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What’s Up With Organic Fertilizers? Why They W ork and How they are made…… it’s not all crap!. Kirk Carls , Regional Manager Nature Safe Natural & Organic Fertilizers. Outline. Introduction – my background Types of organic fertility Specific benefits of organic fertility Wrap-up.
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What’s Up With Organic Fertilizers?Why They Work and How they are made…… it’s not all crap! Kirk Carls, Regional Manager Nature Safe Natural & Organic Fertilizers
Outline • Introduction – my background • Types of organic fertility • Specific benefits of organic fertility • Wrap-up
TYPES OF ORGANICS • What Constitutes an Organic Fertilizer? • Sewage Sludge's • Manures • Constructed Meal Based Proteins • Organic fertilizers are as different to each other as synthetics fertilizers can be to each other.
What Constitutes an Organic Fertilizer? • Different definitions for the word “Organic”. i.e. contains carbon, Organic Farming….uses only certain products. • Organic Fertilizer comes from Natural Products. Sewage, Manures, Animal or Plant Proteins
Types of OrganicsSewage Sludges • 3 - 6% N • 20 - 30% amino acids • Subject to high heat process for sanitation • May be challenged with heavy metal content • Milorganite created the model 80+ years ago • Not allowable for certified organic crop production
Types of OrganicsManures and Composted Manures • Low N content 1 - 4% • 6 - 12% amino acids • May have variable nutrient content • Composting is not an exact science • 335 million tons of animal manures produced annually in U.S.
Types of OrganicsConstructed Meal-based Fertilizers • 5 - 13% N • 30 - 75% amino acids • Plant and/or animal meals • Proteins provide slow release N • Maximize nutrient availability
Organics Are All About Improving Soil HealthWhy Focus on Soil Health? Healthy soil leads to a healthier turf!
For the Plant, the Value of Microbes is in Their Decomposition Microbes are short-lived with an average life span of 20 minutes. Microbes are: • Bacteria • Fungi • Protozoa’s
Bacteria • Along with fungi, are the most important group in organic matter decomposition • Extracellular compounds help bind soil particles into aggregates • Specialized groups are involved in each portion of the nitrogen cycle • 400-4,000 pounds per acre • http://www.safs.msu.edu/soilecology/soilbiology.htm
Fungi • The most important group involved in decomposing resistant compounds such as lignin • Hyphae grow extensively through soils, helping bind soil particles in aggregates • Some specialized fungi grow symbiotically with plant roots, increasing nutrient and water uptake and decreasing disease incidence • 500-5,000 pounds per acre
Benefits of Increased Microbial Populations • Great decomposers • CO2 for photosynthesis – great for shaded turf. • Thatch reduction • Disease management • Improved soil structure • Fertilizer factory effect
Pathogens Are OpportunisticThe Theory of Competitive Exclusion • When one species has the slightest advantage over another then the one with the advantage will dominate over the long run. • Beneficial microbes vs. Pathogens • Good guys eat and thrive • Their success controls pathogens • Pathogens – good survivors; poor competitors
Example: Impact on Dollar Spot • Research shows constructed organic fertilizer decreased dollar spot versus other fertilizers. MSU Research, Dr. Joe Vargas, 2000
How do you determine an organic fertilizers’ value? • Compare the following: • It’s More Than NPK • How much organic nutrition in the Bag? Amino Acids, Humates etc. • How available coming out of the Bag?
Organic Expectations • Not a quick fix but moves you closer to fixing “issues”. • Cumulative effect of benefits. • Preventative rather than curative. • Nutrition Foundation • Not cheapest bag of fertility, but, it may offer the lowest total IPM cost. • Works with all the other good products you use.
The Turf Industry is taking a lead role. 1. Environmental reasons Reduce pesticide use Groundwater, Inland Lakes and Great Lakes protection 2. Consumer demands Children and Pet safety Consumers are becoming more concerned about what goes on their lawns and landscaping Park Districts, municipalities are being asked to by homeowners and parents Organic food demand growing at over 15% per year. More awareness about “organics” • Political Reasons We all deal with some level of politics in our jobs PROMOTE YOURSELF
Nature Safe ProductsNPK, Sugars, Humates, Amino Acids • All Organic • 13-0-0 • 10-2-8/10-0-8 w/ Kelp Extract • 8-5-5 • 8-3-5 • 5-6-6 • Fortified • 27-0-2 (Organic and Uflexx) • 21-3-7 (Organic and Uflexx) • 18-0-4 (Organic and MESA) • 12-0-6 (Organic and Amm. Sulfate)
QUESTIONS? • Organic Fertilizers do not contribute to organic matter they reduce it! • Do I have to be 100% organic to see benefits? • How do organics fit in with my other products? • What drives pricing? NPK, humates, amino acids, sugars. • What soils can benefit?
Thank You! • Questions? • Contact : your local Nature Safe Distributor or Kirk Carls email@example.com 616-566-0307 www.naturesafe.com