isneededandthisremarkablyincreasestheoverallcostoftheprocessThereforeresearchershavebeenseekingasimplerwayforsynthesisofammoniafromnitrogenseparatedfromairInthisstudy,theresearchersfirstfabricatedanelectrochemicalcellforammoniasynthesisH2(orwater)andN2(orair)werepassedthroughroomtemperaturewaterfirstthenfilledintothechambersofthecellAmaximumammoniaproductionrate…wasachievedwhenavoltageof16Vwasapplied“Inconclusion,forthefirsttime,thisexperimentclearlyindicatesthatammoniacanbedirectlysynthesisedfromairandwateratroomtemperatureandoneatmosphere”http://wwwgreencarcongresscom/2013/01/ammonia20130130htmlPotentially,thiscanprovideanalternativerouteforthemassproductionofthebasicchemicalammoniaundermildconditionsPresentlyexistingwindpowergeneratorsthattodayhavetobepowereddownwhenthereisnoneedfortheirelectricitycouldinsteadbeputtoworksynthesizingammoniafertilizersRongLan,JohnTSIrvine&ShanwenTao(2013)SynthesisofammoniadirectlyfromairandwateratambienttemperatureandpressureScientificReports3,Articlenumber:1145doi:101038/srep01145Originalpaperathttp://wwwnaturecom/srep/2013/130129/srep01145/full/srep01145html TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2076AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter7Convertingfromppmtokilograms/hectare,pounds/acreorotherweightsandvolumesSinceChapter3wehavebeenworkingwithpartspermillionInordertowriteafertilityRxforoursoilorgrowingmediaweneedtoconvertppmintotheunitsperareaorvolumewewishthefinalRxtobewritteninThetablebelowshowstheamountofmineralsthatwehavecalculatedneedtobeadded,convertedtoweightperunitareaforboththemetricandpounds/acresystemsMineralAmountNeededPPMKg/haKg/100m2(Kg/ha÷100)Lbs/AcreLbs/1000ft2Lb/ac÷4356Calcium30060066001377Magnesium489609696220Potassium89178178178409Sodium132602626060Phosphorus78156156156358Sulfur69138138138317Boron1342680027268006Iron397807878179Manganese346806868156Copper713142801431428033Zinc00000Recallthatweareworkingwiththeupper2millionkilosof1hectareofland,ortheupper2millionpoundsof1acreOnemillionthofthatmassis2kg/haor2lbs/acreKgperHectaretoKgperAreOnehectareis10000meters2(100mx100m)1/100thofthatis100m2,anareaofmeasurealsoknownasanare(pronounced‘ar’or‘air’inEnglish)100ares=1hectareThismakestheconversionfromkg/hectaretokg/aresimple:justmovethedecimalpoint2spacestotheleftSulfurneeded:138kg/ha=138kg/are(1Are=100m2=1076sqft) TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2077LbsperAcretoLbsper1000ft2Oneacreis43560ft2Thereare4356x1000ft2sectionsinanacreToconvertlbs/acreintolbs/1000ft2,wedividelbs/acreby4356:Sulfurneeded:138lbs/4356=3168lbs,roundedofftotwodecimals,317lbs/1000ft2WorkingWithVolume:CubicMetersandCubicYardsToamendthemineralsinpottingsoil,containergrowingmixes,raisedbedsorcompostpiles,oneneedstoknowtheweightpercubicvolumeofthedrysoilorgrowingmediaIfoneisworkingwithmineralsoilinthepounds/acresystem,it’ssafeenoughtoassumethatanacreofsoil6inchesdeepwillweigh2millionpounds2000000lbs/43560sqft=4591lbspersquarefootTwo6inchdeep1squarefootsectionswouldbe1cubicfootwhichwouldweighabout92lbs,andtherewouldbe43560/2=21780cubicfeetinthetop6”ofanacreofsoilAcubicyardis3ftx3ftx3ft=27cubicfeet21780ft3/27=80667cubicyardsinthetop6”ofanacreofsoil;closeenoughto800cubicyardsFormineralsoils,ifweknowhowmanylbs/acreofamineraloramendmentweneed,wecandividelbs/acreby800tofindouthowmanylbs/cubicyardweneed:Weneed600lbs/acreofCalcium600lbsperacre/800yds3peracre=075lbsCa/yard3Foramineralsoilinthekilogram/hectaresystem,weareworkingwith10000squaremetersofsoil~15cmdeepthatweighs2millionkg100centimeters=1meter15cmis015metersTocalculatethenumberofcubicmetersin1hectaretoadepthof15cmwemultiply10000mx015=1500cubicmetersperhectaretoadepthof015mIfweknowhowmanykgofanelementoramendmentisneededperhectare,inamineralsoil,wecandivideby1500toseehowmanykgthesoilneedspercubicmeter:Weneed600kg/haofCalcium600kg/1500=04kgpercubicmeter TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2078Theaverageweightpercubicmeterofamineralsoilwillbe2000000kg/1500m3=1333kg/m3WorkingWithLightweightMixesandHighOrganicMatterSoilsThefiguresabovearecloseenoughforheavymineralsoils,butnaturallyhighorganicmattersoilssuchaspeatsoilsorvirginforestsoilsmayweighmuchlessthan92lbspercubicfootor1333kgpercubicmeterLightweightpottingmediamayweighaslittleas10lbs/ft3(270lbs/yd3)or150kg/m3Ifyouareworkingwithalightweightsoil,pottingmedia,orcompost/organicmatteritisbesttomeasureandweighanovendrysampleLightlypacka1gallonora4or5litrecontainerwiththedrysampleandweighthesoil(ofcoursesubtractingtheweightofthecontainer)CalculatingtheAmountNeededPerCubicYard:LightweightSoilsThereare748(~75)USGallons(128fluidoz)percubicfootand20196(~200)gallonspercubicyardIfagallonofsoilweighs2lbs,acubicfootwillweigh75gallonsx2lbs=15lbsAt200USgallonsperyard3,2lbsx200gallons=400lbspercubicyardOnceweknowtheweightpercubicyardwecancalculatehowmanypoundsorfractionofapoundequals1ppmThecubicyardofgrowingmediaaboveweighs400lbsOnemillionthofthat:400lbs/1000000=00004lbs;4tenthousandthsofapoundAgooddigitalscalecanweighthatamount,butit’sawkwardWecouldchoosetoworkwithouncesanddecimalfractionsofanounce:1lb=16oz,so00004lbx16=0064ozbutit’susuallysimplerandeasiertoconvertthepoundweighttokilogramsandgramsforsmallamountsofsoilmediaoramendmentsOurcubicyardaboveweighed400lbs1kg=220lbsDivide400lbsby22kg/lb=182kgpercubicyardAkilogramis1000gramsThereare1000milligramsinagram1000x1000=1millionAmilligramis1ppmofakilogramOurworksheetsaysweneed300ppmCalciumForeachkilogramofweight,weneed300ppmor300milligrams(03grams)ofCalciumMultiply182kgx03grams/kg=546gramsofCalciumneededpercubicyardCalculatingtheAmountNeededPerCubicMeterThereare1000literspercubicmeterThe5literswetalkedaboutweighingaboveareequaltofivethousandthsor0005of1cubicmeterIf5litersofsoilweighs1kg,theweightpercubicmeterwouldbe1kg/0005=200kg TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2079200kgx03gram/kg=60gramsofCalciumneededperm3CalculatingWeightPerDepthofLightWeightSoilsSupposewewereworkingwithanacreorhectareofloosetexturedhighorganicmattersoilthat,ratherthanweighing92lbs/ft3or1333kg/m3,weighedonly60lbs/ft3or870kg/m3?Obviouslya6inchor15cmdepthofthissoilwouldnotweigh2millionlbs/acreor2millionkg/hectare,butforthesakeofsimplicity,wechoosetoworkwith2millionlbsorkgThisposestwoquestions:“Howdeepis2millionlbsorkgofthissoil?”and“Howmuchdoesthetop6”or15cmactuallyweigh?”TheanswertothesecondquestioniseasyenoughWefiguredoutabovethattherewere1500cubicmetersperhectaretoadepthof15cmMultiply870kg/m3x1500m3=1305000kg/hatoadepthof15cmWealsocalculatedabovethatanacre6”deepis21780ft3;60lbs/ft3x21780ft3=1306800lbs/actoadepthof6”(thedifferencebetweenthenumbersforlbs/acandkg/hahereareduetoroundingoffearlier)Weseethatthetop6”or15cmofthissoilweighsabout700000lbs/acorkg/ha(35%)lessthanour“standard”of2millionIfwedecidedtoamendonlythetop6”or15cmofthesoil,wewouldtakeouramendmentweightneededfor2millionweightunitsandmultiplyby65%Forexample,600#Cax065=390#Caneededtobringthetop15cmor6”ofthislightweightsoilintobalanceTheotherquestionwas“Howdeepis2millionlbs/acorkg/haofthissoil?”If15cmor6”ofthesoilweighs65%asmuchasourstandardsoil,then2millionlbsorkgsofthissoilwouldcoveradepthequaltothestandarddepthdividedby065:15cm/065=23cmdeep,or6”/065=923”deepIfweaddtherequired600lbs/acorkg/haCalcium,thatwillbeenoughtobalancetheCainthetop23cmor923inchesofthissoil TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2080AprintableperiodictableoftheelementsinPDFformmaybefoundhere:http://wwwwebelementscom/nexus/sites/default/files/webelements_table_5sf_20120607pdfChapter8WritingtheSoilRxTimetoputitalltogether:WehavecalculatedwhattoaddtothissoiltobringitintolinewiththeIdealSoil;nowweneedtodecidewhichamendmentswilldothejobfortheleastamountofeffortandexpenseThereisnotrulysimplemethodofdecidingwhatsourcetouseformanyofthesemineralsTheamendmentsshownintheTypicalAnalysischartonthenextpage,allofwhichareallowedundertheUSDANOP(NationalOrganicProgram),aremostlymixturesOneneedstolookatvariouscombinationsandpossibilitieswhilekeepingavailabilityandcostinmindWhatislocallyavailableatafairpriceshouldbeusedwheneverpossibleHereareourworksheetcalculationsfromchapters36convertedfromppmtokg/haorlbs/acreThehashmark#indicateseitherlbs/acreorkg/haMineralAmountNeededPPMKg/HaorLbs/AcreCalcium300600#Magnesium4896#Potassium89178#Sodium1326#Phosphorus78156#Sulfur69138#Boron134268#Iron3978#Manganese3468#Copper7131428#Zinc00OnthenextpageisatableshowingthetypicalmineralcontentofcommonsoilmineralamendmentsallowedundertheUSDANOP(NationalOrganicProgram)rules,SubpartG—AdministrativeTheNationalListofAllowedandProhibitedSubstances§205600601 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2081**HighlysolubleinH2O*VariesinsolubilityinH2O©2014SoilMineralscomTypicalMineralContentofUSDAOrganicFertilizerIngredients(%)AnimalSourceNPasP2O5KasK2OSCaMgFeTrFishBoneMeal420061903TrFishMeal1045062303TrCrabShell332503022303TrBloodMeal131FeatherMeal120104040606BoneMeal3152004MineralAmendmentsandKelpNPasP2O5KasK2OSCaMgFeTrAgLime324015DolomiteLime2213Gypsum*1622Oystershell3603Epsomsalt**14Potashsulfate**51175TNbrownphos3(23%total)40TrCalphos3(20%total)20TrKMag*222211Greensand1713229TrKelpMeal10732207TrTr=Goodsourceofmicro(trace)mineralsPurifiedSourceSulfurSBoronBIronFeMangMnCopperCuZincZnAgSulfur90Borax**9Solubor™**205Fesulfate1H2O1830Fesulfate7H20**11520Mnsulfate1H2O*1932Cusulfate5H2O**12525Zincsulfate1H2O1735Zincsulfate7H20**1122 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2082Fortherestofthischapter,theamountswecalculatewillbeinterchangeablebetweenkg/haandlbs/acreThehashmark#indicateseitherlbs/acreorkg/haWewillbeginwiththemajorcationsCa,Mg,andKCalciumCaandMagnesiumMgBelowistheCaandMgsectionfromourworksheetMagnesiumcanbedifficulttobalancewhenwritingaCertifiedOrganicsoilRxastherearenoUSDANOPapprovedsourcesthatarehighinMgHereareourchoices:Dolomitelime:Ca22%,Mg13%EpsomSalts(Magnesiumsulfate):S13%,Mg10%KMag(SulfateofPotashMagnesia):22%K2O,22%S,11%MgNotethatallthreeapprovedsourcesarerunning1013%MgThatmeanswearegoingtoneed7510#ofanyofthemtoendupwith10#ofMgAsthissoilrequires96#ofMg,wearegoingtoneedupto960#dependingonwhichsourcewechooseIfweneededonlyMagnesium,noCa,S,orK,theUSDANOPruleswouldallowtheuseofnaturallyoccurringminedMagnesiumcarbonateMgCO3,magnesite,whichcontainsupto20%Mg,butthisisnotcommonlyavailableIfgovernmentorganiccertificationisnotanissue,MagnesiumoxideMgO,ataround50%Mg,ispure,safe,inexpensive,readilyavailable,andisrapidlyassimilatedintothesoilHerearesome2013retailpricesfromtheUSA:KMag24kg(50lbs):$25EpsomSalts24kg:$25DolomiteLime24kg:$8AtfirstglanceitlookslikeDolomiteisourbestchoiceifweareamendingalargefieldIfweareamendinga1000ft2or100meter2garden,thepricemightnotbeamajorconsiderationOtherconsiderationsenterintothedecisionDolomitelimeisabout22%Calcium,soforevery13#ofMgweareadding22#ofCaIfourworksheettoldusthatwedidn’tneedanyCa,wewouldhavetouseoneoftheotherMgsourcesHowever,bothoftheotherchoicescontainmoreSulfurthanCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add300ppm(600#)CalciumCaCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add48ppm(96#)MagnesiumMgMgBaseSaturation1020% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2083theydoMagnesiumandtheKMagcontainsalmosttwiceasmuchPotassiumasMagnesiumThissoildoesneedPotassium,andSulfur,andasamatteroffactweneedalmosttwiceasmuchKasMg:178#Kand96#MgWeonlyneed138#ofSulfur,butalittleextraSulfurwon’thurtItappearsthatKMagmightbeagoodchoice,eventhoughitismoreexpensivethandolomitelime,becausewearegettingtheSulfurandthePotassiumweneedatthesametimeHowmuchKMagwouldweneed?WewilltaketheamountofMgweneedanddivideitbythe%contentofMginKMag:96#Mg/011=873#ofKMagThat’salotofmoneyat$1perkg,almost$900perhectareForthe873kgneededina100sqmetergardenitwouldonlycost1/100ththatmuch,around$9,andwouldtakecareofMg,K,andSallatonceForasmallgardenitsoundslikeagooddeal;foralargearea,no,unlessthegrowerhasaccesstoKMagatamuchlowerpriceDolomitelimecanbeorderedinbulk,whichwouldbringthepricedownconsiderablyAswealsoneedtoaddCalcium,itseemsbesttouseDolomiteHowmuch13%Mgdolomitedoweneed?96#Mg/013=738#dolomitelimeisneeded(dolomitelimeisavailableintheUSAinbulkforlessthan$50/ton)Atthesametimewearegetting22%Calciuminthedolomitelime:738#x022=162#CaWeneed600#ofCalciumsothatleavesusstill438#shortofCaTheleastexpensiveformofCalciumisagricultural“sweet”lime,Calciumcarbonate(iehighCalciumaglime,grounduplimestone),whichaccordingtotheTypicalAnalysischartis32%to40%%CaWewillassumethelimewewilluseis39%Ca:438#/039=1123#highCalciumagriculturalsweetlimeisneededOntheworksheetwewillwritein738#ofdolomitelimeand1123#ofhighCaaglimeCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add1123#highCalciumaglime39%CaCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add738#Dolomitelime13%Mg22%CaMgBaseSaturation1020% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2084PotassiumKandSulfurSFromtheworksheet:Themostreadilyavailableandleastexpensive,USDAorganicapprovedPotassiumsourceisPotassiumsulfate(usuallyknowninthefertilizertradeasSulfateofPotashorjustSOP)whichis51%potash(K2O),and175%SulfurThefertilizerlabelintheUSAwouldread0051175SEarlierwedeterminedthatpotashwas83%elementalK,sotheactualamountofKinPotassiumsulfateis83%of51%:051x083=0423or423%actualKWeneed178#ofK:178/0423=421#Weneedtoadd421#ofSulfateofPotash0050tothissoilAccordingtoourtableofTypicalMineralContent,SulfateofPotashis175%S,sotheamountofSulfurwearegettinginthisK2SO4is421x0175=74#SulfurOurworksheetcallsforadding138#ofS,sowearestill63#shortThiscouldberemediedbyadding70#of90%agSulfur,(63#/9=70#)butlet’sholdoffonthatWestillhave78#ofIron,68#ofManganese,and1428#ofCoppertocalculateintotheprescription,allofwhichwillbeaddedinsulfateformSodiumNaThissoilneeds26#ofSodiumSeasaltorminedsaltdepositsfromancientseabedsaregoodtracemineralsourcesSeasaltcontainsatleast80differentmineralsPotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add89ppm(178#)PotassiumKKBaseSaturation25%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add421#SulfateofPotash0051KBaseSaturation25% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2085Seasaltisaround40%Sodium,dependingonthemoisturecontent26#/040Na=65#Weneedtoadd65#seasaltormineralsaltAnothersourceofSodium:ChileanNitrateofSodaChileannitrateofsodaisanaturallyoccurringSodiumnitratemineraldepositthatisminedinthehigh,drydesertsofChileandPeruItcontains16%solubleNitrogenasnitrateNO3and27%SodiumbyweightMinedSodiumnitrateisallowedforuseunderUSDANOPrulesaslongasitdoesnotsupplymorethan20%ofthesoil’sannualnitrogenneedsIfweusednitrateofsodatosupplyourneededSodium,wewouldneed26/027Na=96#Chileannitrate,whichis16%Nandwouldsupply96x016=15#ofreadilyavailableNitrogenalongwiththe26#ofSodiumPhosphorusPThesoilworksheetsaysthatweneedtoadd78ppmor156#elementalPhosphorusInChapter4onPhosphorus,Sulfur,andChlorinewedeterminedthatphosphate,P2O5,is44%PhosphorusbyweightFloridaclayphosphateis20%P2O5;44%of20%is:020x044=0088or9%actualPTennesseebrownphosphateis23%P2O5;44%of30%is:023x044=010or10%actualPThechoicewemakewilldependonthetypeofsoilweareworkingwith,ourproximitytothesource,andthepriceatwhichitisavailableAsof2013,the“rock”phosphatemostcommonlyavailableintheUSisCalphosbrandcolloidalclayphosphatefromFlorida,whichwedeterminedwas9%Phosphorus156/009=1733#ofCalphossoftrockphosphateneeded1733lbs/acorkg/haisalotofphosphaterockIsittoomuchtoaddallatonce?No,becausethereadilyavailableP2O5isonly3%,sowearereallyapplyingonly60#of“available”P2O5SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit39261310%Add65#seasaltor96#ChileanNitrateofSodaNaBaseSaturation15% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2086Itisgenerallysafetoadd2200kg/haor2200lbs/ac(22kg/100m2or50lbs/1000ft2)ofanyphosphaterocktoanysoilinasingleapplicationUptotwicethatmuchmaysafelybeaddedatonceifthephosphaterockisanonreactivetypelikeCalphosIfoneneedstoaddalargeamountofreactiverockphosphateitshouldbesplitintotwoormoreapplicationsafewmonthsapart,andthesoil’spHandCalevelsmonitored,asreactiverockphosphatesfrequentlyhaveanetacidreactioninsoilsCalciumContentofPhosphateRockThequestionarises:ShouldtheamountofCalciuminthephosphatebecountedascontributingtoExchangeableCalcium?Ifitisareactivephosphate,alloftheCawillbechemicallybondedwithPorotheranionsCawillbereleasedonlywhenthechemicalbondisbrokenandthePismadeavailable;itisnotavailableinthesoilsolution,notafreecation,andnotavailabletofillanegativeexchangesiteThesameappliestophosphatesourceslikefishbonesorcrabshells:thePandCaarechemicallybondedandtheCaisnotreadilyavailableNonreactivephosphateslikeCalphosmayhavesomefreeCalciumbutgenerallynotenoughtoremedyaCalciumdeficiencyAsarule,donotcounttheCalciuminanyphosphatesourcewhencalculatingtheamountofCabeingaddedtoasoilWewilladd1733kg/ha(or1733lbs/acre)ofCalphossoftrockphosphateSofarwehavedeterminedtheamendmentsneededtobringustotheIdealSoilbalanceforthemineralsP,Ca,Mg,K,andNaWehaveprovidedpartoftheS,butstillneedanother63kg/haorlbs/acreofSulfurtoreachourideallevelwhereS=½ofIdealKTheextraSneededwillcomefromthesulfateformsofIron,Manganese,andCopperwewillbeaddingNextweneedtocalculatethesecondaryelementsBoron,Iron,Manganese,Copper,andZincBoronBThereareseveralBoroncompoundsproducedespeciallyforagriculture,rangingupto20%BbyweightTheeasiestformofBorontofindintheUSA,however,isregularboraxpowder(sodiumborate,20MuleTeamBorax)soldinthesoapanddetergentsectionofgrocerystoresintheUSAItaveragesabout9%BbyweightTheworksheetcallsforadding134ppm,whichis268kg/haorlbs/acreUsingregularminedborax,Sodiumborate9%B,wewillneed268/009=2977#borax(roundupto30#)Weneedtoadd30#borax9%BPhosphorusPppm100Add1733#Calphossoftrockphosphate TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2087SolubilityofIron,Manganese,CopperandZincAmendmentsMostFe,Mn,Cu,andZnsoilamendmentsareappliedassulfatesThepurifiedmetalshavebeenreactedwithsulfuricacidandwatertoformmoreorlesssolublecompoundsAsarule,themoreH2Omoleculesattachedtothesulfate,thehigherthesolubilityZincsulfatemonohydrate,ZnSO41H2Oispracticallyinsolubleinwater,Zincsulfateheptahydrate,ZnSO47H20ishighlysolubleWhichonewechoosewilldependonwhetherwewantslowreleaseZincorhighlysolubleZinc,whetherornotwewillbeabletotilltheamendmentintothesoil,andwhetherthesoilneedsmoreSulfuroralreadyhastoomuchTheoxideformsofthemetalsarenotsolubleinwater,butareagoodchoiceforsoilsthatarenaturallyhighinsulfates,eggypsumsoilsIronFeTheworksheetcallsfor39ppmFe=78#FeStandardfeedgradeferroussulfatemonohydrateFeSO41H2Ois30%Feand18%SulfurItisonlysparinglysolubleinwaterFerroussulfateheptahydrate,FeSO47H2O(alsoknownas“copperas”duetothegreencolorofitscrystals)ishighlywatersolublebutonlycontains20%Feand115%SbyweightAthirdalternativeforsoilshighinsulfateswhereonedoesnotwishtoaddmoreS,isIronoxideFe3O4,whichisaround70%IronWewillchoosetousethewatersolubleheptahydrate,copperas,whichis20%Fe78#/020=390#FeSO47H20Weneedtoadd390kg/haorlbs/acreIronsulfate20%FeInaddition,thisironsulfatecontains115%Sulfur390x0115=4485roundedto45lbsorkgSulfurAftercalculatingthePotassiumsulfateweneededanother63unitsofS63–45=18Nowweonlyneedanother18units,whichwillbetakencareofwiththeadditionofManganesesulfateandCoppersulfateWewillhavemorethanenoughSulfurwhenalloftheamendmentsareaddedNoteonIron:OthercommonmineralamendmentssuchasgreensandandmanyrockdustpowderscontainsignificantpercentagesofIronIfyouhaveeasyaccessBoronB021Add30#Borax9%BIronFe50Add390#Ferroussulfate20%Fe TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2088totheseinquantityyoumaybeabletomeetthesoil’sironrequirementswiththeminsteadofbuyingthemoreexpensivepurifiedIronsulfateManganeseMnTheworksheetsays34ppmor68#ofManganeseisneededTheManganesesulfatemonohydratecommonlyavailableis32%Mnand19%S68#/032=212#ofMnSO41H2OisneededInadditionwewillbegaining19%ofthisweightinSulfur212x019=40kg/haorlbs/acreofSulfurWewillhaveplentyofSulfurAlittleextrawon’thurtCopperCuWeneed7ppmor14#ofCopperOurCoppersulfateamendmentcontains25%Cu14/025=56#Weneedtoadd56#Coppersulfate25%CuZincZnOurIdealP=Knumberis178ppmZnshouldbe1/10thofthat,or178ppmThelabtestfound164ppmZn,closeenoughWedonotneedtoaddanyZincOurcalculationsforthesoilmineralprescriptionarefinishedHeartycongratulationstothereaderwhohasmadeitthisfarTheFinalProduct:ThecompletedsoilprescriptionOnthenextpagesyouwillfindthecompletedsoilreportandrecommendationsintheformatusedwhenwritingsoilprescriptionsatSoilMineralscomYouwillnotethatthetracemineralsources,beneficialorganisms,andhumicacidsourcesmentionedabovehavebeenaddedas“optionalbutrecommended”InstructionsforapplyingtheamendmentsarealwaysagoodideaandhavebeenincludedTheformatthatweuseforthesoilreportandworksheetisaslightlymodifiedformoftheonedevelopedbyWmAlbrecht,LouisBromfield,andtheirassociatesinthe1940sYouwillfindablanksoilreportworksheetintheappendixManganeseMn11Add212#Manganesesulfate32%MnCopperCu107Add56#Coppersulfate25%Cu TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2089ThecompletedsoilprescriptionElementResultsCommentsCationExchangeCapacityCECmeq114pHofSoilSample558OrganicMatter%56%PrimaryAnionsAllAmendmentsarekg/haorlbs/acre#SulfurS(partspermillionppm)20WillbesuppliedbysulfateamendmentsPhosphorusPppm100Add1733#CalphossoftrockphosphatePrimaryCationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300550%Add1123#highCalciumaglime39%Ca1254or548%CaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1641164885%Add738#Dolomitelime13%Mg22%CaMgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit178898920%Add421#SulfateofPotash0051KBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit39261310%Add65#seasaltor96#ChileanNitrateofSodaNaBaseSaturation15%OtherBases62%H+ExchHydrogen1015%270%SecondaryElementsppmBoronB021Add30#Borax9%BIronFe50Add390#Ferroussulfate20%FeManganeseMn11Add212#Manganesesulfate32%MnCopperCu107Add56#Coppersulfate25%CuZincZn164OKAluminum1841Normal TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2090SoilReportandCommentsClient:Location:SoilTest:Date:Notes:SoilamendmentrecommendationsbasedonIdealSoilchartandworksheetinTheIdealSoil2014USDAOrganicApprovedNutrientsRecommended,kg/haorlbs/acre:Calphossoftrockphosphate:1733#HighCalciumaglime39%Ca:1123#Dolomitelime13%Mg:738#Sulfateofpotash0051:421#Seasalt:65#(or96#Sodiumnitrate)Borax9%B:30#Ferroussulfate20%Fe(heptahydrate,copperas):390#Manganesesulfate32%Mn(monohydrate):212#Coppersulfate25%Cu:56#Optional:Azomitetraceminerals:400#Humateore:400#Kelpmeal:400#Feathermeal:800#(orotherNitrogensourcetosupply~100#N)AlloftheabovemaybemixedtogetherforevenapplicationIfpossible,theyshouldbewellblendedintothetop4"to6"(10to15cm)ofsoilandallowedtosettleinforacoupleofweeksbeforeseedsareplantedSturdytransplantscangoinatanytime TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2091HowCloseis“CloseEnough”?Howimportantisittoapplytheexactamountswehavecalculated?NotallthatimportantSoilisnotahomogenousmaterialItcanvarysignificantlywithinthesamegardenbed,orevenwithinafewinchesInaddition,eventhebestsoiltestsarenot100%accurateIftheamountsappliedarewithin10or15%oftheamountscalculated,allwillbewellThesoilRxonthepreviouspagescallsfor1733#ofCalphosand421#ofsulfateofpotashOnecouldapply1700#or1800#ofCalphos,or400#or450#ofsulfateofpotashwithoutanyproblemsInpractice,weusuallyroundofftheamountsrecommendedtoan“even”number,forexample:The56#ofCoppersulfatewouldberoundedoffto55#or50#,whenworkingwithacresorhectaresWhenworkingwith100m2:56kg/100=056kg,whichcouldberoundedto055kgor050kgWhenworkingwith1000ft2,56lbs/4356=1286lbs,whichcanberoundedto130lbsor125lbsThisconcludesthemain“howto”portionofTheIdealSoil:AHandbookfortheNewAgricultureIfitallseemsabitmuchatthispoint,beassuredthatitwillbecomeeasierasyouworkwiththesystemItisnotsimpleorsimplistic,justasNatureisnotsimple,norisnutrition,butafteryoubecomefamiliarwiththemineralamendmentsthatareavailableandworkwithafewsoiltestsyouwilllearntojugglethevariouspossibilitiesmuchmoreeasilyAlsobeassuredthatthissystemworksandworksverywellAfteryouhavebalancedthemineralsinasoilonetime,furtheradditionswillbeminorExpectgoodresultsthefirstyear,andincreasinglybetterresultsforyearsafterwardKnowthatifthissystemisfollowedyouwillnothavetoworryaboutnutrientdeficienciesinyourcropsoryourfood,andyouwillhavethehighestqualityproducethatcanbegrownWhenwordgetsout,expecttheworldtobeatapathtoyourdoorIfitisnoteconomicallyfeasibletobalancethemineralsonyourwholegarden,pasture,orcropacreage,dopartofit,whatyoucanaffordThemostimportantonestogetright,CalciumandMagnesium,arealsotheleastexpensive,sodothemfirstCongratulationsonbecomingapioneeroftheNewAgriculture TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2092Conversions:1acre=43560ft2Toconvertlbs/acretolbs/1000ft2,divideby4356or441acre=0,405hectare1hectare=247acres1hectare=10000meters2100meters2=1Are(air)=1076ft2Thetop6to7inchesof1acreofaveragesoilisassumedtoweigh2000000lbsThetop15to17cmof1hectareofaveragesoilisassumedtoweigh2000000kg1partpermillion(ppm)=2lbs/acreor2kg/hectare1ppm=2gramsper100ft2or2gramsper10m21ppm=20gramsper1000ft2or20gramsper100m21lb/acre=1gramper100ft21kg/ha=1gramper10m2 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2093Chapter9CalcareousandHighpHSoilsBalancingsoilmineralstotheIdealSoilratiosrequiresthreesetsofinformation:1Anaccurateassessmentofthepotentiallyavailablesoilreservesofelevenelements:S,P,Ca,Mg,K,Na,B,Fe,Mn,Cu,andZnaswellassoilpH2Anaccuratemeasurementorestimateofthesoil’sCEC,itsfunctionalCationExchangeCapacity3AnaccuratemeasurementoftheratioandamountofthebasecationsCa,Mg,K,andNapresentlyheldonthenegativeexchangesitesinthesoilThisistheBaseCationSaturationRatio,Albrecht’sBCSRNumber1isstraightforwardenoughThereareseveralsoiltestmethodsorcombinationsofteststhatcanmeasureavailableorpotentiallyavailablesoilmineralsTheIdealSoilratiosweredevelopedusingtheMehlich3test,whichgivesareasonablyaccurateassessmentofallelevenelementsinmostsoilsbelowpH7ProblemsarisewhentheMehlich3oranyofthecommonmultielementsoiltestsareusedtoestimateCECandexchangeablecationsinsoilsabovepH7andsoilswithundissolvedlimestoneparticlesAsoil’sCationExchangeCapacityisthesumtotalofthenegativechargesavailabletomakeanelectrostaticbond,anionicbond,withapositivelychargedionNoneofthecommonsoiltestsactuallymeasurethesoil’stotalnegativechargeWhattheydoinsteadisextractthebasecationsCa,Mg,K,andNa(alongwithotherelements)fromthesoilThesumoftheextractedbasecationsisusedtoestimatethecationexchangecapacityofthesoilObviouslythisestimatewillonlybevalidiftheamountsofCa,MgetcbeingusedforthecalculationhaveactuallybeenextractedfromnegativeexchangesitesInsoilsofpH70andbelowthiswillusuallybethecaseTounderstandwhyweneedtoreviewwhatthesymbolpHstandsforpH(potenzHydrogen)istheratioandconcentrationofH+HydrogenionstoOHhydroxylionsinanH2O(water)solutionAnotherwayofsayingthatis:pHistheproportionandamountofnegativechargescomparedtopositivechargesinawatersolutionAtpH70,+andareequalandbalancedIftherearemoreH+ionsthanOHions,thepHisbelow7andiscalledacidicIftherearemoreOHthanH+ionsthepHisabove7andiscalledalkalineorbasicImportantly,thesolutionwillalwaysstriveforequilibrium,forallofthechargestobeequalizedExcessOHionswillbeattractedtoandreactwithasourceofpositivecharge+,excessH+ionswillbeattractedtoandreactwithasourceofnegativechargeThiswillcontinueuntilallunbalancedchargeshavebeenneutralized,oruntiltherearenomorereadilyavailablesourcesof+or–chargestoreactwith TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2094HowpHworksinthesoilWhetherasoilisacidoralkalinedependslargelyonrainfallandtemperatureAllrainandsnowisacidic,belowpH7,ifonlybecauseithasCO2gasdissolvedinitCO2gasdissolvedinwater,H20,formscarbonicacid,H2CO3,whichquicklydissociatestoHCO3andH+Ifthesoilisalkaline,ieithasanexcessofOHions,thesewillbeneutralizedbythefreeH+ionsfromthecarbonicacidintherainfallAstheraincontinuestofallonanalkalinesoil,moreandmoreOHionswillcombinewithH+toformstableH20andthepH(theratioofOHtoH+ionsinsolution)willdropWhentherearenomoreOHionsreadilyavailablefortheH+tocombinewith,theH+ionsfromprecipitationwillbegintobeinexcessandwillbedrawntoandstartreactingwithcarbonaterocksoranyotheralkalinematerialinthesoilThereactionwithCalciumcarbonatelimestoneCaCO3inthesoilgoeslikethis:CaCO3(solid)+CO2(gas)+2H2O(liquid)>Ca++(aqueous)+2HCO3(aqueous)(Aqueous=dissolvedinwater)ThenewlysolubleCa++canbeattractedtoandheldonnegativeexchangesitesonclayorhumus,oritmaybewashedawaytoalowersoilhorizon,dependingonwhetherthereareavailablenegativeexchangesitestoadsorbit,andonrainfallandevaporationInsoilsthathavemorerainfallthanevaporation,eventuallymostofthealkalinerockswillhavetheirbasecationsextractedintothesoilsolutionbyreactingwithcarbonicacid(orotheracidsinprecipitationsuchassulfuricacidH2SO4)Ifthesoilhasabundantnegativeexchangesitesavailable,manyofthesolublebasecationswillbeheldonthosesites,keepingthemfromleachingaway,andwheretheyremainreadilyavailableasnutrientstoplantsandsoilorganismsIfthesoilhasalowCECtherewillbelittlechargetoholdthesolublecationsandtheywillquicklybewashedawayandlostAtthepointwheremostofthealkalinerockshavehadtheirbasecationsextracted,orwheretheamountofalkalineelementsavailablebalancestheacidityoftheprecipitation,thesoilreachesequilibriumof+tochargesandapHof7AslongasprecipitationexceedsevaporationtheacidificationandleachingprocesscontinuesTheexcessofH+ionsinthesoilwillincreaseandtheywillTheTechnicalDefinition:pHisalogarithmicmeasureofhydrogenionconcentration,originallydefinedbyDanishbiochemistSørenPeterLauritzSørensenin1909pH=log[H+]wherelogisabase10logarithmand[H+]istheconcentrationofhydrogenionsinmolesperliterofsolutionAccordingtotheCompactOxfordEnglishDictionary,the"p"standsfortheGermanwordfor"power",potenz,sopHisanabbreviationfor"powerofhydrogen"InSørensen'soriginalpaper,pHiswrittenasPHThemodernnotation"pH"wasfirstadoptedin1920byWMClarkfortypographicalconvenience TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2095begintodisplacethebasecationsCa,Mg,K,andNafromthenegativeexchangesitesFirsttheCalciumandSodiumareleachedaway,leavingbehindahighMagnesiumhighPotassiumsoilsuchasiscommonlyfoundinforestsin“humid”climates(Humidinthisusagemeansaclimatewheretheamountofprecipitationexceedstheamountofevaporation+transpirationfromplantleaves,theevapotranspirationratio;itisnotreferringtotherelativehumidityoftheair)ThereareentirecommunitiesofplantswelladaptedtotheselowCa,highMgandK,generallyacidsoils,egrhododendrons,azaleas,coffee,cacao,holly,blueberries,andmanymembersoftheericaceaefamilyOvertheeons,astheleachingandacidificationprocesscontinues,moreandmorebasecationswillbelostThesoilbecomesmoreacidicasthenegativeexchangesitesarefilledwithH+ions,andeventuallyAluminum+++ions,asSilicon4+isdissolvedfromthealuminosilicateclaymatrix,leavingAl+++insolutionFinallythesoillosesalmostallofitsexchangecapacity,almostallofitsabilitytoholdontonutrientionsItbecomesadegraded,nutrientpoorhighlyacidicsoilwithhighlevelsofsolubleAluminumandothermetalsthataretoxictoplantrootsThistypeofsoiliscommonlyfoundintropicalrainforestsNaturalprecipitationcarriesacidicmoleculesthatseekabalancewithalkalineelementsIfprecipitationishigherthanevaporation,theacidicprecipitationwilleventuallyerodeanddissolveallalkalinerocksandmineralsBelowpH7,inmostsoils,therewillnolongerbeanyalkalinecompoundsthatcanbereadilydissolved,andmostofthebasecationswilleitherbeheldonexchangesites,inusebysoilbiology,orinsolutioninthesoilInalivingsoilbelowpH7,therewillonlybeverysmallamountsofCa,Mg,Fe,etcinsolution;themajorityofcationelementswillbeheldonexchangesitesonclayorhumus,orcomplexedwithorganiclifeanddecayingorganicmatterSoilorganismsandplantroots,livinganddead,alsohaveexchangecapacityManyofourbestagriculturalsoilslieintherangeofpH60topH75becauseatthosepHlevelsthereisgenerallyanabundanceofthenutrientcationsCa,Mg,andK,andthesoilisneithersoalkalineastomakeotherelementslikeP,Fe,Mn,Cu,andZnpoorlyavailable,norsoacidthattherearefewbasecationnutrientsavailableMeasuringSoilpH:ThemostaccuratewaytomeasuresoilpHiswithaqualitypHmeterpHtestingpapermayalsobepurchasedfromapharmacy,anaquariumsupplystore,oraswimmingpoolsupplierForIdealSoilpurposesthemeasurementshouldbetakenona1:1ratioofdrysoiltowater,byweightWeighouteg30gramsofdrysoiland30gramsofdistilledwaterStirorshakethemtogether,andthenletthemrestfor1hour,stirringorshakingoccasionallyThepHmeterprobe(orpaperpHtestingstrip)istheninsertedintothemixtureandthereadingtaken TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2096BacktoSoilTestsandEstimatingCECWhenweaddastronglyacidicextractanttoasoilwithapHbelow7,shakeitinatesttubefor20minutes,andthenfilterofftheresultingliquid,mostofthebasecationsCa,Mg,K,andNafoundintheextractantwillhavecomefromnegativeexchangesitesWecanmeasuretheiramounts,andthen,knowingtheirpositivecharges,addthosechargestogetherandgetaroughestimateofCECKnowingthesoil’smeasuredpH,wecanestimatewhatpercentageofthenegativeexchangesitesareoccupiedbyH+ionsandotherbases,andcometoacloseapproximationofactual,functionalexchangecapacityHowever,whenastronglyacidicextractantisaddedtoasoilatpH7orabove,theacidwillattackanddissolvebasecationsfromalkalinemineralsinthesoil,notjustfromexchangesitesThecommonlyusedmultielementextractantsusedforsoiltestingareeitheracidicorneutralpHTheMehlich3testispH25,theMehlich1ispH125TheMorgansolutionusedintheLamottetestispH48;theNeutralAmmoniumAcetatetestispH70Obviously,ifanyofthesetestsareusedonasoilwithahigherpHthanthetestextractant,theycandissolvealkalineelementsfromsoilparticles,notonlyfromexchangesitesCalculatingCECAswelearnedearlierinthisbook,theclassicformulaforcalculatingCationExchangeCapacityisppmCa+ppmMg+ppmK+ppmNa=CECinmeq200120390230ThepartspermillionofCalciumextracted,dividedby200,isourestimateoftheamountofCabeingheldinexchangeableionicformAswewishtoknowonlytheamountofbasecationsheldonnegativeexchangesites,anyexcesscationsextractedwillgiveafalsehighestimateofCECOurtruegoalistomeasurethetotalnumberofnegativelychargedsitesthatarepotentiallyavailabletoholdandexchangebasecationsTherearesoilteststhatwilldojustthat,buttheyarecomplex,expensivetoperform,andmaycontainTheFizzTest:AsimplewaytodetermineifasoilhasanexcessofbasecationsthatcouldbeextractedbythesoiltestingsolutionandcauseerrorinestimatingCECistopourasmallamountofordinaryhouseholdvinegaronasampleofdrysoilIfthesoilfizzesandbubbles,thereareexcesscationsandthesoilwillneedanothertestinadditiontotheMehlich3testinordertoaccuratelymeasureexchangeablebasesMostsoilsbelowpH7willnotfizzorbubble,butsomesoils,especiallycalcareoussandswhichareoftenusedongolfcourses,canhaveanoverallpHbelow7andstillhaveundissolvedlimestoneparticles TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2097toxicmetals,egtheBariumchlorideextraction,orreagentsthatarecorrosivetolabequipment,egtheSodiumAcetate/EthanolCECtestForthefirstcenturyofsoilchemicalanalysis,eachelementwasmeasuredindividuallythroughaseparateseriesofstepswithdifferentreagentsOftenacompletelydifferentprocedurewasusedtoextractvariouselements;oneextractantandtestforFe,anotherforCu,anotherforB,atimeconsumingandcomplexprocessForaroutinesoilanalysiswedonotwanttoinvolvemanyseparatestepsanddifferenttestsIdeallywewantatestthatwillextractalloftheelementswewishtomeasure,andwillatthesametimeallowustocloselyestimateCECThetwopresentday"universal"soilteststhatdoextractmostoralloftheexchangeablecationsaretheAmmoniumAcetateandtheMehlich3testsTheMehlich3andtheneutralammoniumacetateAA70willbothextractaboutthesameamountofCa,Mg,K,andNaBotharestrongextractantsthatwillnotonlystripexchangeablecations,butcanetchanddissolvecarbonates,oranyotherrockthatismorealkalinethantheyareGiventheabilityofboththeM3andAAextractantstoextractmorebasecationsthanareactuallyexchangeable,whichsoiltestcanbeusedtoextractexchangeablecationsandonlyexchangeablecationsfromahighpHsoil?Theanswerturnsouttobetheammoniumacetatetest,butonlyafterithasbeenmodifiedtohaveapHhigherthanthesoilsamplebeingtestedAmmoniumacetateismadebymixingaqueousammoniaNH3withaceticacidCH3COOH,theacidfoundincommonvinegarThepHoftheresultingammoniumacetatesolution(NH4C2H3O2)willdependontheratioofaceticacidtoammoniainthemixtureIfmoreammoniaisaddedthemixbecomesmorealkaline,moreaceticacidmakesitmoreacidicForsoilextractantusethemixturehasusuallybeenmadeatpH7orpH72AddingapH7solutiontoasoilofpH>7willresultinalkalinemineralcompoundsbeingdissolvedalongwithexchangeablebasesByaddingmoreammoniatothesolution,thepHcanberaisedto80to85,abovethepHofmostagriculturalsoilsForsoilsinthe70to80pHrangetheammoniumacetateextractantiscommonlyraisedtopH82ThisisknownastheAA82soiltestWilliamAlbrechtdeterminedtheexchangecapacityofthecolloidalclayheusedinhisBCSRexperimentsbyrunningaDCcurrentthroughtheclaysuspendedinwaterandfillingallofthenegativeexchangesiteswithprotons,ieH+,andthendisplacedtheH+byaddingvariousbasecationstothesuspensionMeasuringtheamountofbasecationsadsorbedwhentheH+ionshadallbeendisplacedgavehimthetotalCEC,thetotalpermanentnegativeelectricalchargeoftheclayfractionhewasexperimentingwith TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2098ThehighconcentrationofammoniumNH4+intheAAsolutionreadilydisplaces(exchangesfor)thebasecationsCa,Mg,KandNafromnegativeexchangesitesThisisduetothreefactorsgoverningionexchange:Therelativeconcentrationoftheion,theelectrostaticchargeoftheion,andtheradius(size)oftheionNH4+hasamolecularweightofonly18(N=14H=1),lessthanNaatatwt23,andasmallradiuswhichallowsittofitintosmallspacessuchasbetweenclaylayersinexpandableclaysInsolution,NH4+hasapproximatelythesamediameterandchargeasK+NH4+canfitbetweenclaylayers,andwhenitisinahigherconcentrationinthesoilwatersolutionthantheothercations,willreadilyreplaceCa,Mg,K,Na,andH+onexchangesitesTheAA82TestVStheMehlich3TestIftheAAsolutionhasahigherpHthanthesoilsample,theaceticacidwillbeneutralizedandwillnotreactchemicallywithalkalinemineralsThebasecationsintheresultingsoilextractwilllargelybethosethathavebeenexchangedforammoniumNH4+,andtheiramountscanbeusedtoaccuratelyestimateCECRealWorldExamplesFollowingaretwosoiltestsreportscomparingtheresultsofaMehlich3andanAA82testonthesamesoilsampleThisfirstexampleisfromthegardenofagiantpumpkingrowerinWalnutGrove,CaliforniaLocation:WalnutGrove,SacramentoCounty,CaliforniaElementMehlich3AA82pHIdealSoilRatiosCationExchangeCapacity190510261026pHofSoilSample780780OrganicMatter%1313%SulfurSppm37Kx050=100BoronBppm136171BaseCations%CECppm%CECppm%CECppmCalciumCa++5906%22566438%13218350%1713MagnesiumMg++2612%5972128%2621000%123PotassiumK+1347%10011340%536500%200SodiumNa+121%53093%22150%35ThefirstthingtonoticeisthatcalculatedCEChasdropped46%,from1906meqto1026meq,becausetheAA82testhasextractedmanyfewerbasecationsthanIn1848,HarryWaypouredanammoniumsolution,ammoniumsulfate,throughacolumnofsoilWhenheanalyzedthesolutionthathadleachedthroughthebottomofthesoilcolumn,hefounditcontainedlessammoniumbuthighamountsofCa,Mg,andKThiswasthefirstscientificdescriptionofionexchange TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev2099theM3test,approximately1/2asmanyThissoilalsohasanexcessofKandMgandadeficitofCaNotethattheIdealSoilratiosinthethirdcolumnarechangedsignificantlyfromthe"ideals"forasoilwithapH<7RatherthanaratioforCa:Mg:K:Naof68:12:4:15or70:15:4:15,with10to15%exchangeableH+,100%oftheCECisaccountedforbythebasecationsOurworking"ideal"BCSRratioforasoil>7pHis835%Ca10%Mg5%K15%NaTocalculatethedesiredamountsofP,B,Fe,Mn,Cu,andZn,weusetheamountofKat5%ofCECIdealKforasoilwithaCECof1026is200ppm,soIdealPwillbe200ppm,Fe100ppm,Zn20ppmetcTheamountofSulfurdesiredcanbehigherthanKx050inordertohelpdisplaceanyoutofbalancecations(theexcessKandMginthiscase),fromtheexchangesitesIftheCECnumbercalculatedfromtheMehlich3testhadbeenused,the"ideal"amountsofsecondarymineralswouldhavebeentoolargeIdealKat4%of1906meqwouldbe297ppm,at5%of1906meq,372ppmAtfirstglancethissoilappearstohaveenoughCapotentiallyavailableTheM3testfound2256ppmCa,morethanenoughtobringtheCauptothedesired1713ppm(835%),butapparentlythatCaisnotsolubleoravailableinthissoil,sowewouldwanttoraisethelevelofsolubleCainthesoilwiththeaimofreplacingsomeoftheexcessexchangeableKandMgwithCaTheSoilRxwrittenfortheWalnutGrovesoilcalledfor1525#ofgypsumCaSO4At22%Caand16%S,1525#=336#Caand224#S,or168ppmCaand112ppmSaddedtotheplowlayerAccordingtotheIdealSoilChart,Bshould=IdealCax001BoronintheWalnutGrovesoilwasmeasuredat136ppmbytheM3testTheRxcalledfor10#ofborax9%B,whichadds045ppmBandraisesthetotalBto181ppm,alittlemorethan1/1000thofourdesiredCasaturationof1713ppmExample2:Mehlich3vsAA82,CenterPointTexasThenextexampleisalimestonederivedsoilthatiscommonincentralTexasThegrowerwantedtoputinanewUSDAOrganicorchardandvegetablegardenTheMehlich3testextracted13815ppmCa13815/200=6908meqofCaTheAA82testfoundonly1932ppmofexchangeableCa1932/200=966meqofCaTotalCECdropped84%from7135to1115 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20100Location:CenterPoint,KerrCounty,TexasElementMehlich3AA82pHIdealSoilCationExchangeCapacity71351115pHofSoilSample760760OrganicMatter%406%SulfurSppm20Kx050=109BoronBppm10220BaseCations%CECppm%CECppm%CECppmCalciumCa++9681%138158664%19328350%1862MagnesiumMg++134%115389%521000%134PotassiumK+173%482878%382500%217SodiumNa+012%19074%19150%38UnliketheWalnutGrovesoil,theCenterPointsoilhasaveryhighlevelofCaandagoodreserveofKbutisseriouslylackinginMgTheaimshouldbetoincreasethelevelofMganddisplacesomeoftheexcessCafromtheexchangesitesIftheM3testestimatedCECof7135hadbeenusedtomakethecalculations,IdealMgat10%ofCECwouldhavebeen856ppmratherthanthe134ppmMg"ideal"listedaboveTheRxwrittenfortheCenterPointgardenandorchardcalledfor2180#ofMagnesiumsulfateMgSO47H2O(Epsomsalt)At10%Mgand14%S,thatwouldadd218#ofMgand305#ofS,or109ppmMgand153ppmS,alittlemorethantheamountneededtoraiseMgto134ppmThenextpairofsoiltestsafterthepresentgrowingseasonwilltellifthatwasenoughMgtoreachthedesiredtargetMagnesiumsulfateisamorecostlyandlessconcentratedsourceofMgandSthanMagnesiumOxideandagriculturalSulfur,butwasusedinthiscasebecauseMagnesiumoxideisnotallowedunderUSDANOPrules10#ofSolubor20%Bwasalsorecommended,adding2#or1ppmBtothetopsoilThisisahighCalciumsoilandwewishtohaveoptimumlevelsofBavailableTherewouldbelittledangerofaddingtoomuchBorontothissoilwiththeextremelyhighlevelofCalciumitcontainsCalcareousSoilswithpH<70Asmentionedabove,somesandshavedevelopedpartiallyfromerodedlimestoneAsoillargelycomposedofthesecalcareoussands,inahumidclimateorwhenheavilyirrigatedasonlawnsandgolfcourses,mayhaveameasuredpHbelow7butcontainsignificantamountsofundissolvedCalciumorMagnesiumcarbonatesThesecanbeextractedbyaMehlich3orotheracidicsoiltestandgiveafalsehighestimateofCECIfonesuspectstheyaredealingwithasoillike TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20101this,the"fizztest"describedabove,whereordinaryvinegarisaddedtothesoil,isrecommendedIfthesoilbubbleswhenvinegarisadded,youwillwanttogetanAA82testinadditiontotheessentialM3testAnotherindicatorthatoneshouldgetanAA82testforasoilwithpH<7isiftheMehlich3testshowsasurprisinglyhighlevelofCalciumandestimatedCECCalcareoussandswillgenerallyhavealowCEC,oftenaslowas2or3meq,whentestedwiththeAA82testIftheAA82testshowsaCEC>7meqandapH<7,theymaybetreatedthesameasanyothersoilwithapH<7,accordingtotheratiosshownontheIdealSoilChartIftheyhaveaCEC<7meq,theyshouldbetreatedasshowninthefollowingchapteronLowCECSoilsMineralAvailabilityinHighpHSoilsTheavailabilityofessentialmineralssuchasFe,Mn,Cu,Zn,andPcanbepoorinhighpHsoilsbecausethemetallicelementsreadilycombinewithOHions,forminginsolublehydroxides,whilePcombineswithavailablecationsforminginsolublephosphatesOftenthisproblemisaddressedbyapplyingtheseelementsinsolubleformassulfates,chlorides,ornitratesviafertigation,foliarspraying,bandingofsolublefertilizersintheseedingrow,orbyusingsmallamountsoftheelementschelatedwithEDTAInthe4thcenturyBCAristotlewrotethat"thesoilisthestomachoftheplants,digestingandmakingfoodavailable"Asinourownbodies,itisthebeneficialmicroorganismsthatdomuchoftheworkofdigestionandchelationofessentialmineralsOnesignificantbenefitofhavingthemineralsinbalanceinthesoilisthatitencouragesthegrowthofbeneficialsoilorganismsthatcanaccesspoorlysolublenutrientsandchelatethembiologicallyAsthesoilorganismsgothroughtheirlifecycle,themineralstheyhavechelatedbecomeavailabletoplantsMycorrhizalfungihavebeenshownabletoachieveapH<2,whichcansolubilizepracticallyanymineralcomplexinthesoilandmakeitavailableIthasbeenourexperiencethatiftheanionsN,P,Cl,andespeciallySaremaintainedatIdealSoilratios,alongwithaoptimumleveloforganicmatterinabiologicallyactivesoil,themetallicelementsandPwillremainavailabletothecropswithoutresortingtospoonfeeding TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20102Chapter10WorkingwithLowCECSoils(Below7meq)MinimumAmountsNeededforIdealSoilMethodinAnySoilorGrowingMediaBasedonresultsfromaMehlich3soiltestCalciumCa750ppm(1000ppmisbetter)MagnesiumMg100ppmPotassiumK100ppmSodiumNa25ppmPhosphorusP100ppmSulfurS50ppmBoronB1ppmIronFe50ppmManganeseMn25ppmCopperCu5ppmZincZn10ppmAsoilwithaCECbelow7meqdoesnothavesufficientnegativelychargedexchangesitestoadsorbandholdontotheminimumamountofnutrientcationsnecessarytoachieveIdealSoilresultsNonetheless,theminimumsareneeded,evenifthesoilcan’tholdthemagainstleachingAsandyorleachedout,loworganicmattersoilmayhaveaCECof3meqorlessWithaCECof3meq,at100%saturation,thesoilcouldadsorbandholdamaximumofCalcium:200ppmx3meq=600ppmCaorMagnesium120ppmx3meq=360ppmMgorPotassium390ppmx3meq=1170ppmKorSodium230ppmx3meq=690ppmNa(SeeChapter2,CationExchange)IfwetrytobalancetheprimarycationsinaCEC3meqsoiltoastandard68%Ca:12%Mg:4%K:15%Nacationsaturationratio,weendupwithonly408ppmCa,43ppmMg,47ppmK,and10ppmNa,farbelowtheIdealminimumsTheshorttermsolutionistoapplytheamountofmineralsneededtoachievetheIdealminimums,realizingthatsomepartofwhatisaddedwillnotbeadsorbedandheldtoanexchangesite,andwillbesubjecttoleachingIrrigationinalowCECsoilshouldbekepttoaminimum,addingonlywhatthesoilcanholdIfthere TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20103isexcessiverain,it’ssafetoassumemuchofwhatwasadded(otherthanPhosphorus)willbeleachedoutandwillneedtobeaddedagainThismaycallforfrequentsoiltestsandamendingifanoptimumyieldwithmaximumnutrientcontentisdesiredNotethateventhoughalargeamountofbasecationsmayneedtobeaddedtoachievetheminimumamountsofCa,Mg,andK,aslongastheconcentrationofanions(P,S,NO3,Cl)isalsoatoptimum,thesoil’sH+:OHbalancewillsettleoutataroundpH65IncreasingtheExchangeCapacityThelongertermansweristoincreasetheexchangecapacityofthesoilThiscanbedonebyaddingorincreasingSoilOrganicMatter(SOM),asstablehumusHumateoresCharcoalorBiochar(egterrapretasoils)Lowfiredpotterysherds(alsofoundinterrapretasoils)ExpandedVermiculiteHighCECclaysuchasCalciumbentonite/montmorilloniteclayZeolitesAddingorIncreasingOrganicMatterStablehumushasaCECofupto200meqandsignificantanionexchangecapacityaswellOrganicmatterintheprocessofbreakingdowndoesn’thavemuchexchangecapacity;itonlyachievesthatwhenitisbrokendowntostablehumusthatcannolongerreadilyserveasfoodforplantsandsoilorganismsOrganicmatterdecomposingintostablehumuswillonlyhappenefficientlyinabiologicallyactive,mineralbalancedsoilwithoptimallevelsofN,C,S,andCaEveniftheCarbon:Nitrogenratioofthedecomposingorganicmatterisanideal25or30:1,withoutsufficientStoformSulfurcontainingaminoacidslikecysteineandmethionine,NitrogenreleasedduringdecompositioncanbelosttotheatmosphereasammoniaNH3gas,orformwatersolublenitrateNO3andbeleachedawayLikewisewithoutsufficientCa2+tobindwiththeCO32carbonateionsproducedduringdecomposition(formingstableCalciumcarbonateCaCO3),theCarbonreleasedmaybelosttotheatmosphereasCO2Onlywiththepropermineralbalanceinthesoil(orcompostpile)willthemaximumamountofstablehumuswithoptimumexchangecapacitybeformedandconservedThestrategyofbuildinghumustoincreaseexchangecapacityonlyworkswellincoolertemperateclimateswheretheannualprecipitationisequaltoorgreaterthantheaverageannualamountofprecipitationthatevaporatesfromthesoilortranspiresfromtheplants(calledtheevapotranspirationratioorrate)Inwarmertropicalandsubtropicalclimatesthebiologicalactivityishigh TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20104andthedecompositionprocesssorapidthatitbecomesdifficulttoincreasethehumuscontentofthesoilonalongtermbasisInanyevent,whattheclimatedictatesnaturallywillbetheeasiestleveloforganicmatterandhumustomaintain;thisisgenerallythesamelevelaswillbefoundinanundisturbedforestorprairieofasimilarsoiltypeinagivenclimateAsarule,thefurtherawayfromtheEquatoronegoes,orthehigherinaltitudeatagivenlatitude,thehigherthelevelofhumusandorganicmatterinthesoilwillbeItcanbedifficulttomaintaineven2%SoilOrganicMatter(SOMorjustOM)intropicallowlands,while10%ormoreSOMiscommoninsomehumidborealclimatesBogandpeatsoilsarealsofoundintropicalandsubtropicalclimatesbuttheirhighorganicmattercontentsoonburnsupwhenputintocultivationHumateOresandHumic/FulvicAcidsHumateoresformfrommassivelayersofvegetationthathaveeitherbeencoveredoverbysubsequentsedimentarylayerssuchassandorvolcanicash,whichdiminishleaching,ortheyforminimpermeableclaysbelowbedsofsoftcoal,where,asthehumicsubstancesleachout,theymaybestoppedby,held,andconcentratedinanunderlyingclayorshalelayer(ifoneexists)Whenalargeareaofthisancientvegetationhasbeensealedinbyasedimentarylayerofstoneaboveit,itwillnotleachbutcontinuetopercolate,risingtothestonelidaboveit,condensing,tricklingbackdown,overandoverformillionsofyearsWhateffectthisprocessmayhaveonthepropertiesofthehumicsubstancesisunknown,buthasbeenwelldescribedintheoldAlchemicalliterature:[]NowinourArtyoushouldcloselyimitatethesenaturalprocessesThereshouldbetheCentralHeat,thechangeofthewaterintoair,thedrivingupwardoftheair,itsdiffusionthroughtheporesoftheearth,itsreappearanceascondensedbutvolatilizedwaterTheNewChemicalLight,byMichaelSendivogius,17thCentury[…]TheearthconceivesinherwombthesplendouroftheSun,andbyittheseedsofthemetalsarewellandequallywarmed,justlikethegraininthefieldsThroughthiswarmththereisproducedintheearthavapourorspirit,whichrisesupwardandcarrieswithitthemostsubtleelementsItmightwellbecalledafifthelementforitisaquintessence,andcontainsthemostvolatilepartsofalltheelementsThisvapourstrivestofloatupwardthroughthesummitofthemountains,but,beingcoveredwithgreatrocks,theypreventitfromdoingso:forwhenitstrikesagainstthem,itiscompelledtodescendagainItisdrawnupbytheSun,itisforceddownagainbytherocks,andasitfallsthevapouristransmutedintoaliquid,ie,sulphurandmercuryOfeachoftheseapartisleftbehind—butthatwhichisvolatilerisesanddescendsagain,moreandmoreofitremainingbehind,andbecomingfixedaftereachdescentTheGloryoftheWorld,Or,TableofParadise,byAnonymous,1526AD TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20105Topqualityhumatesourceswillhaveahumicacidcontentabove70%byweightandanexchangecapacityof200300meqApplicationratevariesdependingonsoiltype,butinlowCECsoilsaround400lbs/acor400kg/haannuallywouldbeourrecommendedmaximumapplicationCharcoalorBiochar(TerraPretaSoils)Charcoalmadefromplantmatter,moreorlessfinelygroundorpowdered,andintendedasasoilamendment,isalsocalledbiocharCharcoalorbiocharhasoneofthehighestexchangecapacitiesofanyknownmaterialOneofBiochar’ssecretassetsliesinitslargesurfaceareaofapproximately500m2pergram!ThisisasaresultofthemicroporesformedduringpyrolysisIngeneralthehigherthepyrolitictemperaturethelargerthesurfaceareaofthefinishedmaterialuntilitreachesatemperatureatwhichdeformationoccursItisthislargesurfaceareathatprovidesavastprotectivehabitatforbeneficialbacteriaandfungiinsoilswhereitisapplied;asortofcoralreefforFungiandBacteriaAnotherimportantattributeistheCationExchangeCapacity(CEC)ofBiocharCECisameasureofthesurfacechargeinasoiloraBiocharandinbasictermsitistheabilityofasoil/BiochartoholdontonutrientsThebenefitsforsoilworkbothwaysasitwillabsorb[sic]nutrientsandpreventleachingyetreleasethenutrientswhenrequiredhttp://wwwbiocharirelandcom/sciencehtmlResearchershavemeasuredtheCECof“fresh”biocharmadefrompinesawdustpelletsandpinetimberrangingfrom22meqto138meq(CharacterizationandComparisonofBiochar,Herbertetal,CalPoly2012)Itisalsoknownthatasbiocharagesitsexchangecapacitycanincrease,uptoanorderofmagnitude(10x)In2006researcherscomparedseveralancientcharamendedsoils(terrapretaandrosols)inthecentralAmazonwithadjacentsoilstowhichcharhadnotbeenaddedThemostimpressiveresultwasanandrosolwithanEffectiveCECof213meqcomparedtoadjacentsoilwithanECECof23meqThissameandrosol,estimatedtobe600to1000yearsold,testedascontaining9064ppmPhosphorusand17545ppmCalcium,vstheadjacentsoilwithonly273ppmPand115ppmCa(BlackCarbonIncreasesCECinSoils,BLiangetal,SoilSciSocAmJ70:1719–1730,2006)Theadvantagesofusingbiochartoincreaseexchangecapacityinclude:Unlikeorganicmatterandhumus,whichcanquicklydecompose,especiallyinwarmclimates,biocharisstableforcenturiesormillenniaUnlikehumateores,biocharcanbeusedinlargeamountsBiocharcanbemadefromfreeorinexpensivelocalwastematerialsandproducednearbyoronsiteThepotentialdisadvantagesofbiochararegenerallyshortterm: TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20106FreshlymadebiocharishydrophobicanddifficulttowetBiocharmaytakeanumberofyearstoreachfullexchangecapacityFreshlyappliedbiocharcanlowerthesoilconcentrationofessentialnutrientsviasimpledilutionFreshbiocharcanstronglyadsorblargeamountsofnutrientanionsandcationsfromthesoil/watersolution,makingthemlessavailabletoplantsandsoilorganisms,atleasttemporarilySignificantresearchworkisongoingwithbiocharOnepromisingavenueisusingitasacarrierforsolublefertilizersrangingfromfishemulsiontoammoniumsulfateBiocharshouldnotbeconsideredasourceofplantnutrientsAddingbiocharalonewillingeneralonlyaddamodestamountofPotassiumItsmainvalueistoretainnutrientionsinsoilsthatlackexchangecapacity;itsimportantsecondaryvaluesareitsabilitytoholdwater,loosensoiltexture,andprovidehabitatforsoilorganismsLowFiredPotterySherdsTerracottatypelowfiredpotterysherdsarealsoreportedasabundantinterrapretasoilsThesehighlyporouslightlyfusedclayshavebeenutilizedfortheirabilitytocaptureandholdontoelementslongbeforetheconceptofexchangecapacitywasknown:AncientsailorsreportedlyusedterracottajugstodesalinateseawaterIfasealed,emptyjugwasheldunderwater,thepureH2OwouldfiltertotheinsidewhilethesaltandotherelementswereadsorbedandheldbythenegativechargesintheterracottaTheactualexchangecapacityofterracottapotterysherdsisunknownbutperhapsworthyoffurtherinvestigationHighfiredclayssuchasstonewareandporcelainarenonporousandwouldnotbeexpectedtoaddanyCECtoasoilExpandedVermiculiteVermiculiteisahydrousmica,atypeofcollapsed2:1aluminosilicatelayerclaywherethespacebetweentheclaylayersisfilledwithhydratedMagnesiumionsWhenvermiculiteisheated,thewatermoleculessurroundingtheMg++ionsturntosteamandthespacesbetweenthelayersexpandgreatly,makingalargesurfaceareaavailableforcationexchangeExpandedvermiculitehasaCECof~100meqper100gramsExpandedvermiculiteisverylightweightandhasexcellentwaterholdingpropertiesaswellashighCECItisprimarilyusedinpottingsoilsandgreenhousebedsItsmaindisadvantageisthatwhenfreshitsexchangesitesaresaturatedwithMagnesiumandIron,whichcanaddundesiredhighlevelsofMgandFetothesoilWhenexpandedvermiculiteisused,thegrowingmediashouldbeanalyzedforMgandFecontent,andtheamountofvermiculiteadjustedsoasnottooverloadtheMgsaturation%TheCalciumlevelmustalsobecarefullyadjustedtomaintainthedesiredCa:Mgratios TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20107HighCECClays:CalciumBentoniteCalciumbentoniteisanamendmentthatonlyneedstobebroughttoanoptimallevelinthesoilonetime;itsexchangecapacityandphysicalpropertieswillthenremaininthesoilpermanentlyunlesserodedawayBentonitesarehydrated2:1aluminosilicatelayerclaysStructurallytheyconsistofaluminasheetssandwichedbetweenSiO2tetrahedrallayersUnlikethevermiculitemicas,bentoniteclaysreadilyhydrateandexpandintheirnaturalstateOfthetwomainvarieties,CalciumandSodiumbentonite,CalciumbentoniteistheoneusedforagricultureSodiumbentonitecontainsexcessiveamountsofNa,attractsandretainstoomuchwater,andswellsandshrinksexcessivelyCalciumbentonitestypicallyhaveaCECof70to100meqCalciumBentoniteisisanexcellentamendmentforloose,lowCEC“beachsand”typesoilsTheCabentonitewilldisperseandcoatthesandgrains,helpingthemsticktogethertoformaggregatesCalciumbentonitealsointeractschemicallyandbiologicallywithhumusanddecomposingorganicmatter,preservingitthesoilandprovidinghabitatforsoilmicrobeswhoseexcretionsfurtherbindthesandgrainsandgivethesoilacohesivestructurewhileaddingmuchneededCECCalciumbentoniteisalsoasignificantsourceofexchangeableCa,Mg,K,andNaItmaybeusedinanysandorsiltsoiloringrowingmediawherereadilyavailableCa,increasedCEC,andbettermoistureandfertilizerretentionaredesiredForheavyclaysoilswithlowCEC,whereaddingmoredispersedclayisgenerallynotdesired;otherCECbuilderslikebiochar,humates,granularzeolite,andincreasedSOMaremoreappropriateSeebelowCalciumbentoniteworksbestwhencombinedwithmaturecompost,ormixedinatthestartofthecompostingprocess,orwhenusedinsoilswithoptimumhumusandorganicmatterlevelsApplicationratesforCalciumBentonite:Loosesandysoils:300to600kg/are(600to1200lbs/1000ft2)mixedintothetop15to30cm(6to12inches)Establishedgardensandlawns:100to200kg/are(200to400lbs/1000ft2)Ifbentonitecannotbetilledin,theapplicationshouldbesplitintothreeorfourdosesappliedseparatelyandrakedandwateredinTheclaywillleachintothesoilandfinditsproperplaceItmayalsobemixedwithwaterata1:10ratiobyvolumeandappliedwithawateringcanZeolitesClinoptilolite(anaturallyoccurringhardclaycompoundwithhighCEC)isthezeolitegenerallyusedinagricultureItisminedasahardclaycompoundthatisthencrushedtoagranularformUnlikeCabentonite,zeolitesremainingranularformanddonotdisperseinthesoilTheymaybeusedinanysoiltype,butare TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20108especiallyusefulforlooseningandaddingCECtoheavylowCECclaysoilssuchasthekaolinclayscommoninthetropicsandsubtropicsTheymayalsobeputtogooduseinpottingmixesNaturalzeolitesformwherefreshvolcaniclavareactswithseawater,andwherevolcanicashlayersreactwithalkalinegroundwaterZeolitesalsomayforminshallowmarinebasinsWhatmakesazeoliteazeoliteisitsveryregular,rigid,openlatticeworkcrystalatomicstructurewithanetworkofinterconnectedporesZeolitesmayhaveasurfaceareaofupto450meters2/gramandasmuchas45%openporespaceforholdingwaterandexchangeablecations1CrystalstructureofzeolitesNotethepyramidalstructureofClinoptilolite,centerExchangeableMineralsinZeolitesZeolitesthatformfromvolcaniclavaincontactwithseawater,andthoseformedinothersalineenvironments,mayhaveahighcontentofSodium,thoughoftenthishasbeendisplacedovertime,largelybyPotassiumOneshouldknowthetypicalmineralanalysisofanyzeolitetheyareusinginagricultureRestoringAgedClaysInsomecasesthesoilmayhaveahigherpotentialexchangecapacity,buttheclaysitcontainsconsistofcollapsedclaylayersthathavebeenfilledwithK,asCaandMgleachedoutovermillennia,orhavebeenabusedbyexcessiveapplicationsofPotassiumchlorideKClfertilizersthat“plugup”theexchangesitesontheedgesoflayeredclays,orfillthespacesbetweenthelayerswithK+PotassiumjusthappenstobetheperfectsizetocollapsethespacebetweenclaylayerssothatCaandMgcannolongerfitinbetweentoattachtothe(–)negativeexchangesitesTorestoreacollapsedlayerclayoronewheretheexchangesitesontheedgesarepluggedwithK,thelogicalapproachwouldbetogreatlyincreasetheCalciumsaturationinthesoilwiththeaimofdisplacingKfromthelayeredclayedges,andperhapsevenexpandingthelayersthatarepresentlycollapsedbydisplacingsomeoftheinterlayerKwithCaGypsum,Calciumsulfate,isthebesttoolforopeningcollapsedlayerclaysordisplacingexcesscationsbecauseitreadilydissolvesanddisassociatesintoCa2+andSO42ionsinthesoil/watersolutionAhighenoughconcentrationofCaionswilltendtodisplaceanyothercationontheexchangesites;thedisplacedionswilltheneitherbetakenupbyplantsandsoilorganismsorquicklyassociatewithfreeSO42formingK2SO4,MgSO4,Na2SO4etcwhichcanreadilybeleachedtoalowersoilhorizon TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20109AReviewofMethodsandMaterialsforIncreasingExchangeCapacityIncreasingthesoil’shumuscontentandtherebyitsexchangecapacitybygrowinganddecomposingorganicmatterrightinthesoilisgenerallytheleastcostlymethodpfincreasingexchangecapacityGiventheproperamountandbalanceofmineralnutrients,humuswillbeformedandconserved,butthelevelofhumusthatcanbemaintainedeasilywillbedictatedbytheclimateInacool,rainyclimate,maintaining`above5%SOMiseasy;inhumidtropicalorwarmdesertclimateitisanendlessstruggle,evenwithlargeamountsoforganicmatterbroughtinfromoffsiteAllgrowersshoulddotheirbesttomaintainoptimumSOMandhumuslevelsinthesoil,butthatmaynotbeenoughtoraisetheCECtothedesiredlevelHumateorescanaddsomeexchangecapacity,butarelimitedintheamountthatcanbesafelyapplied,generally200to300ppmannuallyPresentlyitisunknowniftherewillbeasignificantcumulativeeffectonexchangecapacityfromlongtermapplicationofhumatesExpandedVermiculiteisanexcellentsourceofCEC,buthasahighamountofMagnesiumandoftenIronalreadyadsorbedtotheexchangesitesTheamountofMgandFebeingaddedmustbetakenintoaccountwhenvermiculiteisusedExpandedvermiculiteisrelativelyexpensiveandnormallyusedonlyforpottingmixesandcontainergrowingmediaPerliteisanaturallyoccurringvolcanicglassthatcontainswaterWhenheatedabove850°Ctheglasssoftensandthewaterexpandstheperliteto7to16timesitsformervolume,makingalightweight,porous,inertglassbeadPerlitehasalmostnoexchangecapacityandisnotusefulforraisingCECHighCECclaysmaynaturallyoccurnotfarfromsandyorgravellysoilswithlowCEC,anditmaybeeconomicaltodig,haul,spreadandmixthemintoalowCECsoilOneshouldfirstmakecertainthattheclaybeingconsideredasanamendmentdoeshaveahighenoughCECtobeworththeeffortManysticky,denseclayssuchaskaolinhaveaverylowCECTheonlywaytoknowistohavethemtestedForasoilwithpHlessthan7,aMehlich3testwouldbeappropriate;forclayswithapHabove7,theAmmoniumAcetatepH82testisbetterSeeChapter9onCalcareousandHighpHSoilsformoreinfoontheAA82soiltestCalciumBentoniteisanexcellentCECboosterforsoilsthatdon’talreadyhaveahighclaycontent,butlargeamountsmustbeusedtomakemuchdifferenceAnapplicationrateof300to600kg/are(600to1200lbs/1000ft2)worksoutto30to60metrictonsperhectareor13to26avoirdupoistonsperacreAddingthoseamountswillonlybeeconomicalifthereisaccesstoaninexpensivesourceofCabentoniteandtransportationcostsarenottoohigh TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20110Potsherds,brokenlowfiredpottery,maybeworthinvestigatingifonehasaccesstoasufficientquantitynearbythatisfreeorlowcostBiochar/charcoalislikelytoendupbeingthemosteconomicalwayofaddingexchangecapacitytoasoil,especiallyafterthe“bugs”areworkedoutofthesystemandwelearnhowtomaketopqualityhighCECandhighAECbiocharefficientlyinlargequantitiesWhichorwhatcombinationoftheexchangecapacityamendmentsaboveshouldbeusedwilldependoncost,availability,existingsoiltype,andthepersonalpreferencesofthegrower TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20111Epilogue:TheThreeLeggedStoolThemoststableofconstructionsisthetripod,awordthatcomestousfromancientGreeceandmeans,precisely,"threefooted"Organiclife,mineralelements,andenergyarethethreecomponentsofour3dimensionalworld;togethertheyarethe"legs"ofthethreeleggedstoolthatsupportsouragriculture,aswellaseverythingelsewesee,touch,hear,smell,andeatLet'slookatthemalittlemoredeeplyOrganiclife:WhateverformsthelifeforceanimatesonthisplanetareCarbonbasedLivingthingsuseNitrogentoformproteinsandaminoacids;theiressentialsolventandlubricantiswater,H2O,madeupofHydrogenandOxygenThesefourelements,C,N,H,andO,aretheairelements;theycomefromtheatmosphereandreturntherePlantsusethemtomaketheirlivingforms,animalseattheplants,bothplantsandanimalsgrow,reproduce,anddie,andtheirconstituentcompoundsofC,N,H,andOcycleendlesslythroughthebiosphereTheirdeadanddecomposingremainsmakeuptheorganicfractionofthesoil,fromrecentlyfallenleavesandbranchestohumusandthehumicandfulvicacidsthatarethefinalproductoftheirbreakdownTheseCarbonbasedlifeformscomprisethatpartofthesoilthathasgottensomuchattentionfromtheproponentsofalternativeandsustainableagricultureoverthepastsixtyyearsGreatstridesinunderstandinghavebeenmade,buttheorganicfractionandsoillifearestillonlyonelegofthetripod;thislegalonewillnotsupporttheNewAgricultureEnergyisthemotiveforce;itprovidespowertothegrowth/decayprocessWearelivinginaseaofenergyassurelyasfishswimmingintheoceanarelivinginwaterLight,sound,andelectromagneticenergiessurroundusalwaysOurheartbeatsfromanelectricalsignal;ournervesfireelectrically;chemicalreactionsresultfromtheexchangeof+andelectricalchargesTherearealsomoresubtleenergiesthatwedon'tyethavetheabilitytomeasureandquantifyWhatistellingtheDNAtodowhatitdoes?Wecallitthelifeforce,butsciencehasnocluewhatitisWhateveritis,itisdirectingtheformthatlivingthingsassume,fromopossumstosunflowerstoregrowinganinjuredfingertipWhenthelifeforcegoesaway,theformbreaksdownandbecomesfoodforotherlivingthings,ondownthechain,untilitscomponentseventuallyendupasmineralsbackintheseaandelementsintheairTheenergyofthelifeforcedirectstheform,growth,anddecayinthecompletecyclefrommineralbacktomineralIfonelovesandpraisestheirgardenorfarmandallofthelifetherein,NaturerespondsandtheplantsthriveTheoldsayinggoesthatthebestfertilizeristhefarmer'sfootsteps,walkingthroughhisfieldsWhatsubtleenergyisthis?Therearealsothemoving,changingmagneticfieldsoftheEarth,interactingwithmagneticandparamagneticelementsinthesoilWhydocabbagesgrowtoweigh TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20112fiftypoundsinAlaska?Isitbecauseofthelongsummerdays,ordoesithavesomethingtodowiththemagneticlinesofforcebeingclosertogether?Theanalogyofthesoiltoanelectricstoragebatteryisstillagoodone:Whatisthedifferencebetweenafullychargedbatteryandonethatisstonecolddead?Thechemicalcompositionofbothisthesame,butthechargedbatteryhasapotentialdifferencebetweentheterminals;whentheyareconnectedchemicalreactionsbegintooccurandenergyflowsCareyReamsandRudolphSteinerbothhadastrongappreciationoftheimportanceofenergyflowinNature;atthetimestheywereteachingthesewerenewconceptsinagricultureandtherewerenoacceptedtermswithwhichtodescribetheseenergies;therearestillnoacceptedtermstodayPhilCallahan'sgroundbreakingworkwithparamagnetismisstilllittleknownatpresent,thoughthehardempiricalevidenceofitseffectivenessandresultsisundeniableAsolidunderstandingofandcoherentexplanationofenergyinagricultureremainstheleastunderstoodlegofourtripodMineralElements:ThebuildingblocksthatthelifeforcedirectsandenergypowersarethephysicalelementsfromHydrogentoUraniumTheseelementsarewhateverythingismadeoutofTheelementsthemselvesarestablearrangementsofprotonsandneutrons,makingupthenucleus,surroundedbynegativelychargedelectronsThekeyisthattheyarestableExceptinthecaseofradioactiveelementsofveryhighatomicweight,theyremainwhattheyare;oneelementdoesnotchangeintoanotherPlantsandanimalsrequireawiderangeofelementstodomanydifferenttasksAstalkofwheatrequireslargeamountsofSilicontokeepitstiffandstrong;italsoneedsCoppertogiveitflexibilityandresilienceThegermofeveryseedneedsanatomofManganesetobefertile,butitalsoneedsCalcium,Boron,andprobablyPhosphorustobringtheatomofManganesetowheretheseedwillformInorderforalivingthingtomakeanaminoacid,enzyme,orproteinamineralelementmustbepresenttoactasacatalystWeknowofover300enzymesinthehumanbodyalonethatrequireZincasacatalystTheformationofeachseparateDNAcodonrequiresamineralcatalyst,someofthemextremelyrare,elementssuchasYttriumandScandiumEachofthesemustbeinthesoiliftheyaretobeinourfoodAnynecessaryelementthatismissingoroutofbalancewillaffectthehealthoftheentiresystemThesearethelegsofourthreeleggedstoolInordertositlevelandsupporttheplants,thesoillife,andalllifedependentonthesoil,allthreelegshadbestbeequallylongandequallystrongInthisbookwehaveshownhowtoapplytheknowledgeofmineralbalancetocreateyourown"idealsoil"whereveryoumaybe,withtheassurancethattheminerallegofthestoolwillbestrongandsupportitsintendedloadItwillbeuptoallofusinthefuturetogathertheknowledgeandexperiencefromalldisciplinesandcombinethemwiselytoensurethattheNewAgriculturestandsonasolid,balanced,andsecurefoundation TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20113Itishopedthatthereaderwilltaketheknowledgegainedfromthisbookandapplyittotheirownsituation,combineitwiththeirotherknowledgeandexperience,andshareitwithothersTogetherwecancreatethemostmagnificent,healthy,sustainable,beautifulplanetimaginable,oneonwhichwecanallliveahealthyandjoyfullife,andonethatwecanpassontofuturegenerationswithprideWecandothis TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20114IndextoAppendicesInstructionsfortakingasoilsamplep115TheIdealSoilChart(Agricola’sBestGuessv17)p116MineralcontentofUSDAOrganicNOPfertilizeringredientsp117SoilReportblankp118KelptypicalanalysisIp119Clayphosphateanalysisp120AnnualuptakeofK2O,Mg,andSp121pHandnutrientavailabilityp122CareyReams’IdealSoilbalancep123ReamsvsAlbrechtp123Conversionfactorsp126NotesontheMinorMineralsCu,Zn,Fe,Mn,B:Copperp126BordeauxMixturep129BurgundyMixturep129Zincp131Ironp133Manganesep135Boronp137Referencescitedp139Recommendedreadingp139VariationsinMineralContentofVegetablesbyBear,Toth,andPrince1948p140PrimitiveDietsbyWestonAPrice1939p150CalculatingTotalCationExchangeCapacityTCECp152EstimatingNitrogenReleaseENRp157DealingwithExcess:AlkalineandSodicSoils:WhenThereisTooMuchp159AlkalineSoilsp161AgriculturalGypsump162LeachingSodiump166FertileMulchingforOrchardsp168PeriodicTableoftheElementsp169 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20115Instructionsfortakingasoilsample:Youonlyneedtosend1cupofsoil,approximately8ounces(225grams)Thegoalistogetarepresentativesampleofyoursoil6"deepThisistheaerobiczonewheremostrootgrowthandnutrientexchangehappensYouwillwanttotakeseveralsamplesoftheareaandmixthemtogetherAsarule,youwouldtakesixtotensamplesofanyareathatyouaregoingtotreatthesame,whileavoidingstrangeorunusualareasorsamplingthemseparatelyforaseparatetestClearthesamplingareaoflooseduffandorganicmatter,mulchetcbeforeyoutakeyoursampleIfyouhaveaccesstoasoilprobe,whichtakesa1"circularsample(atubeofsoil)usethatOtherwisejustdigastraightsidedholesixtoeightinchesdeepwithanordinaryshovel,thentakeathinslicestraightdownalongonesideoftheholeThissliceisyoursoilsampleUseacleanshoveltodothediggingYoudon'twanttocontaminateyoursoilsamplewithrustorwithdirtfromanotherareaAvoidsamplingareasthathavehadfertilizerappliedinbandsTakeasmanysamplesasyouthinknecessaryandmixthemtogetherthoroughlyinaglass,ceramic,plasticorstainlesssteelcontainer,removinganyrootsorlargechunksoforganicmatter,thentakeaboutonecupofthismixedsampletosendtothesoiltestinglabIfthesoilisextremelywetwhenyoutakethesample,spreaditoutinawarmplaceandletitdryuntilitcanbehandledwithoutleavingmudonyourhands;itdoesnotneedtobetotallydriedout,justnotwetWhichSoilTestDoYouWant?TheIdealSoilMethodwasdevelopedandisdesignedtoworkbestwiththeMehlich3testIfyouaretestingacalcareoussoilorasoilwithapHabove70,youwillalsowanttheAA82testforanaccurateassessmentofexchangeablecationsinordertocalculateCECWhichSoilTestingLabShouldYouSendtheSampleTo?Mostimportantly,youwillwantalabthatusestheMehlich3testregularlyandthatalsoofferstheAA82testThesearetheelementsyouneedtohavedatafor:PrimaryCationsPrimaryAnionsSecondaryElementsCalciumMagnesiumPotassiumSodiumPhosphorusSulfurBoronIronManganeseCopperZincInadditionyouwillneeddataforsoilpHand%OM,soilorganicmatterBesuretospecifythatyouwantthelabtoshowtheresultsinpartspermillionppmTherearemanygoodsoiltestinglabsaroundtheworldSoilmineralscomusuallysendstheirsamplestoLoganLabs,inOhio,USAwwwloganlabscomLoganlabssendsreportsinthesameformatasusedinthisbookSoilsamplesbeingsentfromonecountrytoanotherwillrequireasoilimportpermitthatcanbeobtainedfromthelabContactthesoiltestinglaboratorybeforeyousendthesoilsampleforpricesandanyspecialpackaginginstructions TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20116TheIdealSoilChart(Agricola’sBestGuessv20January2014)BasedonaSoilTestusingtheMehlich3methodOrganicMatter(OM)2%—10%DependingonclimatepH64–65BalancethemineralsandpHwilltakecareofitselfPrimaryCationsas%ofCationExchangeCapacity(CEC)Seeappendix“CalculatingTCEC”p125Calcium(Ca)++min750ppm60%—85%(Ideal68%)Ca&Mgtogethershouldaddto80%ofexchangecapacityinmostagriculturalsoilspH7andlowerMagnesium(Mg)++min100ppm10%—20%(Ideal12%)Potassium(K)+min100ppm2%—5%(Ideal4%)SeePhosphorus(P)Sodium(Na)+min25ppm1%—4%(Ideal15%)EssentialforhumansandanimalsHydrogen(H)+5%—10%(Ideal10%)AloneprotonThe“freeagent”PrimaryAnionsPhosphorusPmin100ppmP=IdealKbyweight(ppm)BUT:phosphate(P205)shouldbe~2Xpotash(K2O)NeedsahighlybioactivesoiltokeepitavailableSulfurSmin50ppm1/2xIdealKupto300ppmNeedforSulfuraminoacidsConservessoilNandCarbonSecondaryelementsIron(Fe)+min50ppmManganese(Mn)+min25ppmZinc(Zn)+min10ppmCopper(Cu)+min5ppmFe:1/3to1/2xIdealKMn:1/3to1/2xFeZn:1/10xP(upto50ppm)Cu:1/2xZn(upto25ppm)IronandManganesearetwins/oppositesandsynergists,asareCopperandZincBoronB3+or(cationoranion)min1ppm1/1000ofCalcium(max4ppm)EssentialforCalciumutilizationCalciumtransportssugarsChlorine(Cl)min25ppm1xto2xSodiumEssential,butagesclaysrapidlywhenusedinlargeamountsSiliconSi4+or(cationoranion)IdealunknownSiisthemostabundantmineralinmostsoilsActivesoilbiologyandbalancedmineralchemistrywillensureavailabilityMicro(trace)ElementsChromiumCrCobalt(Co)+Iodine(I)MolybdenumMoSelenium(Se)Tin(Sn)+Vanadium(V)+Nickel(Ni)+Fluorine(F)–Alloftheseareessentialinsmallamounts052ppmisenoughSomeofthemicroelements(egMo,Se)canbetoxictoplantsandsoilorganismsinquantitiesabove12ppmUseCautionwhenapplyingmicro/traceelementsinpurifiedformsThereareprobably30orsootherelementsneededtogrowfullynutritiousfoodSourcesareamendmentssuchasseaweed,rockdust,ancientseabedorvolcanicdeposits,rockphosphate,greensandetcPlantsneedatleast17ofthe23elementslistedabove,aswellasNitrogen,Carbon,Hydrogen,andOxygen TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20117TypicalMineralContentofUSDAOrganicFertilizerIngredients(%)AnimalSourceNPasP2O5KasK2OSCaMgFeTrFishBone420061903TrFishMeal1045062303TrCrabShell332503022303TrBloodMeal131FeatherMeal120104040606BoneMeal3152004MineralAmendmentsandKelpNPasP2O5KasK2OSCaMgFeTrAgLime324015DolomiteLime2213Gypsum*1622Oystershell3603Epsomsalt**1410Potashsulfate**51175TNbrownphos3(23%total)40TrCalphos3(20%total)20TrKMag*222211Greensand1713229TrKelpMeal10732207TrTr=Goodsourceofmicro(trace)mineralsPurifiedSourceSulfurSBoronBIronFeMangMnCopperCuZincZnAgSulfur90100Borax**9Solubor™**205Fesulfate1H2O1830Fesulfate7H20**11520Mnsulfate1H2O*1932Cusulfate5H2O**12525Zincsulfate1H2O1735Zincsulfate7H20**1122**HighlysolubleinH2O*VariesinsolubilityinH2O TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20118SoilReportandCommentsClient:____________Location:_______________SoilTest#:___________Date:____________ElementResultsCommentsCationExchangeCapacityCECmeqpHofSoilSampleOrganicMatter%PrimaryAnionsSulfurS(partspermillionppm)PhosphorusPppmPrimaryCationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficitCaBaseSaturation6070%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficitMgBaseSaturation1020%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficitKBaseSaturation25%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficitNaBaseSaturation15%OtherBasesH+ExchHydrogen1015%SecondaryElementsppmBoronBIronFeManganeseMnCopperCuZincZnAluminum TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20119KelpTypicalAnalysis TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20120FloridaColloidalClayPhosphateAnalysis TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20121AnnualCropUptakeofMajorNutrientsK2O,Mg,andS TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20122pHandNutrientAvailability TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20123Reams’recipeforanidealsoilHereisCareyReams’recipeforabalancedsoilasmeasuredbytheLaMottesoiltestusingtheMorganextractantCalciumMagnesiumPhosphatePotashNitrateNitrogenAmmoniumNitrogenSulfateSodiumERGSpH2,0004,000lbs285570lbs400lbs200lbs40lbs40lbs200lbs2070ppm200600micromohs67AdaptedfromArdenAndersenScienceinAgricultureERGSstandsforEnergyReleaseperGramofSoilReamsvsAlbrecht?Whynotboth?OnebitofcontentionbetweentheReamsandAlbrechtschoolsofmineralbalancedagricultureisthattwodifferenttestingmethodsareusedTheAlbrechtschoolusesthestandardsoiltest,alsocalledtheBrooksidetest,whichemploysstrongacidsandbasestoextractandmeasuretheamountofpotentiallyavailablenutrientmineralsTheReamsschoolpreferstheLamottesoiltest,whichusesaweakerextractionmethodcalledtheMorgansolutionTheMorganextractantisclosertothepHandconcentrationoftheacidsthatplantsareabletoproduce,andshowstheamountsofeasilyavailablemineralnutrientsAnadvantageoftheLaMottetestisthatitrequiresaminimumoftrainingandequipment(lessthan$1000intotalcost)andcanbedoneathomeInthisauthor’sopinion,bothtestingmethodsareequallyvaluableandhavetheirplaceThestandardsoiltestallowsonetomeasuretheexchangecapacityandpercentageofcationsaturationinthesoil,sothatitcanbebalancedchemically,physically,andionicallyThatbalanceisthebasicpremiseandmethodofthisbook,TheIdealSoilOncethathasbeendone,theLaMottetestcanbeusedasoftenasdesiredtocheckthedaybydayavailabilityofthemajornutrientsduringthegrowingseasonThetwotestsarenotinterchangeablebuttheyareverymuchcomplementarySomefurtherconfusionbetweentheviewpointsoftheReamsandAlbrechtschoolsarisesbecauseoftheapparentdiscrepancybetweenWmAlbrecht’srecommendationofaCalciumtoMagnesiumratioof65%to15%,versusCareyReams’callforseventimesasmuchCalciumasMagnesiumThefollowingexplanationwillshowthattheyarebothsayingthesamething:NotetheReamsnumbersinthetableaboveCa:Mgratiois2000/285,orexactly7:1 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20124Albrecht'srecommendationwasforECsaturation:65%Ca,15%Mg65/15=433:1WhyisReamscallingfor7:1whileAlbrechtissaying433:1?Because:Whenitcomestoabilitytosaturateexchangesites,Mghasabout16timestheneutralizingabilityofCa,byweightThisisbecauseCalciumhasanatomicweightof40,whileMagnesium’satomicweightisonly24Magnesiumisasmallerandlighteratom,butbothCaandMghavea++chargeandeachhastheabilitytofilltwonegativeexchangesitesIntheReamschartabove,ifthesoilcontains2,000lbsofCalcium,therecommendationisfor285lbsofavailableMagnesium,andthisMagnesiumhas,asnoted,about16timesasmuchexchangesitefillingabilityasanequalweightofCalcium285lbs(Mg)x16=456lbsInotherwords,285lbsofMghasthesameacidneutralizingorexchangecapacityfillingabilityas456lbsofCaIfweredotheearlierdivisionusingthenewnumberweget:2000/456=439:1oralmostthesameratio(433:1)thatAlbrechtcalledforReamsistalkingweight,AlbrechtistalkingECsaturationTheyarebothcallingforthesameratioofCatoMg TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20125Pounds,Acres,KilogramsandHectares:Theconventionusedforestimatinglbs/AcreintheEnglish/Avoirdupoissystemisthatthetop7"(178cm)ofanacreofsoilweighs2,000,000(twomillion)pounds,soonepartpermillion(1ppm)=2lbs/acreTheconventionusedforestimatingkilogramsperhectare(kg/ha)isthatthetop15cm(59")ofahectareofsoilweighs2,000,000kg,so1ppm=2kg/haConsideringthehugevarianceinsoildensities,fromlightweightpeattypesoilstoheavyclays,unlessonewishestodigup,dry,measure,andweighavolumesampleoftheparticularsoiltheyareworkingwith,it’ssafeenoughforagriculturalpurposestosimplysay:1ppm=2lb/acre=2kg/hectare1ppm=20g/1000ft2=20g/100m2ConversionFactors:Thetop6to7inchesof1acreofaveragesoilisassumedtoweigh2000000lbs1acre=43560ft2(Toconvertlbs/acretolbs/1000ft2,divideby4356or44)Thetop15to17cmof1hectareofaveragesoilisassumedtoweigh2000000kg1hectare=10000meters21acre=0405hectare1hectare=247acres100meters2=1078ft21partpermillion(ppm)=2lbs/acreor2kg/ha1lbperacre=1gramper100ft21kgperhectare=1gramper10m21ppm=2gramsper100ft2or2gramsper10m21ppm=20gramsper1000ft2or20gramsper100m21kilogram=1000grams1pound=0454kg(454grams)1kilogram=22lbs TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20126CopperCopper(Cu)iselementnumber29ontheMendeleyevchart,thePeriodicTableoftheElementsTheotherelementsinCopper'sspecificgroup(group1B,directlybelowitonthetable)areSilver(Ag)andGold(Au),whichputsitinsomeracycompanyCopperisthekeytoelasticityintheplantItisanimportantconstituentofmanyproteinslikeascorbicacidoxidase,cytochromeoxidase,diamineoxidase,andpolyphenoloxidaseCopperisanimportantnutrientformanymicrobes,suchasAspergillusnigerItcontrolsmoldsandoftenalleviatesperceivedzincdeficienciesCopperinteractswithironandmanganeseAndersenScienceInAgriculturep236BordeauxmixtureandBurgundymixturearetwofamousspraysusedtocontrolfungusinvineyardsDevelopedintheireponymousprovincesofFrance,Bordeauxmixiscoppersulfate,mason'slime(calciumhydroxide),andwater;Burgundymixiscoppersulfate,sodiumcarbonate(washingsoda),andwaterThefullrecipesandinstructionsforusingBordeauxandBurgundymixturesaregivenbelowinthesectionborrowedfromtheCopperDevelopmentAssociation'swebsiteThestorygoesthatBordeauxmixturewasdiscoveredbyaccidentDuringawetfallintheprovinceofBordeauxinthe1880sthegrapeswerebeingseverelyattackedbydownymildewAlongaroadthatranpastonevineyard,theownershadsprayedamixtureofcopperandlimeonthevines,whichturnedthegrapesabluegreencolorandwasmeanttodissuadethepassersbyfrompickingthegrapesTheFrenchscientistMillardet,whilewalkingalong,noticedthatthosevineswerenotbeingattackedbythefungus,andBordeauxmixturewasbornAsapartofBordeauxmixtureingrapearbors,itfunctionsasanutrientandnotasaninsecticideasisoftenbelievedWalters,EcoFarmp136[Copper'suseinBordeauxmixtureisactuallyasafungicide,notaninsecticide,butwe'llallowCharlesWalterstheoccasionaltypoThisobservationshouldactuallybecreditedtoWilliamAlbrecht,whotheorizedthatthecopperinthemixturewasstimulatingtheplant'simmunesystem]Copper,vitallyimportanttorootmetabolism,helpsformcompoundsandproteins,aminoacidsandahostoforganiccompoundsItactsasacatalystorpartoftheenzymesystemsIthelpsproducedrymatterthroughstimulationofgrowth,preventsdevelopmentofchlorosis,rosettinganddiebackWaltersEcoFarmp197TheroleoforganicmatterinCuchemistryisalsoindicatedbyanalysisofthesoilsolutionMorethan99%oftheCuinthesoilsolutioniscomplexedbyorganicmatterThiscomplexingisofgreatimportanceinmaintainingadequateCuinsolutionforplantuseFothandEllisSoilFertilityp141BecauseCuisnottranslocatedintheplant,thedeficiencysymptomsappearonthenewgrowthInsmallgrainsandcorntheleavesappearoliveoryellowishgreenincolor,andoftentheleavesfailtounrollastheyemergeOftentheleaftipswillappearasthoughtheplantshavebeenfrostdamaged,andtherewillbesomeflagsAflagisawiltedordeadleaforabranchwithsuchleavesonanotherwisehealthyappearingplantSoilFertilityp157 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20127Sulpomag,[alsoknownasKMagandLangbeinite]appliedbetweenJuly15andSeptember15upto200lbsperacre,seemstohelpincopperavailabilityScienceinAgriculturep236CopperinHumanandAnimalHealthAnexcessofcopperresultsindegenerationoftheliverItcausesbloodinurineandpoorutilizationofnitrogenAdeficiencyofcopperiscreatedbyexcessofmolybdenumandcobaltItproducesanemiaduetopoorironutilizationItdepressesgrowthOthersymptomsdepigmentationofhairandabnormalhairgrowth;impairedreproductiveperformanceandheatfailure;scouring,fragilebones;retainedplacentaanddifficultyincalving;andmuscularincoordinationinyounglambs,andstringywoolWaltersEcoFarmp367alargelyvegetariandietlacksthefatsolublecatalystsneededformineralabsorptionFurthermore,phytatesingrainsblockabsorptionofcalcium,iron,zinc,copperandmagnesiumUnlessgrainsareproperlypreparedtoneutralizephytates,thebodymaybeunabletoassimilatethesemineralsFallonandEnigNourishingTraditionsp27Ragweed,forexample,isgenerallyindicativeofaphosphate/potashimbalance,but,morespecifically,itindicatesacopperproblemCopperisimportantintheuseofmanganeseandiron,aswellasinmanymetabolicreactions,CopperalsoseemstobeimportantincontrollingfungaldisordersManypeoplehaveallergicreactionstoragweedpollenThisreactionseemstoberelatedtoacopperdeficiencyinthemucousmembranesAndersenScienceInAgricultureP192Copper:Neededfortheformationofbone,hemoglobinandredbloodcells,copperalsopromoteshealthynerves,ahealthyimmunesystemandcollagenformationCopperworksinbalancewithzincandvitaminCAlongwithmanganese,magnesiumandiodine,copperplaysanimportantroleinmemoryandbrainfunctionNuts,molassesandoatscontaincopperbutliveristhebestandmosteasilyassimilatedsourceCopperdeficiencyiswidespreadinAmericaAnimalexperimentsindicatethatcopperdeficiencycombinedwithhighfructoseconsumptionhasparticularlydeleteriouseffectsoninfantsandgrowingchildrenNourishingTraditionsp43Manyenzymesincorporateasinglemoleculeofatracemineralsuchasmanganese,copper,ironorzincwithoutwhichtheenzymecannotfunctionNourishingTraditionsp46GraemeSait:Canyourevertgreyhairwithcoppersupplements?I'vehadgreyhairsinceIwastwentyfiveJoelWallach:It'sdefinitelyaCopperdeficiency,andyoucouldreverttoyourformerhaircolorifyouaddressedtheproblemIseeiteverydaywithmyclientsItcanbequitehumorouswhenaseventyyearoldgreyhairedmanreturnstohisformerredheadedglorySait,NutritionRulesp297InAustraliaitwasdiscoveredthatblacksheepgrazingoncopperdeficientpasturesturnedgrayInhumanscopperisstoredintheliverIncasesoffeverandinfection,thelevelofironinthebloodstreamdropsandthebloodcopperlevelrisesasthecopperreservesintheliveraremobilizedtoaidtheimmunesysteminfightingoffinvadersThistidbitisfromAndreVoison'sclassicSoil,Grass,andCancer,inwhichtheFrenchbiochemistandveterinariandevotedseveralchapterstotheroleofcopperinhumanandanimalhealth TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20128Inthe1930sDrWestonAPriceinvestigatedthetraditionaldietsofisolatedpeoplesaroundtheworldHighintheAndesmountainsofSouthAmericahediscoveredthenativepeoplesreliedondriedfisheggsandseaweedbroughtfromtheoceantosupplytracemineralsandotherfactorslackingintheirdietHewrites"Thekelpprovidedaveryrichsourceofiodineaswellascopper,whichisveryimportanttothemintheutilizationofironforbuildinganexceptionallyefficientqualityofbloodforcarryingoxygenliberallyatthosehighaltitudesWAPrice,NutritionandPhysicalDegenerationp265Copperfunctionsinthebodyasanenzymecofactor,formationofhemoglobinandredbloodcells,proteinmetabolism,synthesisofphospholipids,vitaminCoxidation,productionofelastin,andformationofRNASignsofpossibledeficiencyarewhitehair,livercirrhosis,allergies,parasites,hernia,anemia,hyper/hypothyroidism,arthritis,ruptureddiscandironstoragediseaseWalters,MineralsfortheGeneticCodep122Zincandcopperhaveaseesawrelationshipinthebody,competingwitheachotherforabsorptioninthegutBothzincdeficiencyandcoppertoxicityhaveincreasedsincetheswitchfromzinc(galvanized)tocopperwaterpipesWecanavoidthisproblembynotdrinkingtapwaterHaas,StayingHealthywithNutritionp191ThefollowingwealthofinformationisfromtheCopperDevelopmentAssociationwebsite:UsesofCopperCompounds:CopperSulphate'sRoleinAgricultureCoppersulphatehasmanyagriculturalusesbutthefollowingarethemoreimportantones:●PreparationofBordeauxandBurgundymixturesonthefarm●Controloffungusdiseases●Correctionofcopperdeficiencyinsoils●Correctionofcopperdeficiencyinanimals●Stimulationofgrowthforfatteningpigsandbroilerchickens●Amolluscicideforthedestructionofslugsandsnails,particularlythesnailhostoftheliverflukePreparationofBordeauxandBurgundyMixturesontheFarmBecauseoftheirimportancetofarmers,instructionsconcerningthedissolvingofcoppersulphateandthepreparationofbothBordeauxandBurgundymixtureshavebeenincludedinthetextDissolvingCopperSulphateIronorgalvanizedvesselsmustnotbeusedforthepreparationofcoppersulphatesolutionsPlasticvessels,nowfreelyavailable,arelightandveryconvenientTomakeastrongsolution,hangajutesackofcoppersulphatesothatthebottomofitdipsafewinchesonlyinthewaterThecoppersulphatewilldissolveovernightCoppersulphatedissolvesincoldwatertotheextentofabout3kgper10litresIfmorethanthisisplacedinthesackdescribedabove,thenasaturatedsolutionwillbeobtainedanditmaybeusedwithoutseriouserroronthebasisthatitcontains3kgcoppersulphateper10litres TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20129PreparationofBordeauxMixtureBordeauxmixtureispreparedinvariousstrengthsfromcoppersulphate,hydratedlime(calciumhydroxide)andwaterTheconventionalmethodofdescribingitscompositionistogivetheweightofcoppersulphate,theweightofhydratedlimeandthevolumeofwaterinthatorderThepercentageoftheweightofcoppersulphatetotheweightofwateremployeddeterminestheconcentrationoftheBordeauxmixtureThusa1%Bordeauxmixture,whichisthenormal,wouldhavetheformula1:1:100thefirst1representing1kgcoppersulphate,thesecondrepresenting1kghydratedlime,andthe100representing100litres(100kg)waterAscoppersulphatecontains25%coppermetal,thecoppercontentofa1%Bordeauxmixturewouldbe025%copperThequantityoflimeusedcanbereducedconsiderablyActually1kgcoppersulphaterequiresonly0225kgofchemicallypurehydratedlimetoprecipitateallthecopperGoodproprietarybrandsofhydratedlimearenowfreelyavailablebut,aseventhesedeteriorateonstorage,itissafestnottoexceedaratioof2:1iea1:05:100mixtureInpreparingBordeauxmixture,thecoppersulphateisdissolvedinhalftherequiredamountofwaterinawoodenorplasticvesselThehydratedlimeismixedwiththebalanceofthewaterinanothervesselThetwo"solutions"arethenpouredtogetherthroughastrainerintoathirdvesselorspraytank[Notefromsoilmineralscom:Itappearsfromtheabovethatonedoesn'twanttomixthelimesolutionwiththecoppersolutionuntiloneisreadytospray,asthelimeprecipitatesthecopperWell,thatmakessense;coppersulfateisacid,calciumhydroxideisalkaline,mixthemtogetherandwhathappens?Youprobablygetcalciumsulfate(gypsum)andcopperoxideCopperoxideisnotwatersoluble]Preparationofa1%BurgundyMixtureDissolveseparately1kgcoppersulphatein50litreswaterand125kgsodiumcarbonate(washingsoda)in50litreswaterandslowlyaddthesodasolutiontothecoppersulphatesolutionwithstirringControloffungusdiseasesBordeauxandBurgundymixtureshavebeenfoundeffectiveincontrollingawholehostoffungusdiseasesofplantsNormallya05%to1%BordeauxorBurgundymixtureappliedat2to3weekintervalssufficestocontrolmostcoppersusceptiblefungiGenerallyoncethefungussporeshavealightedonthehostplantandpenetratedthetissuesitisdifficulttocontrolthemTheprincipleofcontrolmustinmostcasesdependonprotection,iepreventingthefungussporesfromenteringthehosttissuesCopperfungicidesarenotedfortheirtenacityandforthisreasonaremuchtobepreferredinareasofhighrainfallThesimplestmethodofcontrolistoapplyaprotectivecoatingofBordeauxorBurgundymixture(orothercopperfungicide)tothesusceptiblepartsoftheplant,sothatsporesalightingonthemcomeincontactwiththeprotectivefilmofcopperandarekilledinstantlyItisthusimportanttorememberthatthefirstsprayingmustideallybemadejustbeforethediseaseisexpectedandcontinuedatintervalsthroughoutthesusceptibleperiodForthisreasonitisimportanttotakeadvantageoftheearlywarningschemeswhichareinoperationtoensuregreateraccuracyofthetimingofthefirstsprayingItmustalsoberememberedthatfungiareplantsandthatcontrolmeasuresthatwillkillthemmaynotalwaysleavethehostplantunaffectedTheuseoftooconcentratedafungicidemixturemustthereforebeguardedagainst,particularlyfortheearlyspraysCopperfungicideshavebeenreportedeffectiveagainstnumerousplantdiseasesAlist,bynomeansexhaustive,ofsome300diseasesthathavebeenfoundamenabletocontrolbycopperfungicides[note:thelistisattheCDAwebsite] TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20130AtSoilMineralscomweuseandrecommendCopperintheformofCoppersulfate,containing25%CuItishighlywatersolubleforuseasasoilamendment,afoliarspray,afertilizeringredient,orformakingBordeauxorBurgundymixturesasdescribedaboveCoppersulfateisavailableasananimalfeedsupplement;thisisoftenthebestsourcewhenlargequantitiesareneededCorrectionofCopperDeficiencyinSoilsWherecopperdeficiencyhasbeenconfirmedbysoilanalysisorfielddiagnosis,whetherinplantsoranimals,itcanbecorrectedverysimplyeitherbyapplying50kgcoppersulphateperhectareintheformofafertilizerbeforesowingorbysprayingthefoliageoftheyoungcerealplants,whentheyareabout150mmhigh,with750gramscoppersulphate(dissolvedinfrom400to2,000litreswater)perhectareThesoilapplicationhasgenerallygiventhebetterresultsandhastheadvantagethatitmayhavearesidualeffectformorethantenyearsThefoliarapplicationhastobegivenannuallytoeachcropAnalternativeistoaddacoppercontainingslag(normallyabout1%to2%copper)atarateofatonnetothehectare[Notefromsoilmineralscom:50kgperhectareofcoppersulfateworksouttoabout56ppmofelementalcopper]CorrectionofCopperDeficiencyinAnimalsAmethodofcorrectingcopperdeficiencyinlivestockistotreatthesoilonwhichanimalsgrazeForexample,inAustraliaandNewZealandswaybackinlambsisbeingpreventedbytopdressingcopperdeficientpastureswith5to10kgcoppersulphateperhectaresometimebeforelambingbeginsOthermethodsincludedrenchingperiodicallywithacoppersulphatesolution;incorporatingcoppersulphateinsaltandotheranimallicks;orbywhatisprobablythemostgeneralmethod,incorporatingcoppersulphatealongwithothermineralsandvitaminsintheformofcarefullyblendedsupplementsinthefeedingstuffsStimulationofGrowthforFatteningPigsandBroilerChickensTheinclusionofuptoasmuchas01%coppersulphateinthedietofbaconandporkpigsandbroilerchickensstimulatesappetiteandproducesincreasedgrowthratewithamarkedimprovementinfeedconversionAmolluscicideforthedestructionofslugsandsnails,particularlythesnailhostoftheliverflukeAlllikelyhabitatsoftheliverflukesnailshouldbetreatedwithcoppersulphateattherateof25kgtothehectareatleasttwiceayearinJuneandAugust(northernhemisphere)orDecemberandFebruary(southernhemisphere)EndofinfofromCDAwebsite TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20131ZincFirstwehearfromArdenAndersen,whothinkszincisoverusedinagriculture:Zincisanessentialcomponentofmanyenzymesinthedehydrogenase,proteinase,andpeptidasegroupsItisaminorcatalystforsulpomagandcopperandiscorrelatedcloselywithcopperandactivenutrientsystemsZinchelpstomakeaceticacidintheroottopreventrotting;itisusedtocontrolblightandallowsdeadtwigsontreestoshedoffPerceivedzincdeficiencyisoftenonlysymptomaticResearchhasindicatedthatknownsoilzincdeficienciesresultinsymptomsofplantzincdeficiencyonlyabout50%ofthetimeZincismuchoverusedandpromotesthegrowthofmanyweedspeciesAndersenScienceinAgriculturep238AndnextfromGaryZimmer,whoappearstobeabigfanofZinc,particularlyforcorn/maize:Zinccontributestotestweight,increasedcornearsize,promotescornsilking,hastensmaturity,chlorophyllformation,enzymefunctions,regulatesplantgrowthZimmerTheBiologicalFarmerp109[Zimmeralsowritesthatzincis"essentialforcornstarters"andrecommends5lbs/acreof35%zinctosupplyacorncropandbuildsoillevels]AndafewmoreexpertsweighinonZinc:CharlesWalterssaysthatZinc"mayactintheformationofchlorophyll[]Itcertainlystimulatesplantgrowthandpreventstheoccurrenceofmottledleafincitrus,whitebudincorn,andotherdisorders"Hefurtherstatesthat"Plantsdorequireitinthe3100ppmrange"andregardinganimalhealththat"Anexcessofzincmeansdecreasedcopperavailabilityandinterferencewithutilizationofcopperandiron,bringingaboutanemiaAzincexcessalsoshowsupasbaldpatchesandskindisorders(roughskin),adeficiencyiscreatedbyexcessofcalciumZincisabsolutelyessentialforproductionofspermItalsoincreasestheneedforvitaminA"WaltersEcoFarmp366Nowawordfromthemoremainstreamguys:"zincuptakebyplantsdeclinesaspHincreases[]HighlevelsofphosphorusinsoilshasbeenknowntointensifyzincdeficiencyinanumberofcropsTheexactcauseofthezincphosphorusantagonismhasbeendifficulttodeterminethezincphosphorusantagonismoccursoncalcareous[highcalcium]soilsandmayberelatedtoironavailability"FothandEllisSoilFertilityp142Theyalsoshowanincreasefrom42to199bushelsperacreofpeabeansononefieldaftertheadditionof25lbs/acreofzinc,quitetheboostHere'safunonefromaninterviewwithKlaasMartensinGraemeSait'sNutritionrules"weneedtoliftourzinclevelsasourphosphoruslevelsincreaseWealwaysneedtousezincwithourstarterfertilizersAtonetime,ourconsultantsuggestedthatwehadazincdeficiency,simplybydrivingpastoneofourfieldsHedidn'tneedasoiltest,becausethepresenceofmilkweedwasanindicatorofazincshortageWe'veactuallyseenthemilkweeddisappearaswehaveslowlycorrectedthezinc"TheareaofSouthcentralWashingtonstateknownasthePalouseisoneoftheworld'sgreatwheatgrowingregionsWhenitwasfirstbrokentotheplowtheproductionwastremendous,butbythe1920sithadfallendramaticallyTheproblemturnedouttobezinc TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20132insufficiencyZinciseasilywatersoluble,andthisfactcombinedwithlowinitialreservesofzincinmanysoilshasmadezincdeficiencycommonItwasalsooneoftheearliesttracemineraldeficienciesdiscovered,anditssometimesdramaticeffectoncropyieldshasledtosomeoveruse;onebookinfrontofmeliststheresultsfromapplicationof122lbs/acreofzinc!Theresultswerequitedisappointing,understandablyBothzincandcopperarewellknownfortheirneedinanimalnutrition,andmostcommerciallivestockproducerssupplementanimalfeedwiththesemineralsForthatreason,manuresfromcommerciallivestockoperationsarefrequentlyverygoodsourcesofzincandcopper(andsometimesboron)Theproblemwiththesemanuresourcesofmineralsisthatonedoesn'tknowhowmuchtheyaregetting,orwhatelsetheymaybegettingthattheydon'twantMovingontothehumannutritionaspect,theadulthumanbodycontainsabout2400milligramsofzincZincismostconcentratedinthemaleprostateandsemenThenextmostconcentratedtissuesaretheretinaoftheeye,theheart,spleen,lungs,brain,andadrenalglandsBecauseofzinc'sroleinRNAandDNAsynthesisandintheformationofmanyenzymes,zincdeficiencyleadstoslowhealingofwoundsInsomehospitaltestszincsupplementsledtosurgicalincisionshealinginonehalfthe"normal"timeZincisimportanttonormalinsulinactivity,thefunctionsoftasteandsmell,normalimmunefunction,proteindigestion,andtheformationofbonesandteethasitisacofactorofalkalinephosphataseFallonandEnig,inNourishingTraditions,callzincthe"intelligencemineral"Itisgenerallymoreeasilyabsorbedfromanimalproductsthanfromplantsandalthoughgrainsmaycontainsignificantzinc,thatzincmaybeboundupbythephytatesinthegrain'souterportionManytraditionalpeoplessoakedandsproutedseedsandgrainsbeforecookingthem,apracticethatreducesoreliminatesthismineralbindingbyphytatesFallonandEnigadd"Evenaminorzincdeficiencyinpregnantanimalsresultsinoffspringwithdeformities,suchasclubfeet,cleftpalates,domedskullsandfusedandmissingribsInhumans,zincdeficiencycancauselearningdisabilitiesandmentalretardation"Someoftheotherhumannutritionalandhealthproblemsassociatedwithzincdeficiencyareacne,boils,psoriasis,gastriculcers(zincisneededtoformdigestiveacids),cataracts,hypertension,infertility,lossoforpoorfunctioningofthesensesofhearing,taste,andsmell,weakmuscles,andfatigueThebrilliantBritishresearcherMarkPurdey,inhisgroundbreakingworkwithmadcowdiseaseandchronicwastingdisease,foundinaworldwidesurveythatbothmadcowandCWDwerestronglyassociatedwithsoilsthathadverylowlevelsofzincandcopper,combinedwithhighlevelsofmanganeseandsometimeshighlevelsofstrontiumandsilverInthoseconditionscopperinthemelaningranules,whicharetransmittersofoutsideinformationtothebrain,maybereplacedbymanganesewithdisastrousresultsInotherwords,neithermadcowdiseasenorchronicwastingdiseasearecausedbyinfectiousmicrobes,butaretheresultofamineralimbalancePurifiedSourceSulfurSZincZnZincsulfate1H2O1735Zincsulfate7H20**1122**HighlysolubleinH2O TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20133IronIronissecondonlytoaluminuminthelistofabundantmetalsItmakesupabout5%oftheearth'scrust,soitisrarelyabsentfromsoils,althoughitmaynotbepresentinanavailableformForgardensoilweliketosee50200ppmofirononastandardsoiltestAbove250ppmmayindicatesomethingoutofbalanceWhatdoesirondointheplant?ParaphrasingArdenAndersen,"Irondrawsenergytotheleafbyabsorbingheatfromthesun;itmakestheleafdarker,thusabsorbingmoreenergyItwillincreasethewaxysheenofthecropIronisnecessaryforthemaintenanceandsynthesisofchlorophyllandRNAmetabolisminthechloroplastsItincreasesthethicknessoftheleaf,[which]increasesnutrientflowgeometrically,resultinginaproductionincreasegeometrically"ScienceinAgriculturep236IronisneededbynitrogenfixingbacteriaSoironisagoodthing,inmostcasesBelowwehaveacoupleofdifferentviewsonjusthowgooditisandhowmuchwewant:BothironandmanganesebecomelessavailableatpH7andaboveandintheabsenceoforganicmatterandwaterTheseconditionsarefoundinsomearidpartsofthewesternUnitedStatesHighcalciumsoilsalsotendtohavelowavailableiron,particularlyiftheyarealsolowinorganicmatterInacalcareoussoil,mostofthepotentiallyavailableironistightlyboundtoorganicmatterSomeplantrootshavebeenshowntohavetheabilitytoobtainironfromthesesourcesbychemicallyreducingferriciron(Fe+++)toferrousiron(Fe++)Highphosphorussoilsmayalsohavelowavailableiron,asanyfreeironwillchemicallybindtofromironphosphateCorrectinganirondeficiencymaybedifficultbecausetheproblemisnotalackofironinthesoil,butthatitischemicallyboundLoweringthepH,ifpractical,isthesurestmethodFoliarironspraysarealsoeffectiveFothandEllisSoilFertilitypp146147Here'sanexcerptfromaninterviewwithGaryZimmer"InourdairyworkwearelookingatphosphorusasakeyelementWewantphosphateuptakeforsugarsandenergyanddigestibilityandplanthealthIfIhavehighironinmysoils,usuallyfromovertillage,excessiveuseofcausticmaterialsortoomuchnitrogenuse,I'mnothappyOnadairyfarm,IscreamandholleriftheybuyasinglepoundofcommercialnitrogenIftheybuynitrogen,IwanttoknowwhyTheyhadbetterusetheirmanuresandalfalfaandrotation,becauseIdon'twantironbuildupsIronbindswithphosphatewithintheplantManypeoplewhodon'tfeedcattledon'tnoticethisdifferenceYousee,thephosphorusmaybeintheplant,butwhenyoubindittoiron,itbecomesunavailableIronhasatriplepositivechargeandphosphorushasatriplenegativecharge,sotheywillbondveryeasilyIfyourfeedishighiniron,thenthecowisstarvedforphosphorusWearefanaticalabouttryingtogetourirondown,justsowehavebetterphosphateavailabilityInhighironsoilsIdon'tthinkoursoiltestsgiveanaccurateideaofphosphateavailabilitytotheplant"[emphasisadded]GraemeSaitNutritionRulespp187188GaryZimmerworksmostlywithneutraloralkalinepHsoilsintheupperMidwesternUS,andwedon'tknowoffhandwhatheconsidershighironTheinfoabovebringsupsomeinterestingquestionsaboutironsupplementsingeneral, TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20134don'tyouthink?Iwonderwhatconnectiontheremightbebetweenthehighironintakerecommendedforwomenandhighincidencesofosteoporosis?FallonandEnighavethistosayaboutonetypeofironsupplementation"Recently,researchershavewarnedagainstinorganicironusedtosupplementwhiteflourInthisform,ironcannotbeutilizedbythebodyanditsbuildupinthebloodandtissuesisessentiallyabuildupoftoxinsElevatedlevelsorinorganicironhavebeenlinkedtoheartdiseaseandcancer"NourishingTraditionsp44CharlesWaltershasthistosayaboutsignsofirondeficiencyinplants"Whenirondeficiencyisserious,theentireleafwillturnyellow,leavingonlytheveinstostandoutlikeroadmapsChlorosis(whiteleavesthatshouldbegreen)ispossibleeveninthepresenceofironLimecancomplexiron,andyetinthehumanbeingcalciumandcoppermustbepresentforirontofunctionproperlyInordertofreeiron,thefarmermustcomplexcalciuminthiscase,andthismeansusingeitherironsulfatesorironchelates,orsubstitutingaproperfoliarblend"EcoFarmp196Atsoilmineralscomwehaveseldomseenasoiltestthatshowedalackofironandasweoftenareworkingwithgardensandfieldsofafewacresandsmaller,ourapproachistobringthepHdownbelow7whichwillmakeiron(aswellastheothercations)moreeasilyavailableThealternative,ifonecannotlowerthepHwithmineralsbecauseofsize,expense,highlycalcareoussoils,orotherconstraints,istoincreasethebiologicalactivityinthesoilAsnotedaboveintheexcerptfromFothandEllis'SoilFertility,inacalcareoussoilmostoftheironistiedupwithorganicmatterIncreasingtheorganicmattercontentofsuchsoilswillprovidemoreholdingpointsforiron,andincreasingthebiologicalactivity,throughtheadditionorseedingofbeneficialbacteriaandfungi,shouldmakemoreFeavailabletotheplantsJerseyGreensand(Glauconite)isalsoagoodsourceofIron,averagingaround7%FeManysourcesofrockdust(crusherdust)arealsohighinIronPurifiedSourceSulfurSIronFeFesulfate1H2O1830Fesulfate7H20**11520**HighlysolubleinH2O TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20135MANGANESEManganeseissynergisticwithiron;theyworktogetherinbiologyinwaysthatarenotwellunderstood,butwedoknowthattheyneedeachotherGoodsteelmusthavesomemanganeseinittoimparttoughness,andthatmanganeseinthesteelalsoabsorbsoxygenduringthesteelmakingprocessPerhapsthisisacluetothebiologicalrelationshipsofMnandFe,inthatthemanganesemayslowtheoxidationrateofironinlivingthingsWeatSoilMineralscomliketoseeabout1partmanganeseto2partsirononsoiltestresults,uptoabout50ppmmanganeseLevelsabove50ppmmaybetoohigh,particularlyifthesoilisdeficientincopperandzincInwet,acidsoilsbelowpH5orsothatnaturallycontainhighamountsofmanganese,solublemanganesecanreachlevelsthataretoxictoplantrootsTheremedyfortheseconditionswouldbetodrainthesoilbetter,or,ifthecroprequiresawet,acidsoil(egcranberries),theremedywouldbetoincreasewaterflowthroughthesoil,asmorewaterwillbringmoreoxygen,whichwillprecipitatetheexcessmanganeseinaninsolublestateArdenAndersencallsmanganese"theelementoflife",andsaysthatmanganese"bringstheelectricalchargeintotheseed,creatingthemagneticforcetodrawtheotherelementsintotheseed"(ScienceinAgriculturep236)InEcoFarm,Walterscreditsmanganesewithaidingtheoxidaseenzymeincarryingoxygen,andenteringintotheoxidationandreductionreactionsneededincarbohydratemetabolismandinseedformation;morecluesthatmanganesehasastrongconnectionwithoxygenRegardingmanganeseinanimalnutrition,Walterstellsusthatanexcessofmanganeseincreasestheneedforiron,whileamanganesedeficiencyresultsinlegdeformitiesincalves,eggsnotformedcorrectly,degenerationoftesticles,offspringborndead,anddelayedheatperiods,andalsosaysthatanexcessofcalciumandphosphorusmayleadtoamanganesedeficiency(EcoFarmp366)WedefinitelyknowthatmanganeseisnecessaryforthedevelopmentofviableseedsThemostcommonandobvioussignofmanganesedeficiencyisinthealmondfamilyPeaches,nectarinesandapricotswithsplitopenpitscontainingashriveledseedaretheprimeexampleDanSkowhassomeinterestinginsightsonthisfromtheCareyReamsschoolofthought:"IfthereisnoManganeseintheseed,itwillswellupandrot[ratherthansprouting]Manganesehasahighatomicweight,549380,meaningithasmorepowerthannutrientsinthesurroundingsoil[Manganese]putsintoplaythemagnetismnecessarytodrawnutrientsintotheseedtofeeditanditsemergingrootsystemWhenthereisashortfallformanganese,theentirefertilityprogramhastobeadjustedtocreateenoughenergytopullmoremanganese"(MainlineFarmingforCentury21p59)Skowrecommendsafoliarsprayofmanganesemixedwithphosphoricacidtoeasilycorrectmanganesedeficiencyproblems,andtellsusthatmanganeseiswhatisneededtoensureregularpecancropswithfilledhullsMovingontohumannutrition,ElsonHaastellsusthatmanganeseisanessentialpartofthesuperoxidedismutaseenzymefoundinthemitochondria,theenergyfactoriesinthecellsManganesealsoactivatestheenzymesnecessaryforthebodytousebiotin,thiamine(B1),vitaminC,andcholine(StayingHealthywithNutritionp207)SallyFallonwritesthatmanganeseis"neededforhealthynerves,ahealthyimmunesystemandbloodsugarregulationalsoplaysapartintheformationofmother'smilkandinthe TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20136growthofhealthybonesDeficiencymayleadtotremblinghands,seizures,andlackofcoordinationExcessivemilkconsumptionmaycausemanganesedeficiencyascalciumcaninterferewithmanganeseabsorptionphosphorusantagonizesmanganeseaswell(NourishingTraditionsp44)ManganesecanalsobequitetoxicIthasbeen(likelystillis)usedasafluxorantioxidantcoatingonarcweldingrods,andsomelongtimeweldershaveendedupwithchronicandacutesymptomsmuchlikethoselistedaboveformanganesedeficiency:tremblinghandsandotherindicationsthatappearidenticaltoParkinson'sdiseaseManganese,wesee,aswellasbeingnecessary,canbetoxic,especiallyindietsorsoilsthataredeficientincopper,zinc,andperhapsironTheparagraphbelowwasalreadypostedaboveunderzinc,butbearsrepeating:ThebrilliantBritishresearcherMarkPurdey,inhisgroundbreakingworkwithmadcowdiseaseandchronicwastingdisease,foundinaworldwidesurveythatbothmadcowandCWDwerestronglyassociatedwithsoilsthathadverylowlevelsofzincandcopper,combinedwithhighlevelsofmanganeseandsometimeshighlevelsofstrontiumandsilverInthoseconditionscopperinthemelaningranules,whicharetransmittersofoutsideinformationtothebrain,maybereplacedbymanganesewithdisastrousresultsInotherwords,neithermadcowdiseasenorchronicwastingdiseasearecausedbyinfectiousmicrobes,butaretheresultofamineralimbalancePurifiedSourceSulfurSMangMnMnsulfate1H2O*1932*VariesinsolubilityinH2O TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20137BORONBoronisoneoftherarestelements,andoneofthemostmysteriousItisabsolutelyessentialforcalciummetabolism,butnooneseemstoknowitsmethodofactionAnoftenheardphraseintheecoagriculturefieldis"Calciumisthetruck,butboronisthedriver"Thisreferstotheconceptthatcalciumisthetransporterofnutrientsintoandoutofthecells,butitcan'tdoitsjobunlessboronispresentThereareapparentlyonlytwocommerciallyviableborondepositsintheworld,oneinTurkeyandoneintheMojavedesertofSouthernCalifornia(Note:Sincewritingthis,theauthorhaslearnedthatChileannitrateisalsoagoodsourceofBoronSeethechapteronMinorMineralsinthisbookformoreinfoonChileannitrate)Boroniseasilyleachedoutofsoils,sohigherrainfallareasareoftendeficientInfrontofmeisamapoftheUSAshowingborondeficiencyareasEssentiallyitshowseverythingeastoftheMississippiRiverasborondeficient,aswellasthePacificNWasfarsouthastheSanFranciscoBayandasfareastascentralMontanaHere'sCharlesWaltersonboron:"Plantsmusthaveboron,againinthetracerangeTextsquote2to75partspermillionasbeingessential,butnotethatplantsvaryintheirrequiredamountsaccordingtospeciesBoronisquitelethaltoseedswhenusedinthesaltform"(EcoFarmp136)2to75partspermillionisahugerangeAtsoilmineralscomwewouldbeveryconcernedtoseeavailableboronabove5ppmOurgeneralruleis1partofboronto1000partscalciumMoreonboronfromWalters'EcoFarm:"BoronisrequiredsothatcalciumcanperformitsmetabolicchoreItisessentialinseveralothermetabolicprocessesitpreventssuchabnormalitiesascrackedstemincelery,internalcorkinapples,blackheartinbeetsandturnips,yellowingofalfalfaleavesWhenborondeficiencyisaproblem,deathoftheterminalbudisacommonsymptomLateralbudscontinuetoproducesideshoots,butterminalbudsonthesesideshootsfadeawayRebranchingmayoccur,butthemultibranchedplantwilltakeontheappearanceofarosetteIncauliflower,headsfailtomatureproperlyandremainsmallReddishbrownareasbecomeevidentTerminalbudstakeonalightgreencolorrootcropsareaffectedbybrownheart,darkspots,orbysplinteringandcrackingatthemiddleinspuds[potatoes],sweetpotatoes,radishes,carrotsBoronisrequiredfortranslocationofsugar,andthismeansborondeficiencycanbespottedasasugardeficiencyImportantasitis,a100bushelcropofcornrequiresonly4ouncesofboronatonofalfalfarequiresonlyasingleounceboronregulatesfloweringandfruiting,celldivision,saltabsorption,hormonemovementandpollengermination,carbohydratemetabolism,wateruse,andnitrogenassimilationInmostsoilsboronis[found]ashighlyinsolubletourmaline,thesupplybeingsomewherebetween20and200poundsperacreIttakeslifeinthesoiltodrawonthisbankaccount,andtheCreatorhassuppliedthislifeintheformofmicroorganismspecieswhichsimplyhavetohaveborontoliveByusingthenutrientthemselvesandthencontributingtheirbodiestothesoil'sfertilityload,microorganismschangeboronintoanorganicformWhendryweatherhits,microorganismsinsoilwithouttilthandstructuregodormantThismeanstheboronsupplyiscutoffGenerallyspeakingthereismoreboroninthesubsoilandrootsdigdeeperforbothmoistureandforthisveryessentialnutrientToomuchboronwillrestrictgrowth,causeplantstoexhibitthatsicklypalegreencolor TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20138sometimesmistakenfornitrogendeficiency,presideoverrootdeteriorationandpooryieldInshort,eitherashortageormarkedimbalanceofboronwillsetupaplantforinsectandfungalattack"Importantstuff,BoronItalsohasseveralmoreesotericusesandconnections,suchasremediationofradiationpoisoningAccordingtoanotherCharlesWaltersbook,MineralsfortheGeneticCode(basedontheworkofDrRichardOlree),boroncontrolsallthe+3chargesinthehumanbody,anditiseasilydisplacedbyaluminum,losingthreeboronmoleculestoeveryonealuminummoleculeFurthermore"BoronhastheabilitytoabsorbradiationandreleaseitwithoutchangingtheneutronTheheartisthemostactivepartofthebodyforwhichreasonborondefendstheheartThestoryhasbeentoldthatSoviettruckdriverswereofferedbonusestodeliverborontotheChernobylsite,thiswiththeknowledgethattheirtripwouldbefatal,butfamilieswouldbepaidNonerealizedthat,fortifiedwithboron[themselves],theycouldhavemadetheirdecisionwithimpunityBoronstoppedthe"ChinaSyndrome"fromoccurringinRussia"[ednote:asisoftenthecase,WaltersisbeingabitobscurehereHeappearstobestatingthatlargequantitiesofboronweredumpedonthenuclearpileatChernobyltostoptheoutofcontrolnuclearreaction,andthatifthetruckdrivershadswallowedsomeofthatborontheywouldhavebeenprotectedfromradiationexposure]ContinuingthequoteonboronfromMineralsfortheGeneticCode:"Boronisknownasthecalciumhelperandforthemetabolismofcalcium,magnesiumandphosphorusBoronimprovesretentionofbothcalciumandmagnesiumandelevatescirculationofserumconcentrationsoftestosterone"Boronworksinthebodytowardbrainfunction,activatesvitaminD,promoteselectricalbrainactivity,enhancesmemory,andpromotesalertnessSignsofpossibledeficiencyincludeADD/ADHD,osteoporosis,arthritis,fatigue,decreasedmotorfunction,decreasedshorttermmemory,decreasedbrainfunction,andincreasedlossofcalciumandmagnesiumintheurine"Asifallthatwasn'tenough,boronintheformofboricacidisoursafestandmosteffectiveantcontrol,andisusedinmanyareastotreatwoodingroundcontactfromantandtermitedamage,aswellasbeingusedtofireproofcelluloseinsulationandasafluxforsolderingandbrazingmetal20MuleTeamBorax,availableinthelaundrysoapsectionofmostgrocerystores,isapureandnaturalminedproductcontainingabout10%boronItisverysuitableforgardenuseinsmallquantities7ouncesof20MuleTeamBoraxper1000squarefeetequalsapproximately1partpermillionofboronTakeiteasyAsnotedabove,aborondeficiencycanbeinducedsimplybydrysoilDon'taddboronwithoutasoiltestthatindicatesaneedforit12ppmperyearisthemaximumwerecommendAtSoilMineralscomweuseeitherSolubor,aconcentratedSodiumboratethatis20%B,orregular20MuleTeamborax,suchasisusedforlaundry20MuleTeamboraxis9%BBotharewatersolubleandeasilyusedforsoilapplications,fertilizermixes,orfoliarfeedingSourceBoronB%Borax**9Solubor™**205**HighlysolubleinH2O TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20139ReferencesCitedand/orUsedfortheaboveessaysonCopper,Zinc,Iron,Manganese,andBoron:(InNoParticularOrder)EcoFarmbyCharlesWaltersandCJFenzauAcresUSA1996SoilChemistry2ndEditionbyBohn,McNeal,O'ConnorWileyInterscience1985ScienceinAgriculturebyArdenAndersenAcresUSA2000MainlineFarmingforCentury21bySkowandWaltersAcresUSA1995StayingHealthywithNutritionbyElsonHaasCelestialArts1992NutritionandPhysicalDegenerationbyWestonAPricePricePottengerNutritionFoundation1939/2004BiologicalFarmer,thebyGaryFZimmerAcresUSA2000SoilFertilitybyFothandEllisJohnWileyandSons1988NutritionRulesbyGraemeSaitSoilTherapyPtyLtd2003ChemistryMadeSimplebyHess(revbyThomas)Doubleday1984MineralsfortheGeneticCodebyCharlesWalterswithDrRichardOlreeAcresUSA2006NourishingTraditionsbySallyFallonwithMaryEnigNewTrends2001RandomHouseDictionaryoftheEnglishLanguage2ndEditionUnabridgedFlexnerandHauckedRandomHouse1987HighlyRecommendedReadingMosttitlesareavailablefromAcresUSAwwwacresusacomSoilFertilityandAnimalHealthbyWilliamAAbrechtEcoFarm:anAcresUSAPrimerbyCharlesWaltersScienceinAgriculturebyArdenAndersenTheBiologicalFarmerbyGaryFZimmerHandsOnAgronomybyNealKinseyTheNonToxicFarmingHandbookbyPhilipWheelerandRonaldWardNutritionRules!GuidelinesfromtheMasterConsultantsbyGraemeSaitNutritionandPhysicalDegenerationbyWestonAPriceNourishingTraditionsbySallyFallonBreadfromStonesbyJuliusHenselParamagnetismbyPhilCallahanMarschner'sMineralNutritionofHigherPlantseditedbyPetraMarschner TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20140IntroductiontoVariationinMineralCompositionofVegetablesbyBear,Toth,andPrinceRutgersUniversity,NewJersey,USA1948ItisamarkofshameonnutritionalandagriculturalsciencethatthisisthemostcompleteandoneoftheonlycomparisonsofthemineralvaluesinourfoodplantsastheyrelatetovarioussoilsItspublicationin1948marksthehighpointofhealthbasedagriculturalresearch;fromthenonthequantityoverqualityindustrialmodelofagriculturetooktheleadingroleandsoil,plant,animal,andhumanhealthhavesincebeenlargelyignored(seechapter1ofTheIdealSoil)Thisisaclassicandimportantstudy,notonlyforthedataregardingmineralcontentofvegetablesgrowninvarioussoilsandindifferentUSstates,butbecauseitconfirmsathencenturyolddictumofJustusvonLiebig,thefatherofmodernsoilmineralscienceLiebigstatedinthe1840sthat:"thespeciesofoneandthesamefamilywillcontainthesamenumberofbasicequivalentscombinedwithvegetableacids"VonLiebig’sprincipleisrestatedinthispaperas:“Underuniformconditionsforgrowth,exceptforlimitedvariationsintherelativeamountsoftheseveralcationsinthenutrientmedia,thesumoftheCa,MgK,andNa,expressedinmilliequivalentsperunitweightofdrymatter,isaconstantforanygivenplantvariety”Whatthismeans,essentially,isthateachplantspeciescouldbesaidtohaveitsown“cationexchangecapacity”,andthesumofthevariouscationsthathavebecomepartoftheplanttissuewillhaveanequalbasesaturationpotential(Seechapter2ofTheIdealSoil,CationExchangeCapacity)EachplantvarietywillabsorbacertainamountofbasecationnutrientsandnomoreIfthesoilistoohighinPotassium,ahighlymobileelementthatplantsabsorbreadilyandeasily,theymaybecomesaturatedwithKandhavenoroomforCalciumorMagnesiumTheauthorsalsonotethatthemajoranionsSulfur,Chlorine,PhosphorusandNitrogenappeartohavethesamesortofsumtotallimitsofanionsaturation,pointingouttheexampleofasoilwithahighlevelofavailablenitrateinhibitingphosphateuptakeinthecropThetotalamountofcationsandanionspresentintheplantwillnaturallydeterminethepHoftheplantanditssapOncetheoptimumcation/anionconcentrationandsappHisattained,whichformostplantsispH64,nofurthercationsoranionsarereadilytakenupexceptforgrowthofnewtissue TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20141TheaboveexamplesmayhavesignificantimpactonthenutritionalvalueofcropsToday’sfertilizationpracticesoftenoversupplyNitrogenandPotassiumasbothgiveastronggrowthandyieldresponse,butifonewantstogrowandmaintainstrongbonesandteeth,oneneedshighlevelsofCalciumandPhosphorusintheirfood,nothighlevelsofNitrogenandPotassiumInthe1939classicbookNutritionandPhysicalDegeneration,DrWestonAPriceshowedrepeatedlythatisolatedpopulationsofhumanseatingtheirtraditionaldietconsumedabout5timesasmuchCalciumandPhosphorusasthoseonamoderndietofindustriallygrownprocessedfoods,andhadnoneofthemodernproblemswithtoothdecayandweakbonesTothosewhohavestudiedthewritingsofWilliamAlbrechtontherelationshipsbetweenclimate,soildevelopment,andnutritionitisapparentthatagoaloftheauthorswastoprovidestatisticalevidencetobolsterAlbrecht’sobservationsthatthenutritionandhealthofthepopulationoftheUSAdeclinesasonegoesEastfromthecentralstatesasaconsequenceoftheleachingoutofessentialmineralelementsduetohighrainfalloveraperiodofmanycenturiesThisismostapparentinTable1,whichshowsthat100%offarmersintheEastcoaststateswereusingfertilizer,averageusebeing1500lbs/acre,whileonly39%ofthefarmersinColoradousedfertilizer,andtheiraverageusewasonly200lbs/acreTable3showsthattheamountofmajornutrientcationswassignificantlyhigheracrosstheboardinthosecropsfromtheEastnorthcentralstatesandColorado,despitethoseareasusingonaverageonly1/3to1/7asmuchfertilizerAninterestingpointaboutthisstudyisthatithasbeenmisusedandmisinterpretedasacomparisonofthemineralnutritioninorganicversuschemicallygrowncropsEvenacasualreadingwillshowthatitisnosuchthing,butratheracomparisonofthenutritionalvaluesofvariousvegetablesgrownondifferentsoilsinseveralUSstatesAttachedattheveryendofthepaperisa1991statementfromJosephRHeckmanoftheCropScienceDeptofRutgersUniversitythatmakesthispointclearWilliamAAlbrecht’sessay“OurTeethandOurSoils”isfirstonthelistofcitationsattheendofthethesisbelowWhatadifferentworlditcouldhavebeen,butinsteadherewearesixtyyearsontryingtopickupthepiecesofrealcropsciencewhileatthesametimedoingdamagerepaironthreescoreyearsofshortsightedgreedbasedexploitationandpoisoningofouragriculturalsoilsWehadbestbeuptothechallengeastherewon’tlikelybeanothersuchchanceMichaelAsteraEditedMarch11,2014 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20142AdaptedfromtheoriginalpaperatRutgersUniversityCooperativeExtensionServiceandtheinvaluableagriculturalreferencewebsitewwwsoilandhealthorgVariationinMineralCompositionofVegetables1FIRMANEBEAR,STEPHENJTOTH,andARTHURLPRINCE2INTRODUCTIONThepercentagesofashandofeachconstituentintheashofanygivenspeciesofplantareknowntovarywidelyTheyvarywiththevarietyandwiththeageoftheplantandtheenvironmentalconditionsunderwhichitwasgrownAsSimsandVolkhavepointedout(9)3,suchvariationisofconsiderablesignificancetoanimalsandman,sincethesecreaturesdependuponplantsformostofthemineralmattertheyrequireRecentstudiesofplantashhaveconfirmedLiebig'scenturyoldconcept(5)that"thespeciesofoneandthesamefamilywillcontainthesamenumberofbasicequivalentscombinedwithvegetableacids"Thisprinciplewouldnowbestatedasfollows:Underuniformconditionsforgrowth,exceptforlimitedvariationsintherelativeamountsoftheseveralcationsinthenutrientmedia,thesumoftheCa,MgK,andNa,expressedinmilliequivalentsperunitweightofdrymatter,isaconstantforanygivenplantvarietyRecognitionthatthisprincipleappliesinplantswasdelayedbecausechemistshavelongbeenreportinganalysesofplantashintermsofpercentagesoftheconstituentelements,ratherthanastheirequivalentsWithinrecentyears,however,anumberofworkershavepresentedtheirdatainequivalentform,andtheprinciplehasbeenadequatelyconfirmed(2,6,7)Thehighestdegreeofconstancyisfoundintheterminalleaves(10)AlthoughCaisthedominantcationintheexchangecomplexofnormalagriculturalsoils,itsrateofmovementintotheplantisrelativelyslowincomparisonwiththatofKThus,inanexperimentwithalfalfa(3),itwasfoundthat,withaCaKequivalentratioof32:1intheexchangecomplexofthesoil,theratioofthesecationsintheplantswhichgrewonthatsoilwasonlyalittleover3:1ThistendencyofplantstotakeupKissuchthatmuchlargeramountsofitareoftenabsorbedfromthesoilthanarerequiredforoptimumcropyieldsWhenthisoccurs,theabsorptionofCa,Mg,andNaiscorrespondinglyreducedThismaybetothedisadvantageoftheconsuminganimalandtomanTheprincipleofconstancyalsoappearstoapplytothemineralanionsinplantsForexample,Nightingalepointedout(8)thatapplicationofnitrateresultsinthereductionofphosphateuptakeinpineapplesWhensoilfumigantswereemployedandtheammoniaformsofnitrogenwerenotchangedtonitrateforaconsiderableperiodoftime,phosphateabsorptionwasincreasedInaseriesofalfalfaplantsthatweregrowninourgreenhouseunderstandardizedconditions,exceptforwidevariationsintheindividualanionvaluesinthenutrientmedia,thesumsoftheN,S,Cl,andPabsorbed,perunitofdrymatter,wereessentiallyconstantItshouldbenotedinthisconnectionthatthepHvaluesofthenutrientmediawerekeptuniformThisisimportantinbothcationandanionstudiesthathavetodowiththispointPercentagesofashandsummationvaluesareknowntobesubjecttowidevariations,dependingupontheextenttowhichthedilutionfactorofcarbohydrateproductionoperatesTheytendtobeconsiderablyhigherintheirrigatedaridandsemiaridregionsthaninthemorehumidregionsThisisinconformitywithAlbrecht'sconceptofhighcarbohydrateversushighproteinandmineralvegetationregionsoftheUnitedStates(1)ItisapparentfromtheforegoingthatthemineralcationandanionvaluesinplantsareanexpressionoftheenvironmentinwhichtheplantsweregrownTheenvironmentalfactorsthatseemtoexertthegreatestinfluencearesoiltype,fertilizerpractice,andclimate TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20143WidevariationinthesethreeenvironmentalfactorsisreadilyfoundasoneproceedsfromsouthtonorthandfromeasttowestintheUnitedStatesAnopportunitywasrecentlyprovided4toobtainsamplesofvegetablesfromalineofstatesextendingnorthwardfromGeorgiatoNewYork(LongIsland)alongtheAtlanticCoastandfromanotherlineofstatesthatextendedasfarwestasColoradoItisthepurposeofthispapertopresenttheresultsofastudyofthemineralcompositionofthevegetablessoselectedSamplesofcabbage,lettuce,snapbeans,spinach,andtomatoeswereobtainedfromcommercialfieldsofthesecropsinGeorgia,SouthCarolina,Virginia,Maryland,NewJersey,NewYork(LongIsland),Ohio,Indiana,Illinois,andColorado5Thetotalnumberofsamplesexaminedwas204Thecollectinghadtobedoneduringthemidsummermonths,andthismadeitimpossibletoobtainsamplesofallfivecropsfromall10statesFortunately,samplesofsnapbeansandtomatoesweretakenfromeverystateThisreport,therefore,dealsprimarilywiththefindingsonthesetwocropsBountifulsnapbeansandRutgerstomatoeswerechosenforcollectingandmostofthesamplesbelongedtothesetwovarietiesSofaraspossible,thecabbage,lettuce,andspinachsampleswereconfinedtotheGoldenAcre,GrandRapids,andSavoyvarieties,respectivelyAllsampleswerecollectedatthestageofgrowthwhentheywerebeingharvestedformarketFieldcollectionwasfollowedbyasrapidtransportationtothelaboratoryaspossibleOnlytheedibleportionswerepreparedforanalysis,theouterleavesofcabbageandlettucebeingdiscardedAllsampleswererinsedincolddistilledwaterThetomatoeswererubbedalsowithacleanclothThesamplesweredriedinahotairconvectionovenattemperaturesrangingbetween70and80ºCSamplesofthevegetableswerewetashedwithamixtureofnitricandperchloricacidsandmadeuptovolumeAliquotswerethenanalyzedforthemajornutrientelementsbystandardprocedures,includingtheuseoftheflamephotometerfordeterminingCa,K,andNaAnothersamplewasdryashedatbetween600and700ºCandanalyzedfortheminormineralnutrientelementsbytheuseofaspectrograph6ThesoilsinvolvedintheeasterncoastalplainstateswereoftheTifton,Bladen,Orangeburg,Portsmouth,Norfolk,andSassafrasseriesThesebelongtothepodzolicgroup,includingboththeredyellowandthegraybrownzonesTheyhaveallbeendevelopedfromcoastalplainmaterialsandhavebeenthoroughlyleached,theyhaverelativelylowexchangecapacities,andtheycontainonlyverylimitedsuppliesofmineralnutrientsThesoilsinvolvedintheeastnorthcentralstateswereoftheWooster,Miami,Crosby,Brookston,Clarion,andWebsterseriesThefirstfouraremembersbelongingtothegraybrownpodzolicgroup,whichhavebeendevelopedonglacialdrift,someofwhichwasofacalcareousnatureThoseofthelasttwoseriesareprairiesoils,whichhavebeendevelopedfromcalcareousglacialdriftTheColoradovegetableswereobtainedfromareas,wheretheLaurel,Gilchrist,andBerthanseriespredominateThesesoilsbelongtothebrownandplanosolgroups,andareunderirrigationfarmingTheyarehighincalciumcarbonateandinavailablemineralnutrientsAsBeesonhaspointedout(4),fertilizingandlimingpracticesinfluencethemineralcompositionofplantsConsequentlyitseemeddesirabletomakeasurveyofthesepracticesasemployedonthefieldsfromwhichthesampleswereselectedThedatafromthissurveyaresummarizedinTable1ItisimportanttonotetherelativelyhighratesatwhichfertilizerisappliedinthecoastalplainstatesascomparedtotheratesemployedfartherwestIntheeastnorthcentralstateslessdependenceisplacedonfertilizersandgreateruseismadeofcloversodsandmanureOnlyrelativelysmallamountsoffertilizerareusedinColorado TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20144TABLE1FertilizerpracticesinstateareasfromwhichvegetablesampleswereobtainedFarmersusingfertilizer(%)Amountfertilizerperacre(lbs)Quantities(nutrientsperacre)Farmersusingsidedressings(%)N(lbs)P2O5(lbs)K2O(lbs)Easterncoastalstates10015009012012050*Eastnorthcentralstates405002060505**Colorado392002540105***Usuallynitrateofsodaoradditionalcompletefertilizer**Somecarrierofnitrogen TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20145Dataontheashandmineralcationcontentof46samplesofsnapbeansand67samplesoftomatoesareshown,statebystate,inTable2SummaryvaluesforallfivevegetablesaregiveninTable3Notebymastera:ApparentlytheunitsusedtomeasurecationsinthechartbelowaremilliequivalentsofH+StateSnapbeansTotalcationsTomatoesTotalcationsAshCaMgKNaAshCaMgKNaGeorgia65014538351713105877860329857301276SCarolina62623032944822102982075304857351271Virginia5981702555091795184470337972221401Maryland649205362560081135700140148882041174NewJersey662240436488391203814130214831221197NewYork6342553956453013258951451731074131405Ohio8533054527111714909101352631018131426Indiana6593054606751314539181502801018221470Illinois773265436706131420859138280960131391Colorado76829048556504134411541503371110081605SnapbeansTomatoesHighest1045405600997861420230592148365Lowest40415514829100607454558800CabbageSpinachHighest10386604361483204285696020392570695Lowest61217515653708123847546984608LettuceHighest24287104931765122Lowest70116013153700*NotwooftheseextremevaluesareforthesamesampleThus,forsnapbeansthehighestCa,Mg,K,andNavalueswerefoundinColorado,Colorado,Indiana,andNewYork,respectivelyTABLE2AverageashandnutrientcationcontentofsnapbeansandtomatoesandhighestandlowestindividualvaluesfortheseandthreeothervegetablesTherateofuseoflimeincreasesfromGeorgianorthwardtoNewJerseyItvariesconsiderablyfromfarmtofarmintheeastnorthcentralstatesNolimewasusedontheColoradofarms TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20146TABLE3Averagepercentagesash,andmacronutrientsindrymatter*offivevegetablesgrownoneasterncoastalplainsoilsandoneastnorthcentralstatesandColoradosoilsSnapbeansTomatoesCabbageLettuceSpinachEasterncoastalstatesEastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoEasterncoastalstatesEastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoEasterncoastalstatesEastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoEasterncoastalstatesEastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoEasterncoastalstatesEastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoAsh638763808959864777963133423632861Ca043058020027059070046087130157Mg045055030035035032035043130183K212259356396271264355485738734Na005002005003020007017004046078P025025024030028022034032037030*Thepercentagesdrymatterinthefreshvegetablesaveraged8,6,7,5,and10forsnapbeans,tomatoes,cabbage,lettuce,andspinach,respectivelyAfterconsiderationofthestateaverageandsummaryvalues,inconjunctionwiththeindividualvaluesforthe204samplesofallfivevegetables,ofwhichonlytheextremesareshownatthebottomofthetable,thefollowingconclusionsweredrawn:1Ash,Ca,andcationequivalentvaluestendtoincreasefromsouthtonorthandfromeasttowest2Kvaluestendtoincreasefromeasttowest3Mgvaluestendtoincreasefromnorthtosouthandfromeasttowest4Navaluestendtodecreasefromeasttowest7 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20147TABLE4Averagephosphorusandminornutrientcontentofsnapbeansandtomatoesandhighestandlowestindividualvalues*fortheseandthreeothervegetablesPinpercentageandminorelementsinpartspermilliondrymatterStateSnapbeansTomatoesPBMnFeMoCuCoPBMnFeMoCuCoGeorgia0271424830512002025861070110003SCarolina02717911004130050271041190111006Virginia028122168011700502773590221001Maryland0221230750211012019105970116004NewJersey025257880614003024971130220008NewYork02316207405900602311287012604Ohio0271514773016006027303960312002Indiana0242071305014003029124520514006Illinois02519712934300050301221792027003Colorado02616413043240060251342650524011SnapbeansTomatoesHighest0367360227816902603536681,9381353063Lowest02210210013000016511000000CabbageSpinachHighest03842139424148015052881171,5845632025Lowest01872200004000027121190005020LettuceHighest043371695164560019Lowest022619003000*SeenoteatbottomofTable2TheP,B,Mn,Fe,Mo,Cu,andCocontentofthesamesamplesofsnapbeansandtomatoesfromall10statesareshowninTable4Studiesofthesestateaveragevalues,inconjunctionwiththe204individualvalues,ofwhichonlytheextremesareshownatthebottomofthetable,permitofthefollowingconclusions:1Pvaluesarerelativelyconstantfromstatetostate,buttheindividualvaluesforeachvegetablevarybetweenwideextremes2B,Fe,Mo,Cu,andCovaluestendtoincreasefromeasttowest3MnvaluestendtodecreasefromeasttowestWidevariationswerefoundfromregiontoregioninthepercentageashandofeachoftheindividualmineralnutrientelementsintheash TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20148WidevariationswerefoundinthecationsummationvaluesThisistobeexpected,sincetheenvironmentalconditionsunderwhichtheplantshadbeengrownwereverydissimilarSpinachwasnotablyhighinashVariationsinK,Na,B,andFevaluesweregreatestinthisplantTheKvaluesvariedbetween1005and331%,theNavaluesbetween160and002%,theBvaluesbetween88and12ppm,andtheFevaluesbetween1584and19ppm8SpinachappearedtobeanaccumulatorofbothMoandCoTomatoesshowedthegreatestvariationinCa,Mg,andCuTheCavaluesvariedbetween040and009%,theMgvaluesbetween072and014%,andtheCuvaluesbetween46and0ppmSnapbeansgrowninOhio,Indiana,Illinois,andColoradowerenotablyhighinMoTheaverageMovalueforthefoureastnorthcentralstatesandColoradowas39ppm,incomparisonwith04ppmforthesixcoastalplainstatesThehighestMovalue,241ppm,wasfoundinasampleofIndianacabbageLettuceandspinachweretwoexceptionsinthegeneraltrendofhigherMnvaluesintheeasternstatesthanintheeastnorthcentralstatesandColoradoTheexplanationforthisprobablyliesinthefactthateasternsoilsareusuallywelllimedforthesecropsOftentheyareoverlimedThelowestMnvalue,06ppm,wasfoundinasampleoflettucefromNewJersey,andthehighest,161ppm,inasamplefromIndianaColoradovegetables,incomparisonwiththosefromtheotherninestates,wererelativelyhighinCo,Mo,Cu,andCaintheorderindicatedTheyweremoderatelyhighinK,Mg,Fe,andB,intheorderindicatedTheywereaboutaverageinP,relativelylowinMn,andverylowinNaTheKcontentofColoradovegetableswasnotashighrelativelyasonemightexpectTheexplanationforthisisfoundinthefactthatthesoilsofColoradoarerelativelyveryhighinCaandMg,aswellasinKItisimportanttonotealsothatliberalapplicationsofK,intheformoffertilizersandmanures,aremadetothelandintheeastandsouthinpreparationforgrowingvegetablesThisisinmarkedcontrasttotheverysmallratesofapplicationofsuchmaterialsinColoradoSUMMARYANDCONCLUSIONSTwohundredandfoursamplesofcabbage,lettuce,snapbeans,spinachandtomatoeswereanalyzedfortheircontentofash,Ca,Mg,K,Na,P,B,Mn,Fe,Mo,Cu,andCoThesesampleswerechosenfromGeorgia,Virginia,SouthCarolina,Maryland,NewJersey,NewYork(LongIsland),Ohio,Indiana,Illinois,andColoradoWidevariationswerefoundinthemineralcontentofvegetablesofthesamevarietyAsh,Ca,andcationequivalentvaluestendedtoincreaseandMgvaluestodecreasefrom TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20149southtonorthAsh,cationequivalent,Ca,Mg,K,B,Fe,Mo,Cu,andCovaluestendedtoincreasefromeasttowestNaandMnvaluestendedtodecreasefromeasttowestPvaluestendedtoberelativelyconstant,butwideindividualvariationswerefoundinthesamevarietyofvegetableThegreatestvariationsinK,Na,B,andFevalueswerefoundinspinachThegreatestvariationsinCa,Mg,andCuvalueswerefoundintomatoesSnapbeansfromOhiowestwardwererelativelyveryhighinMoColoradovegetables,incomparisonwiththosefromtheotherstates,wererelativelyhighinCo,Mo,Fe,Ca,K,Mg,Cu,andB,intheorderindicated;aboutaverageinP;andrelativelylowinMnandNaLITERATURECITED1ALBRECHT,WmAOurteethandoursoilsAnnDent,6:19921319472BEAR,FIRMANE,andPRINCE,ARTHURLCationequivalentconstancyinalfalfaJourAmerSocAgron,37:21722219453andTOTH,STEPHENJInfluenceofcalciumonavailabilityofothersoilcationsSoilSci,65:697419484BEESON,KENNETHCThemineralcompositionofcrops,withparticularreferencetothesoilonwhichtheyw'eregrownUSDAMiscPub,No36919415BOUSSINGAULT,JBRuralEconomyTranslationbvGeorgeLawNewYork:OrangeJuddp6418656HARMER,PAULM,andBENNE,ERWINJSodiumasacropnutrientSoilSci,60:13714919457LUCAS,RE,andSCARSETH,GDPotassium,calciumandmagnesiumbalanceandreciprocalrelationshipsinplantsJourAmerSocAgron,39:88789719478NIGHTINGALE,GORDONTThenitrogennutritionofgreenplants11BotRev,14:18522119489Sims,GT,andVOLK,GMCompositionofFloridagrownvegetablesFlaAgrExpStaBul438194710WALLACE,ARTHUR,TOTH,STEPHENJ,andBEAR,FIRMANEFurtherevidencesupportingcationequivalentconstancyinalfalfaJourAmerSocAgron,40:80881948 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20150Misquotesin"VariationinMineralCompositionofVegetables"AstudyconductedatRutgersUniversity(Bearetal,1948)isfrequentlymisquotedasevidencesupportingthepositionthatorganicallygrownvegetablesaresignificantlysuperiorinmineralsandtraceelementstoconventionallygrownvegetablesInreviewingtheoriginalpublication,onecanclearlyseethatthiswasnottheintentionofthestudynordoesitgivesupporttothispremiseThepurposeofthestudywastocomparethemineralcompositionofvegetables"asoneproceedsfromsouthtonorthandfromeasttowestintheUnitedStates"Samplesofcabbage,lettuce,snapbean,spinach,andtomatoewereobtainedfromcommercialfieldsofthesecropsandanalyzedformineralcompositionAtotalof204sampleswereexaminedThevegetablessampledwereusually,butnotalways,ofthesamevarietyTheauthorsreported,inatable,therangeinmineralconcentrationashighestandlowestvaluesobservedamongthevegetablessampledThesehighestandlowestvalueshavebeenmisrepresentedasvegetablesgrownorganicallyandinorganically,respectively,invariousorganicfarmingandhealthfoodnewsletters,whichcitethereport(copiesofthemisquotesareavailableonrequest)Theauthorsdiscussedtheinfluenceofsoiltype,fertilizerpractice,andclimateontheobserveddifferencesinmineralcompositionThestudyonlyprovidesageneralsurveyoftheirpossibleinfluenceanddidnotcomparesyntheticfertilizerandorganicpracticesReceived11Mar1991JOSEPHRHECKMANCropScienceDeptRutgersUnivNewBrunswick,NJ08903ReferencesBear,FE,SJToth,andALPrince1948VariationinmineralcompositionofvegetablesSoilSciSocAmProc13:380384ReprintedfromtheSoilScienceSocietyofAmericaJournalVolume55,No5,SeptemberOctober1991677SouthSegoeRd,Madison,WI53711USA TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20151PrimitiveDiets:WestonAPrice’sfindingsonthedailyintakeofthemajornutrientsCalcium,Magnesium,Phosphorus,andIronamongisolatedgroupsconsumingtraditionalfoods,1939FollowingaresomeexcerptsfromNutritionandPhysicalDegeneration,alongwithatablecompiledfromdatainthesamebook,showingtheamountsofmajornutrientsthatPricemeasuredinthetypicaldietsoftheseisolatedgroupsNotesinbrackets[]arebymastera~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~InWAPrice'sNutritionandPhysicalDegeneration,pp274276hewrites:"Itwillthereforebenecessaryforanadequatenutritiontocontainapproximatelyfourtimestheminimumrequirementsoftheaverageadultifallstressperiodsaretobepassedsafely""Ifweuseasabasistheabilityofindividualstoremovehalfofthemineralspresenteventhoughtheirbodiesneedmorethanthis,wewillbemoregenerousthantheaverageindividual'scapacitywilljustifyThiswillrequirethatwedoubletheamount,asspecifiedforminimumbodyusebytheUnitedStatesDepartmentofLabor,bureauofLaborStatistics,intheirBulletinR409,thatis,forcalcium068grams;forphosphorus132grams;foriron0015gramsThefiguresthatwillbeused,therefore,arefortwicetheaboveamounts:136gramsofcalcium,264gramsofphosphorus;0030gramsofironItisofinterestthatthedietsoftheprimitivegroupswhichhaveshownaveryhighimmunitytodentalcariesandfreedomfromotherdegenerativeprocesseshaveallprovidedanutritioncontainingatleastfourtimestheseminimumrequirements"*********Priceindicatesabovethatthefiguresheisusingare2xthe1930sUSDepartmentofLaborrecommendations,whichwere:Ca=1360mgP=2640mgFe=30mg2008USDARDAs(RecommendedDailyAlllowances)areCa=1300mgP=1250mgFe=27mg(notethatthesearethemaximumRDAsfromallcategoriesoftheUSDAchart)IfweusePrice'sminimumsforCalciumof1360mgx51weget6936mgCaForPhosphorus,2640mgx54=14256mgWhointoday'sworldisgetting7gramsofCalciumandover14gramsofPhosphorusperday?Howdoesonemanagethatona2000caloriediet?IwouldsuggestthatthisPlevelcouldonlybeachievedwiththesortofsoilphosphate(P2O5)levelsthatCareyReamsrecommends,ie2xpotash(K2O)formostcropsand4xpotashforgrassesandlegumes TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20152ComparisonofMineralNutrientsinTraditionalDietsasaMultipleof2xUSLaborDeptRecommendations[1930s][AsIinterpretPrice'swordsabove,hedoubledtheminimumrecommendationsoftheUSDL,thencalculatedhowmanytimesmorenutrientstheseisolatedpopulationswereconsuming,iewhereitsaystheEskimosweregetting5xasmuchPhosphorus,theywereactuallygetting10xtheUSDLminimumrecommendations]GroupCalciumMagnesiumPhosphorusIronCopperIodineFatsolublevitaminsEskimos54x79x5x15x18x49x>10xNCanadianIndians584358271588>10SwissAlps37252231>10OuterHebridesGaelics21132310>10ECoastAustralianAborigines461762506>10NZMaori6223469583>10Melanesians5726464224>10Polynesians5628572186>10PeruCoastalIndians661365451>10PeruAndesIndians513355293>10CentralAfricanCattleTibes7519182166>10CentralAfricanAgriculturalTribes34544116610Average51x136x54x174x>10xCalciumMagnesiumPhosphorusIronFatSolubleVitamins"Alloftheaboveprimitivedietsprovidedalsoalargeincreaseinthewatersolublevitaminsoverthenumberprovidedinthedisplacingmoderndiets"TablecompiledfromdatainWAPriceNutritionandPhysicalDegeneration1939pp274276 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20153CalculatingTotalCationExchangeCapacityTCECThesimplestformulaforcalculatingCECisppmCa+ppmMg+ppmK+ppmNa=CECinmeq200120390230TheformulaabovecanbeusedasisforcalculatingtheCECofsoilsofpH>7butonlywhenusingtheresultsofanAmmoniumAcetatepH82testSeeChap9MostsoilswithapH<7willhaveotherbasecationsbesidesCa,Mg,K,andNaoccupyingnegativeexchangesites,forinstanceammoniumNH4+,Fe+Cu+,alongwithacidicionssuchasH+andAl3+Ifwedon'tknowhowmuchoftheexchangecapacityisoccupiedbyotherbasesandH+,wewillnotbeabletoestimatethetrueCECofthesoilAtsometimeduringthe1960s,'70s,or'80s,unknownresearchers,probablyworkingatBrooksideLaboratoriesinOhio,developedamodificationoftheformulaabovethatallowedthemtomakeacloseestimationoftheseotherbasesandacidiccations,usingcorrectionfactorsbasedonthepHofthesoilCECcalculatedinthiswayiscalledTotalCationExchangeCapacity,TCEC,becauseitincludesanestimateoftheamountsofothercationsheldonexchangesitesExperiencehasshownthattheBrooksideformulaforcalculatingTCECisveryaccuratewhenappliedtosoilshavingapH<7usingtheresultsofaMehlich3testTheBrooksideLabsformulaforcalculatingTotalCationExchangeCapacity:ppmCa*+ppmMg*+ppmK*+ppmNa*200120390230X100=TCEC100(otherbases+exchangeableH+)OtherBases:=0ifsoilpH>70=114pHifsoilpH>61<70=174(2xpH)ifsoilpH>30&<61=133(6xpH)ifsoilpH>22&<3=174(2xpH)ifsoilpH<22ExchangeableHydrogen:=0ifpH>70=(7pH)x15ifpH>60&<70=195(30xpH)ifpH>5&<60=145(20xpH)ifpH>40&<50=105(10xpH)ifpH>30&<40=93(6xpH)ifpH>22&<30=155(25xpH)ifpH<22 TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20154TheBrooksideTCECformulamaylookabitcomplexatfirst,butwewillbreakitdownintosimplepiecesppmCa*+ppmMg*+ppmK*+ppmNa*200120390230X100=TCEC100(otherbases+exchangeableH+)Ifyouhavereadchapter2onCationExchangetheelementsandnumbersaboveshouldbefamiliarInthetoppartoftheequation,thelabresultsinppmforthemajorcationsCa,Mg,K,andNaareeachbeingdividedbytheamountinppmthatwouldbeneededtosaturate100%oftheexchangesitesonasoilwithaCECof11meqCa=200ppm,1meqMg=120ppmetcIfCa,Mg,K,andNaweretheonlycationspresent,theCECofthesoilwouldsimplybethesumofthoseresultsForexample,imagineourlabresultsshow200ppmCa,120ppmMg,390ppmK,and230ppmNaCa200ppm/200=1meqMg120ppm/120=1meqK390ppm/390=1meqNa230ppm/230=1meqTheCECwillbe1+1+1+1=4meq,andthebasesaturation%ofeachcationwillbetheamountreportedbythelabtestdividedbytheamountneededtosaturate100%oftheexchangesitesinasoilwithaCECof4meq:Ca200ppm/(4x200)=025or25%Mg120ppm/(4x120)=025or25%K390ppm/(4x390)=025or25%Na230ppm/(4x230)=025or25%Ourimaginarytestnumberswereexactlytheamountneededtosaturate1meqofcationexchangecapacityforeachbasecationAddedtogethertheyindicateaCECof4meq,witheachoneofthesebasecationsfilling25%oftheCEC TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20155Next,thesamecalculationsdoneusingthenumbersfromthesoiltestthatwehavebeenworkingwiththroughoutthebook:Usingthe“Found”numbersfromthistableforthefirstpartofourTCECcalculation:Ca1250ppm200=6250Mg116ppm120=0967K89ppm390=0228Na26ppm230=0113625+097+023+011=756CECThisnumberiswhatmanylaboratorieswouldreportfortheCECofthesoilsample(SomelabsandagronomytextsonlyincludeCa,Mg,andKinthecalculations,notNa)Thesoilreportwehavebeenworkingwithsaysourexchangecapacityis114meqWhythedifference?BecausethereareothercationsfillingexchangesitesinthissoilWeneedtocalculatehowmuchoftheTotalCECistakenupbytheseothercationsThat’swherethedivisorintheTCECequationcomesintoplay;weneedtotakethe756numberwefoundaboveanddivideitby:100(otherbases+exchangeableH+)Hereishowthe“otherbases”arecalculated:%OtherBases:=0ifsoilpH>70=114pHifsoilpH>60f&<70=174(2xpH)ifsoilpH>30&<60=133(06xpH)ifsoilpH>22&<3=174(2xpH)ifsoilpH<22ElementResultsCationExchangeCapacityCECmeq114pHofSoilSample558PrimaryCationsCalciumCa++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit15501250300CaBaseSaturation6070%550%MagnesiumMg++ppmDesiredFoundDeficit16411648MgBaseSaturation1020%85%PotassiumK+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit1788989KBaseSaturation25%20%SodiumNa+ppmDesiredFoundDeficit392613NaBaseSaturation15%10% TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20156OurpHis558,whichis>(greaterthan)30and<(lessthanorequalto)61Weusethenumbersfromthesecondrowabove:174(2x558pH)or1741116=624Soweknowthat“otherbases”equal624%ofCECNextweneedtocalculateexchangeableHydrogenH+:%ExchangeableHydrogen:=0ifpH>70=(7pH)x15ifpH>60&<70=195(30xpH)ifpH>50&<60=145(20xpH)ifpH>40&<50=105(10xpH)ifpH>30&<40=93(6xpH)ifpH>22&<30=155(25xpH)ifpH<22OurpH,558,is>5and<60Weusethefiguresfromrow3above:195(30x558)or1951674=276AtpH558,theCECwillbesaturated276%withH+and624%withotherbasesFillingintheblanksweget:100%(624%otherbases+276%exchangeableH+)100%3384%=6616or662%662%oftheCECofthissoilissaturatedwithCa,Mg,K,andNaions,338%withotherbasesandexchangeableHydrogenBacktothefirstnumberwecalculatedfromthetoplineoftheformula,756Wewanttoknowwhatnumber756is662%of:756/662=0114Next,wetakethatnumberx1000114x100=114TCEC114istheTotalCationExchangeCapacity;itincludesanyothercationsheldontheexchangesitesThatnumberiswhateverythingelseonthesoilreportandonTheIdealSoilchartiscalculatedfromandinreferencetoIfwehadjustusedthe756figurewecameupwithfirst,whichmanylabsandagronomistsdo,assumingthatis100%ofCEC,ourbasesaturationnumberswouldlooklikethis: TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20157Ca:1250ppm/(756x200)=827%Mg:116ppm/(756x120)=128%K:89ppm/(756x390)=30%Na:26ppm/(756x230)=15%Notethattheseaddto100%UsingthecorrectlyadjustedTCEC,114meq,ourpercentagesare:Ca:1250ppm/(114x200)=548%Mg:116ppm/(114x120)=85%K:89ppm/(114x390)=20%Na:26ppm/(114x230)=10%Notethattheseaddto663%ofbasesaturationInsteadofCECof756meq,thissoilhasaTCECof114meq,50%higherUsingthefirstnumbers,wewouldthinkthissoilwashighinCaat~83%saturationandhadanalmostidealamountofMgatabout13%,insteadofthetrueCasaturationof553%andMgsaturationof86%IfyourfavoritesoiltestinglabisnotusingthismethodtocalculateCECyoumightconsideraskingthemtostartusingitontheteststheydoforyouAttheveryleastitwouldbeagoodideatocheckthelab'sCECandCa%numbersagainsttheCECyouarriveatusingtheTCECformula TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20158EstimatingNitrogenReleaseENRfromSoilOrganicMatterandProteinMostplantavailableNitrogeninnaturalsystemscomesfromthebreakdownofsoilorganicmatterSoilOrganicMatter(SOMorOM)maybedefinedas“theorganicfractionofthesoilexclusiveofundecayedplantandanimalresidues”Whichmeansfreshlyfallenandundecayedleaves,straw,animalremains,andlivingthingsdon’tcountaspartofthesoilorganicmatterAnythingoncelivingbutnowintheprocessofdecomposingcanbeconsideredpartoftheSOMThesoilreportwehavebeenworkingwithinTheIdealSoilHandbookshows56%OMWeassumethatthetop6to7inches(1517cm)ofsoilweighs2000000lbs/Acreor2000000kg/hectare,writtenas2000000#inthisbook2000000#x0056=112000#organicmatterTheusualassumptionisthatSOMcontains5%Nitrogenbyweight,sohowmuchNispotentiallyavailableinthissoil?112000#x005=5600#NitrogenMostcropsneedaround80to100#ofNduringagrowingseason;somesuchascorn(maize)willusealotmoreifitisavailable,upto300#ItwouldseemwehaveplentyofpotentialNinthissoil,butofcoursenotallofthatorganicmatterisgoingtobreakdownandbecomeavailablequicklySoiltemperature,pH,mineralbalance,availablemoisture,andbiologicalactivityaswellastheadditionofotherNsourcesarethecontrollingfactorsforhowrapidlytheOMbreaksdownandhowmuchNisreleasedduringthecrop’sgrowingseasonUSDeptofAgriculturefiguresestimatethat15to25#(average20#),ofNarereleasedforgrowthpurposesperyearforeach1%OMintemperateclimatesOur56%OMcontentshouldgiveus20#x56%OM=112#ofNThatshouldbeplentyformostcrops,iftheotherfactorsliketemperatureandmoisturecooperateInsoilswithapHbelow6orabove8,orheavydensesoilsthathaveahighamountofMagnesiumandlittleOxygen,wewouldexpectlessSoilswithaperfectcationbalance,sufficientnutrientanionslikeSulfurandPhosphorus,abundanttraceminerals,andstrongbiologicalactivitycouldprobablysupplydoublethatamountormore,anddoitwithoutlesseningtheOMorNreservesbecausethesoilmicrobeswouldbe“fixing”asmuchormoreNfromtheatmosphereastheplantsweretakingup TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20159ForthoseinterestedinsomemoreprecisecalculationsofENR,herearesomeequationsthatcorrelatethesoilOM%withNreleaseTheiroriginalsourceisunknown,butourbestguessisthatliketheTCECformulasdiscussedelsewheretheyoriginatedfromWilliamAlbrecht’scollaborationwithBrooksideLaboratoriesEstimatedNitrogenRelease“units#”(lbs/acreorkg/ha)=20+[(OM%–05)x40]ifOMis<1%=40+[(OM%–1)x20]ifOM>1%and<3%=80+[(OM%–3)x10]ifOM>3%and<5%=100+[(OM%–5)x5]ifOM>5%and<10%=125+[(OM%–10)x05]ifOM>10%and<20%=>130lbsofNifOM%is>20%Let’strythisformulawithour56%SOMnumberfromthesoilreport,usingthefourthlineabovebecause56%is>(greaterthan)5%and<(lessthan)10%:100+[(56–5)x5]or100+(06x5)=103#ENR;lessthanourpreviousroughestimateof112#WhathappensifwecalculateENRusingthe“ideal”4%SOM,>3%and<5%?80+[(4–3)x10]or80+(1x10)=90#ENREstimatingNitrogenReleasefromSeedMealsandAnimalByproducts:ThestandardmethodofestimatingtheNitrogencontentofproteiniscalledtheKjeldahlmethodThisempiricalfactorisbasedonaNitrogencontentinproteinof16gNper100gofprotein100/16=625TheconversionisappliedbothwaysIfoneknowstheNcontent,thatNnumberismultipliedby625togettheestimatedproteincontentIftheproteincontentisknown,theproteinnumberisdividedby625ormultipliedby016togettheestimatedNitrogencontentForexample:15%protein/625=24%N15%proteinx016=24%N24%Nx625=15%protein TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20160DealingwithExcess:AlkalineandHighSodiumSoils,andWhenThereisAlreadyTooMuchWehavethesametoolstoworkwithwhetherthegoalistobalanceanoutofbalanceacidicsoil,tolowerthepHofalkalinesoilsortoreclaimsoilsthataretoohighinSodiumorothersaltsOurtoolsaretheelementsCalcium,Magnesium,Potassium,andSulfur,andthe“universalsolvent”H2O,waterThegoalisalwaystogetthesoil’sexchangesitestoletgooftheelementwedon’twantandreplaceitwiththeelementwedowantThequestionbecomes,whichelementswillreplacewhichotherelements?Therearethreefactorsinvolved:1Soilexchangesiteshaveahigheraffinityfordivalent(double++charged)cationelementslikeCa++andMg++thantheydoformonovalent(single+charged)elementslikeK+andNa+MgandCawillhaveastrongerattractiontonegativeexchangesitesandtendtoreplaceNaandKonexchangesitesbecausetheyhavetwicethe+chargeasNaandKdoThesecondfactorinvolvedis:2AnelementwithasmallerhydrationradiuswillreplaceonewithalargerhydrationradiusWhena+cationisfreeinthesoilitwillattractfreeH2Owatermolecules;thatiscalledhydrationThesmallertheatomicsizeoftheionthelargerthediameteroftheclusterofwatermoleculesitwillattractWhy?Becausethewatermolecules(whichhaveaslightnegativepolarityononeside)willclusterinathicklayeraroundthesmallerion,butinathinnerlayeraroundalargerionofthesamechargeTheCalcium++ionhasanatomicnumberof40andislargerthantheMagnesiumion,atomicnumber24Becausetheybothhavethesame++chargetheymayattractthesamenumberofwatermolecules,butthosewatermoleculeswillformasmallerdiameterclusteraroundthelargerCa++ionthanaroundthesmallerMg++ionForthesamereason,thesizeoftheion,thesmallerSodium+ion(atwt23)willformalarger(thicker)clusterofwatermoleculesthanthelargerPotassium+ion(atwt39)TheybothhavethesamechargeandbothwilltendtoattractthesameamountofH2Omolecules,butthoseH2Omoleculeswillforma“thicker”clusteraroundthesmallerNa+ionthanaroundthelargerK+ion TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20161Herearethesizes(radii)ofthesecationsinAngstromunits(Å)(AnAngstromunitis10‾10metersor00000000001meters,or000000000357inchesElementNonhydratedHydratedPotassiumK+26676SodiumNa+190112Calcium++198192Magnesium++130216Thesizeofthehydratedions,inincreasingorder,isK+Mg>K>NaCalcium++willreplaceMagnesium++whichwillreplacePotassium+whichwillreplaceSodium+ThisholdstruewhenthereareequalconcentrationsoftheionsThethirdfactoraffectingionadsorbtionis3Thehighertheconcentrationofagivencationinthesoil/watersolution,themoreitwilltendtodisplaceothercationsfromexchangesitesIfwepourasolutioncontaining50ppmeachofCa,Mg,K,andNaontosoilwith50emptyexchangesites,theexchangesiteswillfirstattractandholdaCalciumion,butastherebecomefewerCalciumionsinsolution,theMagnesiumionconcentrationincreasesandMgwillstarttofillsomesitesAstheMgispulledoutofsolution,KwillbenexttobeattractedandheldIfwewanttoreplaceKwithMg,forinstance,wewouldwanttoprovideagreaterconcentrationofMginthesoilsolution TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20162AlkalineSoils(abovepH7)Inanacidsoil,onewithapHbelow7,someoftheexchangesiteswillbeoccupiedbythe“acidic”cationHydrogenH+RecallthatinthetermpHtheHstandsforHydrogenpHisthemeasureoftheratioofHydrogenH+ionstohydroxideOHionsAwatersolutionthathasmoreH+thanOHionsisacid;iftherearemoreOHionsthanH+ions,itisalkalineAtpH7,H+andOHareequallybalancedWearetalkingaboutreplacingorexchangingcations,+chargedions,onthesoilcolloidAsoilwithapHof6willhavearound15%ofthecationexchangesitesoccupiedbyH+ionsInasoilwithapHof7,allofthenegativeexchangesiteswillbefilledbycationsotherthanH+TheH+concentrationontheexchangesitesatpH7andaboveis000%Balancingthenutrientcationsinanacidsoilisrelativelystraightforward:simplyreplacesomeoftheH+ionswiththenutrientcationsthatwewishtoseeIfthesoilhasa60%Calciumsaturationandwewanta70%Calciumsaturation,weaddenoughCa++toraisethesaturation10%Thismayneedtobedoneafewtimesastheprocessisnot100%efficientbutitwillworkAsoilwithapHof8isadifferentstoryTherearenoH+ionstoreplace;addingmoreCa++willonlymakethesoilmorealkalineWhattodo?WeneedtouseanacidifieralongwiththecationbasethatwewishtoreplaceThatacidifierisSulfur,eitherintheformofelementalSulfurS,orcombinedwithoneofourcationnutrientsasasulfate:CalciumsulfateCaSO4,MagnesiumsulfateMgSO4,orPotassiumsulfateK2SO4WhichoneweusewilldependonthepresentlevelofSulfurinthesoilandofcourseonwhichelementwewishtoraiseorlowerRecallfromtheIdealSoilChartthatformostcropswewantSulfurStobearound50%ofIdealPotassiumKIfIdealKis200ppm,Sulfurshouldbearound100ppmIfoursoiltestsayswehaveonly50ppmS,thenweknowthatwecanadd50ppmSandstillbewithintheIdealrangeInanysoil,wesimplylookatthelevelofSandtheleveloftheNutrientcationthatwewishtoaddorchangeIfthesoilislowinMgandS,wewouldaddMagnesiumsulfate;ifitislowinKandSwewouldusePotassiumsulfateIfithasadequateorexcessiveSwewouldnotusethesulfateform,wewouldusetheoxideorcarbonateform,egCalciumcarbonateorMagnesiumoxideInanalkalinesoilthathadtoomuchMagnesiumorPotassiumorSodium,ourchoiceswouldbelimitedtousingeitherelementalSulfurSorCalciumsulfateCaSO4,commonlycalledgypsumIfanalkalinesoilalreadyhadplentyofCalcium,wewouldchoosepureelementalSulfur,or90%Sagriculturalsulfur TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20163AlkalinesoilscandofinewithmuchhigherlevelsofCalciumthanareconsideredidealforamoreacidsoil80to85%Calcium,8to10%Magnesium,and4to6%PotassiumisagoodcationbalanceforsoilswithpH>72OnewayoflookingatthiswouldbetosaythatthepercentofHydrogen+thatwouldbefoundinanacidsoilwouldbereplacedwiththesamepercentageofCalciuminanalkalinesoilIfthereisanexcessofSodiumNa,ourgoalwillbetobringtheleveldownbyreplacingNaInmostcasestheNawouldbeexchangedforCa,andtheprimarytoolwouldbegypsum,CalciumsulfateThisnextpart,abouttheusesandpropertiesofgypsum,isadaptedfromthewebsiteoftheUSAGypsumcompanyWethinkitisverywelldone,andtrusttheywon’tmindourreprintingitandpromotingtheirproductsAgriculturalGypsumUses(from:http://wwwusagypsumcom/agriculturalgypsumaspx)AgriculturalGypsum(CalciumSulfateCaSO4)isoneofthoserarematerialsthatperformsinallthreecategoriesofsoiltreatment:anamendment,aconditioner,andafertilizerPoorsoilstructureisamajorlimitingfactorincropyieldGypsumImprovesCompactedSoilGypsumcanhelpbreakupcompactedsoilSoilcompactioncanbepreventedbynotplowingordrivingmachineryonsoilwhenitistoowetThecompactioninmanybutnotallsoilscanbedecreasedwithgypsum,especiallywhencombinedwithdeeptillagetobreakupthecompactionCombininggypsumwithorganicamendmentsalsohelps,especiallyinpreventingreturnofthecompactionsGypsumHelpsReclaimSodicSoilsGypsumisusedinthereclamationofsodicsoilsWheretheexchangeableSodiumpercentage(ESP)ofsodicsoilsistoohigh,itmustbedecreasedforsoilimprovementandbettercropgrowthThemosteconomicalwayistoaddgypsumwhichsuppliesCalciumTheCalciumreplacestheSodiumheldontheclaybindingsitesTheSodiumcanthenbeleachedfromthesoilasSodiumsulfatetoanappropriatesinkThesulfateistheresiduefromthegypsumWithoutgypsum,thesoilwouldnotbeleachableSometimesanESPofthreeistoohigh,butsometimesanESPoftenormorecanbetolerated TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20164GypsumDecreasespHofSodicSoilsGypsumimmediatelydecreasesthepHofsodicsoilsornearsodicsoilsfromvaluesoftenoverpH9butusuallyoverpH8tovaluesoffrom75to78TheselowervaluesareintherangeofacceptabilityforgrowthofmostcropplantsProbablymorethanonemechanismisinvolvedCa++reactswithbicarbonateHCO3toprecipitateCaCO3andreleaseprotons(H+)whichdecreasethepHAlso,thelevelofexchangeableSodiumisdecreasedwhichlessensthehydrolysisofclaytoformhydroxidesThesereactionscandecreasetheincidenceoflimeandbicarbonateinducedirondeficiencyGypsumDecreasesBulkDensityofSoilGypsumtreatedsoilhasalowerbulkdensitycomparedwithuntreatedsoilOrganicmattercandecreaseitevenmorewhenbothareusedSoftersoiliseasiertotill,andcropslikeitbetterGypsumHelpsPrepareSoilforNoTillManagementAliberalapplicationofgypsumisagoodprocedureforstartingapieceoflandintonotillsoilmanagementorpastureImprovedsoilaggregationandpermeabilitywillpersistforyearsandsurfaceappliedfertilizerswillmoreeasilypenetrateasresultofthegypsumGypsumPreventsCrustingofSoilandAidsSeedEmergenceGypsumcandecreaseandpreventthecrustformationonsoilsurfaceswhichresultfromraindropsorfromsprinklerirrigationonunstablesoilPreventionofcrustformationmeansmoreseedemergence,morerapidseedemergence,andeasilyafewdayssoonertoharvestandmarketSeedemergencehasoftenbeenincreasedby50to100percentThepreventionofcrustingindispersivesoilsisaflocculationreactionGypsumDecreasesLossofFertilizerNitrogentotheAirCalciumfromgypsumcanhelpdecreasevolatilizationlossofammoniumnitrogenfromapplicationsofammonia,ammoniumnitrate,UAN,urea,ammoniumsulfate,oranyoftheammoniumphosphatesCalciumcandecreasetheeffectivepHbyprecipitatingcarbonatesandalsobyformingacomplexCalciumsaltwithammoniumhydroxidewhichpreventsammonialosstotheatmosphereCalciumimprovestheuptakeofnitrogenbyplantrootsespeciallywhentheplantsareyoungGypsumHelpsPlantsAbsorbPlantNutrientsCalcium,whichissuppliedingypsum,isessentialtothebiochemicalmechanismsbywhichmostplantnutrientsareabsorbedbyrootsWithoutadequateCalcium,uptakemechanismswouldfail TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20165GypsumStopsWaterRunoffandErosionGypsumimproveswaterinfiltrationratesintosoilsandalsothehydraulicconductivityofthesoilItprovidesprotectionagainstexcesswaterrunofffromespeciallylargestormsthatareassociatedwitherosionGypsumDecreasesDustErosionUseofgypsumcandecreasewindandwatererosionofsoilSeveredustproblemscanbedecreased,especiallywhencombinedwithuseofwatersolublepolymersLesspesticideandnutrientresidueswillescapefromthesurfaceoflandtoreachlakesandriverswhenappropriateamendmentsareusedtostabilizesoilGypsumhasseveralenvironmentalvaluesGypsumImprovesSoilStructureGypsumprovidesCalciumwhichisneededtoflocculateclaysinsoilFlocculationistheprocessinwhichmanyindividualsmallclayparticlesareboundtogethertogivefewerbutlargersoilparticlesSuchflocculationisneededtogivefavorablesoilstructureforrootgrowthandairandwatermovementGypsumImprovesFruitQualityandPreventsSomePlantDiseasesCalciumisnearlyalwaysonlymarginallysufficientandoftendeficientindevelopingfruitsGoodfruitqualityrequiresanadequateamountofCalciumCalciummovesveryslowly,ifatall,fromoneplantparttoanotherandfruitsattheendofthetransportsystemgettoolittleCalciummustbeconstantlyavailabletotherootsInveryhighpHsoils,enoughCalciummaynotbeavailable;gypsumhelpsmakeCalciummoreavailableGypsumisusedforpeanuts,whichdevelopbelowground,tokeepthemdiseasefreeGypsumhelpspreventblossomendrotofwatermelonandtomatoesandbitterpitinapplesGypsumispreferredoverlimeforpotatoesgrowninacidsoilssothatscabmaybecontrolledRootrotofavocadotreescausedbyPhytophthoraispartiallycontrolledbygypsumGypsumImprovesSwellingClaysGypsumcandecreasetheswellingandcrackingassociatedwithhighlevelsofexchangeableSodiumonthemontmorillonitetypeclaysAsSodiumisreplacedbyCalciumontheseclays,theyswelllessandthereforedonoteasilyclogtheporespacesthroughwhichair,waterandrootsmoveGypsumMakesSlightlyWetSoilsEasierToTillSoilsthathavebeentreatedwithgypsumhaveawiderrangeofsoilmoisturelevelswhereitissafetotillwithoutdangerofcompactionordeflocculationThisisaccompaniedwithgreatereaseoftillageandmoreeffectiveseedbedpreparationandweedcontrolLessenergyisneededforthetillageGypsumPreventsWaterloggingofSoilGypsumimprovestheabilityofsoiltodrainandnotbecomewaterloggedduetoacombinationofhighsodium,swellingclay,andexcesswaterImprovementsof TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20166infiltrationrateandhydraulicconductivitywithuseofgypsumaddtotheabilityofsoilstohaveadequatedrainageGypsumHelpsStabilizeSoilOrganicMatterGypsumisasourceofCalciumwhichisamajormechanismthatbindssoilorganicmattertoclayinsoilwhichgivesstabilitytosoilaggregatesThevalueoforganicmatterappliedtosoilisincreasedwhenitisappliedwithgypsumGypsumIncreasesValueofOrganicAmendmentsBlendsofgypsumandorganicmatterincreasethevalueofeachotherassoilamendments,especiallyforimprovementofsoilstructureCalciumdecreasesburnoutofsoilorganicmatterwhensoilsarecultivatedbybridgingtheorganicmattertoclayGypsumCorrectsSubsoilAcidityGypsumcanimprovesomeacidsoilsevenbeyondwhatlime(Calciumcarbonate)candoforthemSurfacecrustingcanbepreventedTheeffectsoftoxicsolubleAluminumcanbedecreased,eveninthesubsoilwherelimewillnotpenetrateItisthenpossibletohavedeeperrootingwithresultingbenefitstothecropsThemechanismismorethanreplacementofacidichydrogenionswhichcanbeleachedfromthesoiltogivehigherpHHydrogenionsdonotmigraterapidlyinsoilscontainingclayItissuggestedthatthesulfatefromgypsumformsacomplex(AIS04+)withAluminumwhichrenderstheAluminumnontoxicAlsosuggestedisthatthesulfateionsreactwithIronhydroxidestoreleasehydroxylionswhichgivealimeeffecttoincreasesoilpHGypsumisnowbeingwidelyusedonacidsoilsGypsumhas17%sulfate,whichisthemostabsorbableformofSulfurforplantsGypsumMakesWaterSolublePolymerSoilConditionersMoreEffectiveGypsumcomplementsorevenmagnifiesthebeneficialeffectsofwatersolublepolymersusedasamendmentstoimprovesoilstructureAsisthecasewithorganicmatter,Calcium,whichgypsumsupplies,isthemechanismforbindingofthewatersolublepolymerstotheclayinsoilsGypsumMakesMagnesiumNonToxicInsoilshavingunfavorableCalcium:Magnesiumratios,suchasserpentinesoils,gypsumcancreateamorefavorableratioGypsumImprovesWaterUseEfficiencyGypsumincreaseswateruseefficiencyofcropsInareasandtimesofdrought,thisisextremelyimportantImprovedwaterinfiltrationrates,improvedhydraulicconductivityofsoil,betterwaterstorageinthesoilallleadtodeeperrootingandbetterwateruseefficiencyFrom25toI00percentmorewaterisavailableingypsumtreatedsoils TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20167GypsumDecreasesHeavyMetalToxicityCalciumalsoactsasaregulatorofthebalanceoftheminorandmicronutrients,suchasIron,Zinc,ManganeseandCopper,inplantsItalsoregulatesnonessentialtraceelementsCalciumpreventsexcessuptakeofmanyofthem;andoncetheyareintheplant,CalciumkeepsthemfromhavingadverseeffectswhentheirlevelsgethighCalciuminliberalquantitieshelpstomaintainahealthybalanceofnutrientsandnonnutrientswithinplantsGypsumDecreasestheToxicEffectofNaClSalinityCalciumfromgypsumhasaphysiologicalroleininhibitingtheuptakeofNabyplantsForspeciesofplantsnottoleranttoNa,CaprotectsfromtoxicityofNabutnotClGypsumKeepsClayFromStickingtoTuberandRootCropsGypsumcanhelpkeepclayparticlesfromadheringtoroots,bulbsandtubersofcropslikepotato,carrots,garlicandbeetsGypsumHelpsEarthwormstoFlourishAcontinuoussupplyofCalciumwithorganicmatterisessentialtoearthwormsthatimprovesoilaeration,improvesoilaggregationandmixthesoilEarthwormscandotheplowingfornotillagricultureSeesourceforreferences:http://wwwusagypsumcom/agriculturalgypsumaspxLeachingExcessSodiumandOtherElementsfromSoils:(MuchofthefollowingisadaptedfromSoilChemistry,2ndEdition,byBohn,McNeal,andO’Connor:WileyInterscience1985,pp255258Itisrecommendedasanexcellentreferenceforthosewhowishto“getserious”aboutsoilchemistry)ThemainrequirementinreclaimingsaltaffectedsoilsisthatsufficientwatermustpasstheroughtheplantrootzonetolowerthesaltconcentrationtoacceptablelevelsThepassageof1meter(39")ofleachingwaterpermeterofsoildepthunder“ponded”conditionsnormallyremovesaround80%ofthesolublesaltfromsoils(“Ponding”requiresbuildingadikeordamaroundthefieldtobeleached,thenfloodingitwithwaterandkeepingitfloodeduntilsufficientwaterhasdrainedthroughthesoil)Iftheleachingisdoneunderotherconditions,suchasintermittentpondingorsprinklerirrigation,thequantityofwaterneededmaybelessenedquitealot,perhapsonly1/3to1/5ofametertotalRegardlessofthemethodoramountofwaterused,itiscriticalthattheleachingwaterhassomeplacetodraintoAnotherandmoreefficientleachingmethodiscalledthebasinfurrowmethod,wherethefieldisnearlyleveledandthenplowedtoleaveaseriesofparallelfurrowsthatmeanderacrossthefieldIrrigationwaterisintroducedatthehigh TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20168sideofthefieldandallowedtoslowlyflowbackandforthacrossthefield,dissolvingsaltasitgoesWhatevermethodisused,deeppondingwithdikes,intermittentponding,sprinklerirrigation,orthefurrowmethod,solubleCalcium++ionsmustbeavailabletoreplacetheexcessSodium+ionsUsuallygypsum,Calciumsulfate,isusedforthispurposeTheCalciuminthegypsumreplacestheSodium,whichbindstotheSulfurinthegypsum,formingSodiumsulfate,andtheSodiumsulfatedrainsawaythroughthesubsoilorawayfromthefieldifthefurrowmethodisusedManysoilsinaridregionshavealayerofCalciumthathasaccumulatedinthesubsoil,calledaCalichelayerIfadeeprippingplowisavailable,thehighCalciumsubsoilmaybebroughttothesurfaceandusedfortheexchangeableionSulfurwillstillbeneeded,atarateoffrom200to600lbs/Aorkg/ha,tocombinewiththeSodiumthatisreleasedastheCalciumreplacesitontheexchangesitesTheSulfurinthiscaseisappliedaselementalS,whichshouldbemixedintothebroughtupCalichelayerandallowedtositforafewweeksinordertobeoxidizedtosulfuricacidandcombinewiththeavailableCalciumAnotherandratherstrangesoundingreclamationmethoduseshighconcentrationsofsaltwaterfromanearbyseaorsalinelakeThefieldisfirstfloodedwithfullstrengthsaltwater,andthenwithgreaterandgreaterdilutionsofsaltwater,likeso:Firstflooding/irrigation:FullstrengthsaltwaterSecondflooding:1partsaltwater,3partsfreshwaterThirdflooding:1partsaltwater,7partsfreshwaterFourthflooding:1partsaltwater,15partsfreshwaterFinalflooding:FreshwateronlyInallcases,asnotedabove,theleachedsaltsolutionmusthavesomewheretogo,eitherdeeperintothesoilor,inthecaseofthefurrowmethod,toanadjacentareathatisnotcultivatedOnefinalandslowermethodofreclaimingahighsaltsoilthatdoesnotrelysolelyoncationexchange,leaching,ordeeprippingisthebiological/botanicalmethodThefieldisplantedtosalttolerant“weeds”thathavestrong,deeptaprootswiththeabilitytopenetratethesubsoilorCalichelayersAstheseweedsgothroughtheirlifecycle,theirrootswillpiercethehardpan,andthendieoff,leavingbehindorganicmatterandvertical“drains”forthehighsaltconcentrationstodrainawaywhileatthesametimebringingupneededmineralsfromthedeepsubsoilFormoreonthistechnique,seethebookWeeds:GuardiansoftheSoilbyJosephACocannouer,availablefreeattheJourneytoForeverwebsite:http://wwwjourneytoforeverorg/farm_library/weeds/WeedsToChtml#contents TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20169The“FertileMulching”MethodforEstablishedOrchards,Vineyards,andotherPerennials:Applytherecommendedamendment/fertilitymixtotheareaundertheplant’scanopy,outtoandabitbeyondthedriplineWetthewholeareadownwell,towashtheamendmentsintothesoilOntopofthisspread½inchofqualitycompost,andifneededseverallayersofnewsprintorasinglelayerofcorrugatedcardboardtokeeptheweedsandgrassdownWetthatdownwell,thencovertheareawith3"ofmulchsuchasstraworgroundbarkThefeederrootsoftheplantwillgrowupintothenewlyfertilizedzoneWhenyouwishtoapplymorefertilizer,rakethetoppartofthemulchbackoutoftheway,beingcarefulnottodamagenewfeederroots,applythenewamendments,thenrakethemulchbackintoplaceIfrockorclayphosphatehavebeenrecommended,itisagoodideatoaeratethesoilouttothedripline,usingataperedpointdiggingbartopokeanumberofholesabout4"deepThenspreadthephosphateandotheramendmentsandirrigatewellbeforemulchingIftimeandlaborareavailable,thefertilitymixmaybepoureddirectlyintotheholesThiswillhelpgettheusuallyimmobilephosphatedeeperintothesoilAplugcuttingaeratorsuchasisusedforlawnswillalsoworkKeepthemulchdampduringthegrowingseasonifpossibleThismethodworksgreatforrevitalizingagingfruittreesAnotherMethodforFertilizingExistingOrchardsandLandscapesAnothermethodforamendingthesoilforexistingorchardsandlandscapesistopokeanumberofholes1520cm(6to8inches)deepintherootzoneusingataperedpointdiggingbar(pencilpoint)ThemineralsandfertilizersarethenmixedwithcompostorbiocharandthemixtureisusedtofilltheholesThismethodwillgettheminerals,especiallythepoorlysolubleones,downintotherootzonewithoutdamagingthedelicatesurfacefeedingrootsThismethodveryusefulonsteepslopesandhighrainfallareas TheIdealSoil2014AHandbookfortheNewAgriculturev20170

------------- Read More -------------

Download ideal-soil-chart.pdf

Ideal Soil chart related documents

ISSUES ON SOIL-CEMENT CONSTRUCTION - SPIN Home

52 Pages · 2011 · 2 MB · English

ISSUES ON SOIL-CEMENT CONSTRUCTION HC Uzoegbo Univ of the Witwatersrand, South Africa •The built environment is estimated to contribute approximately 40% of total

Soil Mercury and its Response to atmospheric Mercury Deposition across the Northeastern United ...

13 Pages · 2015 · 2.67 MB · English

Soil mercury and its response to atmospheric mercury deposition .. Notes: The pH is referring to pH of the extract soil sample solution, where mean values of the soil samples in each .. in the emissions inventory (annual average biases . Northeastern United States: sources, effects and management.

CHART #3: SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON OF LEADING REPUBLICAN

6 Pages · 2007 · 323 KB · English

Huffington Post July 8, 2007. <website> in any future use of this material. Newsday.com. 8 June 2007. <http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/ny-

Soil-Cement Walls for Excavation Support David S. Yang, Raito, Inc.

17 Pages · 2003 · 1.3 MB · English

Soil-Cement Walls for Excavation Support David S. Yang, Raito, Inc. Abstract: The Cement Deep Soil Mixing (CDSM) method introduces and mixes cementitious materials

Design Procedures for Soil Modification or Stabilization

13 Pages · 2008 · 156 KB · English

3. Perform the Standard Proctor on soil-cement mixtures for the change in maximum dry unit weight in accordance with AASTO T 134. 4.

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE CHART - Delaware Economic Development Office

6 Pages · 2010 · 37 KB · English

Home-based Business Forum www.mbsde.com 302.529.8890 All businesses Networking/educational events/trade shows All women-owned businesses: Networking

Land and soil capability assessment scheme

56 Pages · 2012 · 1.36 MB · English

Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) Strategy. The MER program included detailed site-specific LSC assessments to examine the extent to which land was being managed within its capability in NSW. The procedure used at the site scale is described in Bowman et. Second approximation. 1 

The Role of Root-Produced Volatile Secondary Metabolites in Mediating Soil Interactions

24 Pages · 2017 · 434 KB · English

Technology & Medicine Soil Interactions. Sergio Rasmann1*, Ivan Hiltpold2 and Jared Ali3. 1Department of Ecology and Evolution, UNIL Sorge, Le Biophore. University of Lausanne, Lausanne. 2FARCE .. induced volatiles from citrus roots using a flow-through dynamic sampling technique.

A simplified Extended Kalman Filter for the global operational soil

23 Pages · 2012 · 2.21 MB · English

A new land surface analysis system based on a simplified point-wise Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) was implemented at ECMWF in the global operational Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) in Novem- . Further studies were conducted to investigate the use of satellite data to analysis soil moiture,.

Effects of Land Degradation on Soil Fertility

14 Pages · 2012 · 465 KB · English

the biological and economic productivity and complexity of rain-fed cropland, irrigated cropland, range economic and environmental impacts of land degradation on productivity in Calabar South that resilience Soil loss and runoff were measured at each study location and their respective cumulative