1 / 20

Soil Amendments: How to Find and Apply

Soil Amendments: How to Find and Apply. Rupert Jannasch and Roxanne Beavers. Considerations for Organic Growers . The basis of your fertility regime needs to be from on-farm sources Crop rotation, cover crops Livestock

Download Presentation

Soil Amendments: How to Find and Apply

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. Soil Amendments: How to Find and Apply Rupert Jannasch and Roxanne Beavers

  2. Considerations for Organic Growers  • The basis of your fertility regime needs to be from on-farm sources • Crop rotation, cover crops • Livestock • Supplementing can be done with products allowed by the Permitted Substances List • Natural source, minimally processed products

  3. Amending your Soil • How do I know how much fertility is needed? • Soil test, type of crop, contribution of green manure and organic matter • Nutrient availability from most organic amendments is a gradual process driven by microbes

  4. Sources of N: Manure • Source of nitrogen and organic matter • Composted is preferable, and if not organic, composting may be required • Non-composted manure must be applied far before harvest (90-120 days) • Nutrient levels depend on animal source, moisture content, bedding • Raw manure should be incorporated to minimize N losses


  6. Composts • Why use compost instead of raw manure? • Composting kills weed seeds, pathogens, stabilizes nutrients • Provides macro and micro nutrients • Adds organic matter to soil which makes it better able to hold nutrients • Increases microbial activity which makes nutrients more available

  7. Composts • Made on your farm? • Temperature must reach 55C for 2 days • Keep records of temp and turning • Off-farm compost? • Meet CCME Category A levels for trace contaminants and criteria for acceptable pathogen levels • Both – must use only allowed feedstocks

  8. Other sources of N • Alfalfa Meal • Soybean Meal (must be non-GMO) • Crab Meal • Feather Meal • Blood Meal • Pelletized Manures

  9. More amendments • Phosphorus - Rock P, bonemeal • Potassium – Greensand, wood ash • Calcium – calcitic lime, calphos, crabmeal/lobster meal/shells, ash, dolomitic lime too • Magnesium – dolomitic lime, Epsom salts / magnesium sulphate • Sulphur – elemental S, gypsum, Sul-Po-Mag, K-Mag  

  10. Micronutrients • Required in small amounts for plant metabolism; high amounts may be toxic • Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Zinc • Standard requires a soil test or plant tissue test showing low levels before using specific amendments

  11. Micronutrients • Amendments might address one deficiency (Solubor) or multiple deficiencies • Kelp • Seaweed extracts • Basalt rock powder • Fish emulsions • Blended organic fertilizers

  12. Is it Allowed? • Check the label/MSDS for ingredients • Ask your Certifier • If in doubt, contact the manufacturer • Get your answer in writing! • Does the product come from the US? • Must ensure that it doesn’t contain Chilean Nitrate (will be phased out by 2013) • Is the Nitrogen analysis >3? Be cautious

  13. How to Apply • Composts may be tilled in or used to topdress • Manures must be incorporated, applied to warm soil, avoid runoff • Rock powders – apply early in season, or add to composts • Liquid products – can be used as a foliar feed or a soil drench • Need to determine your application rate

  14. Application Rates • Joe has a 1 ac (0.4 ha) market garden • He gets a truckload of 20 yards of compost delivered – how much N will this provide? • Assume 800 lbs/yard bulk density • 7.2 tonnes of compost was delivered • This corresponds to a rate of 18 t/ha compost

  15. Application Rates • Compost analysis is 1.5 -1- 1 • 20% of the N is available in the first year (1.5)(20%) = 0.3% • If 18 t/ha compost is applied • then 54 kg N /ha is added • If Joe is growing heavy-feeding crops or has low background soil N, he will need to add more N

  16. Application Rates • Soil test for boron comes back low: 0.32 ppm Want to add 1 kg/ha boron: • Borax – 11% B • 1 / 0.11 = 9 kg/ha or 0.9 g/m2 • This product can be applied directly to soil

  17. Solubor – 20% B • 1/0.20 = 5 kg/ha or 50 g/100m2 • To apply with a sprayer, use spray rate (e.g. 200 L/ha) to determine the area covered by one tank • 10 L tank would cover 0.05 Ha or 500m2 • Multiply this area by your application rate to figure out what amount to mix in the backpack - 250g/10L

  18. Where to Source Products? • Farm supply stores • Consider delivery in bulk • Regional representatives for different companies • ACORN Database • Talk to other farmers • Trade publications – Rural Delivery, Small Farm, Canadian Organic Grower

  19. Other Considerations • OMRI & Certifier Input Approvals • Before you source, read the Permitted Substances List to look for restrictions • Questions?

More Related