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Plant Buyer 83
08-11-2008, 08:02 AM
One of my local vendors sent me this link via email this morning I think it will be good to share. It is the latest report from Tim Howard with Gromark, a major fertilizer manufacturer. I know this has been talked about alot so here is so more reading for everyone.

http://www.turfjim.com/Fertilizer_Crisis.html

rcreech
08-11-2008, 08:37 AM
This ain't good! But all I can say is this is fact... so better do something about it before it gets worse!

Prices have currently doubled since last fall per bag, and I would project atleast another 30% before next spring from what I am picking up!

americanlawn
08-11-2008, 07:27 PM
Crude is now under $115 a barrel, and it continues to fall on a weekly basis. All sources of fuel & N are tied together. I wonder if the above link is a scare tactic on the part of the distributor. Remember two years ago when realtors said buy now, cuz the prices will only go up? :confused:

rcreech
08-11-2008, 07:48 PM
Crude is now under $115 a barrel, and it continues to fall on a weekly basis. All sources of fuel & N are tied together. I wonder if the above link is a scare tactic on the part of the distributor. Remember two years ago when realtors said buy now, cuz the prices will only go up? :confused:


I wish Larry!

Remember this is a Supply and Demand market now...

Crude doesn't have near the effect on N as is used to.

I can tell you from the ag side that this isn't a tactic. Some of the numbers I am hearing are very alarming.

N may stabalize at some point after going up a time or two...but going down is out of the question unless something crazy happens!

Most suppliers won't even give prices right now...because they may not get it. This is a true Supply and Demand issue!

bug-guy
08-11-2008, 08:17 PM
remember fuel cost plays a part in the cost increase but demand vs. supply are the larger villian here. when things cool down in china and india and corn doesn't gobble the gaints share of the demand here, then and only then will things get better.

has any one tried cloning npk??????

rcreech
08-11-2008, 11:00 PM
remember fuel cost plays a part in the cost increase but demand vs. supply are the larger villian here. when things cool down in china and india and corn doesn't gobble the gaints share of the demand here, then and only then will things get better.

has any one tried cloning npk??????


When things cool down in China and India....?

When is that going to happen?

They are going like gang busters and I don't see them slowing down much. Populations are increasing faster then any...and now they have $$$$$!

If we are waiting on that...we will be waiting for a long time.

whoopassonthebluegrass
08-12-2008, 01:32 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but if N is derived from Coal, why aren't we mass producing it here in the US?

bug-guy
08-12-2008, 07:33 AM
i thought nat. gas was the main source of n

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
08-12-2008, 08:51 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but if N is derived from Coal, why aren't we mass producing it here in the US?

Urea's biggest cost to produce is natural gas. In the last 10 years the US has lost ~60% of it's Urea producing. There were too many EPA & other governmental regulations for it to be very profitable, whereas Russia & China can make it cheap (they don't have much in the way of pollution regulations-did you see the smog surrounding the Olympics:laugh:) I would think @ todays prices, it would make sense to produce it here, even w/ all the regulations & the extra cost that brings:usflag:

Runner
08-12-2008, 08:58 AM
This is an old article, and was written back in mid-April.

Plant Buyer 83
08-12-2008, 09:21 AM
I wish Larry!

Remember this is a Supply and Demand market now...

Most suppliers won't even give prices right now...because they may not get it. This is a true Supply and Demand issue!


I agree, this as it stands it deffienetly a supply & demand issue.

China and India (and Brazil) have finally caught onto capitalism. Their economies are on fire, growing at warp speed. Because of this, their demand for not only fertilizer, but steel and other raw goods is skyrocketing. This has put pressure on manufacturers to try and keep up. Plain and simple, they there isn't enough manufacturing capability to keep up with demand.

Since everything is now a global market, things like this will only worsen until either the supply increases or the demand drops off. Neither of those things is likely to happen in the next few years (IMO). Although there are a few other things adding pressure, simple supply and demand is playing a major role.

Plant Buyer 83
08-12-2008, 09:35 AM
This is an old article, and was written back in mid-April.

And no it is not a old article (the very first one that is), yes there are 2 articles that are older - one from April & the other May but if you read the top MESSAGE FROM GROMARK FERTILIZER COMPANY TO THEIR CUSTOMERS ON AUGUST 8, 2008 (sorry for the caps). But this was just released this past Friday.

ICT Bill
08-12-2008, 10:58 AM
remember fuel cost plays a part in the cost increase but demand vs. supply are the larger villian here. when things cool down in china and india and corn doesn't gobble the gaints share of the demand here, then and only then will things get better.

has any one tried cloning npk??????
HHHHMMMM
Thats what we do basically, we provide the microbes that make NPK plant available, Clay soils have enough nutrients for 100 years of turf growth, it just is not plant available
Nitrogen fixers, phophorous solubilizers, micronutrient miners. Azotobacter ( a bacteria) in good numbers can provide up to 40% of the nitrogen needed for turf to grow, if you are leaving the clippings it will provide another 20to 30% of the N needed, so now you only have to put down 20% of the fertilizer you are currently using

rcreech
08-12-2008, 12:19 PM
HHHHMMMM
Thats what we do basically, we provide the microbes that make NPK plant available, Clay soils have enough nutrients for 100 years of turf growth, it just is not plant available
Nitrogen fixers, phophorous solubilizers, micronutrient miners. Azotobacter ( a bacteria) in good numbers can provide up to 40% of the nitrogen needed for turf to grow, if you are leaving the clippings it will provide another 20to 30% of the N needed, so now you only have to put down 20% of the fertilizer you are currently using

I am not sure what kind of product you have...but the N, P and K have to be there before they can be plant available.

And if they are aleardy there...and in ample supply there is no reason to add more (luxury consumption).

So technically if the soil test is low...you still have to add fert. You are correct that there is enough fert for 100 years, but that is assuming that the levels are adequate and no "crop removal".

Are you saying that your products can "release" the P and K in the soils that are NEVER available, or are you saying that your product just makes P and K that is available...more available?

I guess I am not sure what products you have. Do you have any University data supporting your products?

heritage
08-12-2008, 12:47 PM
I am not sure what kind of product you have...but the N, P and K have to be there before they can be plant available.

And if they are aleardy there...and in ample supply there is no reason to add more (luxury consumption).

So technically if the soil test is low...you still have to add fert. You are correct that there is enough fert for 100 years, but that is assuming that the levels are adequate and no "crop removal".

Are you saying that your products can "release" the P and K in the soils that are NEVER available, or are you saying that your product just makes P and K that is available...more available?

I guess I am not sure what products you have. Do you have any University data supporting your products?

Great Questions Rodney!

Pete

phasthound
08-12-2008, 05:33 PM
I am not sure what kind of product you have...but the N, P and K have to be there before they can be plant available.

And if they are aleardy there...and in ample supply there is no reason to add more (luxury consumption).

So technically if the soil test is low...you still have to add fert. You are correct that there is enough fert for 100 years, but that is assuming that the levels are adequate and no "crop removal".

Are you saying that your products can "release" the P and K in the soils that are NEVER available, or are you saying that your product just makes P and K that is available...more available?

I guess I am not sure what products you have. Do you have any University data supporting your products?

Yesterday at the Lawn Care Association of Pennsylvania pest walk & business seminar, the statement was made by the Exec. Dir. that we all need to rethink our applications of P & K since most soil tests (in PA) show more than adequate amounts are in the soil. The problem is that most of it is not plant available. Guess what makes it available?

Microbial activity. These little buggers are able to adjust PH and mineralize nutrients for plant uptake. There are also numerous species of bacteria that are able to produce N from the air in soils with enough pore space (50%). When other microbes eat them, the N is released.
Microbes have also been proven to protect plants from many dieases. Most of our anti-biotics come from soil organisms.

Adding organic matter and microbes greatly improves the fertility of soils. This is no secret, it's been know for eons before science was even invented or found ways to name it and measure it.

There is so much University data on this available on line that anyone can easily look it up. Here's a good place to start: http://www.blm.gov/nstc/soil/foodweb/index.html
This site is hosted by The US Dept of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Then try this one http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/e/jel5/biofilms/rhizosphere.html
It's from Penn State and recounts a teaching exercise developed by Princeton & Rutgers scientists.

There is some great stuff to help us learn about how the world really works. Take it in. :)

ICT Bill
08-12-2008, 06:30 PM
I am not sure what kind of product you have...but the N, P and K have to be there before they can be plant available.

And if they are aleardy there...and in ample supply there is no reason to add more (luxury consumption).

So technically if the soil test is low...you still have to add fert. You are correct that there is enough fert for 100 years, but that is assuming that the levels are adequate and no "crop removal".

Are you saying that your products can "release" the P and K in the soils that are NEVER available, or are you saying that your product just makes P and K that is available...more available?

I guess I am not sure what products you have. Do you have any University data supporting your products?

rcreech, Nitrite is a form of nitrogen that is typically not plant available, it is a great microbes food when microbes eat it they turn it into nitrate which is plant available, there are many forms of microbe food (organic matter or carbon) that is turned into plant available nutrients

There is a group of fungi called mycorrhizae (fungus/root), they have a symbiotic relationship with the root of the plant, in fact they cannot live in the soil if they do not have a plant root association.

they are phophorous miners, the plant provides food in the form of carbohydrates and sugars to the fungi and the fungi in turn feed the plant phophorous and many micronutrients. The fungi also fight other fungal pathogen by turning on enzyme production and basically nuking the bad guys with enzymes before they can get established

These fungi also support soil aggregation with the production of glomalin

We are in 2 year field trials with the University of Rhode Island, this is our second year in business and the first year for trials

There are many examples of this, you do bring up an interesting point though that most miss, agriculture is an open system, turf maintenace is a closed system, we do not plow and disk turf and add nutrients.

In turf systems we are able to get long term soil health and nutrient cycling going, it just does not happen over night like feeding the plant with a fertilizer.

The no till farmers are having great success because they are not disturbing the fungal association going on in the soil that supply nutrients to the plants

Here is a link to the USDA site on soils and nutrient cycling
http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html

apologies for hijacking the thread, I'm done

Rayholio
08-12-2008, 11:45 PM
Don't forget that the american dollar has recently lost 20% of its value, and that china is buying up the stuff.. both of which effects the ongoing change in price..

rcreech
08-12-2008, 11:49 PM
rcreech, Nitrite is a form of nitrogen that is typically not plant available, it is a great microbes food when microbes eat it they turn it into nitrate which is plant available, there are many forms of microbe food (organic matter or carbon) that is turned into plant available nutrients

There is a group of fungi called mycorrhizae (fungus/root), they have a symbiotic relationship with the root of the plant, in fact they cannot live in the soil if they do not have a plant root association.

they are phophorous miners, the plant provides food in the form of carbohydrates and sugars to the fungi and the fungi in turn feed the plant phophorous and many micronutrients. The fungi also fight other fungal pathogen by turning on enzyme production and basically nuking the bad guys with enzymes before they can get established

These fungi also support soil aggregation with the production of glomalin

We are in 2 year field trials with the University of Rhode Island, this is our second year in business and the first year for trials

There are many examples of this, you do bring up an interesting point though that most miss, agriculture is an open system, turf maintenace is a closed system, we do not plow and disk turf and add nutrients.

In turf systems we are able to get long term soil health and nutrient cycling going, it just does not happen over night like feeding the plant with a fertilizer.

The no till farmers are having great success because they are not disturbing the fungal association going on in the soil that supply nutrients to the plants

Here is a link to the USDA site on soils and nutrient cycling
http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html

apologies for hijacking the thread, I'm done


Bacteria are very important in the N cycle, and I am aware of that! Nitrite is just part of the process...but I don't have to buy anything of add anything to complete the process. It is in the middle of being coverted....Not sure your point on that?

As far as P miner's and all that...I have to see it to believe it! Show me soil tests of low P soils and where you have increase the available P without adding any fert.

I have seen WAY TOO MANY snake oils and I am even young feller!

I know both of you organic guys are on here pushing this, but I live in the real world. I have not seen nor heard anything like this on the market.

Why isn't OSU and Purdue working on this for the ag side. Your program sounds PERFECT, so I would think they would want to implement this on the millions of acres of corn and beans out here.

No-till is working great for many reasons...but not sure what you are trying to say...

PSUTURFGEEK
08-13-2008, 01:03 AM
I agree totally, it's like these guys that get up and speak on corn gluten and say new university studies show that two apps of corn gluten a year will prevent 80% of crabgrass breakthrough, do these people realize what a lawn with 20% crabgrass looks like? it looks like crap.

phasthound
08-13-2008, 09:27 AM
I started a new thread about soil microbes for those who would like more information.

I will also restate my position:
I am not a pure "organic guy", I do believe that there is too much reliance and overuse of pesticides and salt based fertilizer. There are times when the use of pesticides are required. I believe that adding organic matter is the foundation of providing healthy turf for our clients. By providing healthy turf we start with the soil. By improving the soil we can reduce the need for pesticides and salt based ferts. Pesticides should not be sold to the general public. Their use should be restricted to those who are trained and licensed. I am not here to argue politcs are engage in name calling. I'm here to talk about plant health care and promote some good products.

tremor
08-14-2008, 06:01 PM
HHHHMMMM
Thats what we do basically, we provide the microbes that make NPK plant available, Clay soils have enough nutrients for 100 years of turf growth, it just is not plant available
Nitrogen fixers, phophorous solubilizers, micronutrient miners. Azotobacter ( a bacteria) in good numbers can provide up to 40% of the nitrogen needed for turf to grow, if you are leaving the clippings it will provide another 20to 30% of the N needed, so now you only have to put down 20% of the fertilizer you are currently using

Rhizobacteria isn't new. I advocate it's use with organic fertilizer but I would never recommend a 60% reduction in Nitrogen. Likewise there are no clay soils that contain 100 years worth of turf sustaining nutrients that a bacterial program will liberate without compromising turf quality.

P solubalizers were used with corn starter a few years ago in Mass. to help reduce Phosphorus inputs. First year results were good. Second year results were pathetic with farmers scrambling to have corn starter applied to save them from crop failure. The bacteria succeeded in liberating the soil's nutrient reservoir in the first year. The remaining reserves were exhausted before the second season was really under way.

This isn't to say that there are no soils that can sustain turf with bacterial help. But adding a balanced organic fertilizer that is rhizo-inoculated will deliver much better turf performance especially if it receives some soluble (synthetic) inputs when the soil temperatures are down. We just aren't blessed with many "perfect" soils here in metro NY suburbia. Virtually all building lots today have been under the plow & bulldozer more than several times.

I would recommend caution selling & using these materials. They will not permit a demonstrable or quantifiable input reduction on most soils. If folks believe some of the claims I'm hearing locally then the applicators will be plenty upset...

Case in reference: An unnamed company (not a LawnSite sponsor) is claiming a ONE POUND N response from a ONE HALF POUND N application. It's not gonna work that way.

phasthound
08-14-2008, 09:37 PM
We just aren't blessed with many "perfect" soils here in metro NY suburbia. Virtually all building lots today have been under the plow & bulldozer more than several times.

Case in reference: An unnamed company (not a LawnSite sponsor) is claiming a ONE POUND N response from a ONE HALF POUND N application. It's not gonna work that way.

All the more reason to work on rebuilding the soil with organic matter and soil biology instead of ignoring the problem & just working on the symptoms. By building the soil, many things are accomplished. Long term green without a flush of growth. Stronger turf that is better suited to resist disease and insect problems. Better drought tolerance. Less leaching and runoff of excessive nutrients and pesticides.

It's not hard to maintain a healthy green lawn with a lot less N. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.

americanlawn
08-14-2008, 10:05 PM
Been spraying plenty of Q4 & Compass lately on lawns that are mowed at one inch or less. Duh. But trying to tell customers not to butcher their lawn is impossible. These idiots increase our cost of business, and that ain't right.

Back to the organic stuff....... organic matter, enzymes, etc........IMO they don't do any good laying on top of a lawn. Duh..... I find it fascinating that NOBODY has even mentioned 'core aeration'. In fact, land grant Universities recommend core aeration instead of applying "miracle products" on top of lawns. To me, this is pure common sense. Think about it ---- IF you had a "miracle product" that you could spray or spread on lawns, you would be a millionaire. Bullsh$t walks -- money talks. (who was the American Patriot in the Revolutionary days who wrote the book called "Common Sense"? I forgot.

I agree totally, it's like these guys that get up and speak on corn gluten and say new university studies show that two apps of corn gluten a year will prevent 80% of crabgrass breakthrough, do these people realize what a lawn with 20% crabgrass looks like? it looks like crap.

rcreech
08-14-2008, 10:34 PM
We all know the importance of microbiology in the soil...so I am not sure what the organic boys are trying to say or prove!

I am just saying that you DON'T need to buy them...as they are already there!

No magic product is going to replace fert!


Out of all the goofy articles I have read that have been posted...none have talked about these magic products releasing P and K that isn't plant available.

These articles just discuss the importance of soil microbes! Well yeah! I have been reading articles like that for years and understand...but nowhere do these articles say to reduce to eliminate a fertilizer program!

Moral of the story.....use fert as it has always worked and always will. Why spend money on snake oils? :dizzy:

tremor
08-15-2008, 02:55 AM
We all know the importance of microbiology in the soil...so I am not sure what the organic boys are trying to say or prove!

I am just saying that you DON'T need to buy them...as they are already there!

No magic product is going to replace fert!


Out of all the goofy articles I have read that have been posted...none have talked about these magic products releasing P and K that isn't plant available.

These articles just discuss the importance of soil microbes! Well yeah! I have been reading articles like that for years and understand...but nowhere do these articles say to reduce to eliminate a fertilizer program!

Moral of the story.....use fert as it has always worked and always will. Why spend money on snake oils? :dizzy:

http://www.planthealthcare.com/HT/Soil/PHCBioPak

Check it out.

phasthound
08-15-2008, 09:27 AM
[QUOTE=americanlawn;2466673
Back to the organic stuff....... organic matter, enzymes, etc........IMO they don't do any good laying on top of a lawn. Duh..... I find it fascinating that NOBODY has even mentioned 'core aeration'. In fact, land grant Universities recommend core aeration instead of applying "miracle products" on top of lawns. To me, this is pure common sense. Think about it ---- IF you had a "miracle product" that you could spray or spread on lawns, you would be a millionaire. Bullsh$t walks -- money talks. (who was the American Patriot in the Revolutionary days who wrote the book called "Common Sense"? I forgot.[/QUOTE]

Thomas Paine from Bordentown NJ (right up the road from me) wrote "Common Sense". :usflag:

There is no miracle product or silver bullet. I know I have never made that claim. Providing a beautiful lawn takes a lot of work and know how.

Surface applications of organic material and microbiology do work. Just because one has never tried it, doesn't mean it doesn't work. One exception is mycorrhizea, which must make physical contact with the seed or root. Core aeration is a great way to incorporate organic matter and microbes deeper into the soil. Core aerate, topdress 1/4 " compost, over seed with the proper seed for the region & the site, spray with a microbial inoculant .......... you are off to a great start! It's done all the time. Continue with a good fertility program that encourages the microbial community, sound cultural practices as proper mowing heights & irrigation and the lawn will have less disease & insect damage and be more drought tolerant.

Back to bullsh$t walks -- money talks and miracle products. A national company has convinced a large segment of the American public that their 4 step program is God's gift to turf, what do you seasoned pro's think about that claim. If it were true, we'd all be out of business.

phasthound
08-15-2008, 09:44 AM
We all know the importance of microbiology in the soil...so I am not sure what the organic boys are trying to say or prove!

I am just saying that you DON'T need to buy them...as they are already there!

No magic product is going to replace fert!


Out of all the goofy articles I have read that have been posted...none have talked about these magic products releasing P and K that isn't plant available.

These articles just discuss the importance of soil microbes! Well yeah! I have been reading articles like that for years and understand...but nowhere do these articles say to reduce to eliminate a fertilizer program!

Moral of the story.....use fert as it has always worked and always will. Why spend money on snake oils? :dizzy:

Umm, you do remember I sell fert?

I was asked for University Studies & provided some, now they are "goofy articles"? Read them again, they clearly state one of the important functions of microbes is to mine and mineralize nutrients thereby chelating them for the plants.

I am reminded of a scene from "Divorce American Style" (movie from the '60s). Goes something like this ....... A wife walks in on her husband in bed with another woman. She confronts him. He and the woman casually get out of bed and start getting dressed as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, the husband starts talking to his wife about what he would like for dinner, the woman casually leaves, the husband gives his wife a peck on her cheek & leaves. The wife realizing that because of their calm reaction, nothing was wrong. She leaves the room and starts to prepare the dinner her husband had asked for. So, even thought the evidence was right in front of her, she decided not to accept it.

rcreech
08-15-2008, 10:15 PM
Umm, you do remember I sell fert?

I was asked for University Studies & provided some, now they are "goofy articles"? Read them again, they clearly state one of the important functions of microbes is to mine and mineralize nutrients thereby chelating them for the plants.

I am reminded of a scene from "Divorce American Style" (movie from the '60s). Goes something like this ....... A wife walks in on her husband in bed with another woman. She confronts him. He and the woman casually get out of bed and start getting dressed as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, the husband starts talking to his wife about what he would like for dinner, the woman casually leaves, the husband gives his wife a peck on her cheek & leaves. The wife realizing that because of their calm reaction, nothing was wrong. She leaves the room and starts to prepare the dinner her husband had asked for. So, even thought the evidence was right in front of her, she decided not to accept it.

Oh I'm sorry!

Where did ALL the articles talk about how important it is to ADD a product to do this?


YES MICROBES ARE VERY IMPORTANT....BUT THEY ARE NATUARAL! YOU DON"T NEED TO ADD THEM! AND WHERE DO YOUR ARTICLES SAY NO FERT IS NEEDED?

phasthound
08-17-2008, 08:13 PM
Oh I'm sorry!

Where did ALL the articles talk about how important it is to ADD a product to do this?


YES MICROBES ARE VERY IMPORTANT....BUT THEY ARE NATUARAL! YOU DON"T NEED TO ADD THEM! AND WHERE DO YOUR ARTICLES SAY NO FERT IS NEEDED?

In several of the articles there are specific recommendations showing the advantages of increasing beneficial microbial activity and nutrient uptake by adding microbes and feeding them.

Yes, microbes naturally exist in the soil. However, most of the soils in suburbia are compacted and low in soil organic matter which is not a friendly environment for these microbes and bio-assays will bare this out. Good soil should have 50% minerals, 45% pore space for water & air, 5% organic matter. Compaction reduces the area that roots and microbes thrive in. Low organic matter (in NJ it's 2-3%) means less food source for the microbes.

By adding organic matter and microbes, one can reduce the amount of nutrients needed for healthy plants. It also reduces drought stress and disease pressure.

There are those who may claim only adding microbes is necessary. A new lawn care franchise has started in the North East & almost all they do is compost tea applications. This program is based on many years of prov en results by Todd Harrington of CT, it is not hocus pocus. Todd has built a thriving business upon these principles.

I happen to think a combination of adding microbes and microbial foods (organic or organic based fertilizers) will give great results with fewer visits. The microbes will not produce the desired results without sustaining them. I think one must feed the soil with organic matter instead of "feeding" the plants with salt-based materials.

So, I just ask that you keep an open mind when reading about a totally different approach to lawn care. With the current difficulties in the industry, there are also lots of opportunities opening up.

greendoctor
08-18-2008, 06:30 AM
Been spraying plenty of Q4 & Compass lately on lawns that are mowed at one inch or less. Duh. But trying to tell customers not to butcher their lawn is impossible. These idiots increase our cost of business, and that ain't right.

Back to the organic stuff....... organic matter, enzymes, etc........IMO they don't do any good laying on top of a lawn. Duh..... I find it fascinating that NOBODY has even mentioned 'core aeration'. In fact, land grant Universities recommend core aeration instead of applying "miracle products" on top of lawns. To me, this is pure common sense. Think about it ---- IF you had a "miracle product" that you could spray or spread on lawns, you would be a millionaire. Bullsh$t walks -- money talks. (who was the American Patriot in the Revolutionary days who wrote the book called "Common Sense"? I forgot.

It was Thomas Paine that wrote "Common Sense". I do not believe in leaving heaps of chunky material all over my client's lawns. However, I will prescribe a 1/2 layer of compost to be applied AFTER a core aeration is performed to modify soil structure. It is not intended to replace fertilizer. A lawn that has this done still will be fertilized with N and K at a 2-1 ratio plus micronutrients. There is this bridge type product that is popular in Hawaii known as Gro-Power. I have nothing good to say about it after applying it at label rates to my Tifgreen bermuda lawn at home. It failed to provide the response that a correctly formulated liquid does and the cost is triple that of a liquid. I do not sell miracle products or politically correct lawn care. I sell a green lawn. Period. Many of the politically correct in addition to selling their snake oil, also must sell mediocre results. I cost too much to produce mediocre results.

tremor
08-18-2008, 12:26 PM
Microbes are cool but the thread was about the selling price of fertilizer.

One solution is to improve soil conditions to lessen the need for conventional NPK ferts.

But a brand new client with a weak lawn is not asking his new LCO for microbes. The new client is looking for a green lawn with fewer weeds. If folks are already selling organic programs they already know all this.

A lot of my customers offer organic programs but their organic clients usually constitute less than 20% of their route.

Does every fertilizer thread have to turn into a biology lecture?

Ric
08-18-2008, 12:54 PM
Microbes are cool but the thread was about the selling price of fertilizer.

One solution is to improve soil conditions to lessen the need for conventional NPK ferts.

But a brand new client with a weak lawn is not asking his new LCO for microbes. The new client is looking for a green lawn with fewer weeds. If folks are already selling organic programs they already know all this.

A lot of my customers offer organic programs but their organic clients usually constitute less than 20% of their route.

Does every fertilizer thread have to turn into a biology lecture?


Tremor

What I can't figure out is why China, India and Brazil aren't buying any organic fertilizer since they are each buying 4 times the amount of synthetic fertilizer that the American farmer does.

BTW Scientific Fact. You can add all the microbial you want to soil, but the soil will only support the amount of microbes it's environment has the climate for. Therefore to increase microbes in the soil, you must amend the soil to a more microbe favorable environment. This goes back to Microbiology 101 statement. "Everything is everywhere and the environment selects which populations of microbes are dominate" But don't mind me I am just throw out all kinds of junk trying to impress myself and sell some snake oil.

phasthound
08-18-2008, 01:12 PM
Tremor
BTW Scientific Fact. You can add all the microbial you want to soil, but the soil will only support the amount of microbes it's environment has the climate for. Therefore to increase microbes in the soil, you must amend the soil to a more microbe favorable environment. This goes back to Microbiology 101 statement. "Everything is everywhere and the environment selects which populations of microbes are dominate" But don't mind me I am just throw out all kinds of junk trying to impress myself and sell some snake oil.

Aren't you saying the same thing as my post?
Yes, microbes naturally exist in the soil. However, most of the soils in suburbia are compacted and low in soil organic matter which is not a friendly environment for these microbes and bio-assays will bare this out. Good soil should have 50% minerals, 45% pore space for water & air, 5% organic matter. Compaction reduces the area that roots and microbes thrive in. Low organic matter (in NJ it's 2-3%) means less food source for the microbes. By adding organic matter and microbes, one can reduce the amount of nutrients needed for healthy plants. It also reduces drought stress and disease pressure.

What are you arguing about? I'm confused.

phasthound
08-18-2008, 01:31 PM
Microbes are cool but the thread was about the selling price of fertilizer.

One solution is to improve soil conditions to lessen the need for conventional NPK ferts.
I agree 100%

But a brand new client with a weak lawn is not asking his new LCO for microbes. The new client is looking for a green lawn with fewer weeds. If folks are already selling organic programs they already know all this.
Yes as do all LCO's

A lot of my customers offer organic programs but their organic clients usually constitute less than 20% of their route.
And this has increased from about 1% in 5 years. Natural lawn care is the fastest growing sector in the green industry.

Does every fertilizer thread have to turn into a biology lecture?
It's important to understand how to make plants healthy. Hard to do without knowing some biology.

My comments were the underlined words.
The point I'm trying to make is that the cost of doing business the conventional way is changing drastically.
You can chose continue to do things the same way and see your profit margin shrink. Or you can look for other ways to get results.

As it turns out not only are there natural products and better cultural methods available, they also make economic and environmental sense. I addition, the public is demanding more of these practices.

Aren't successful businesses built and maintained by getting results while lowering costs and taking advantage of market trends?

Ric
08-18-2008, 03:25 PM
Aren't you saying the same thing as my post?
Yes, microbes naturally exist in the soil. However, most of the soils in suburbia are compacted and low in soil organic matter which is not a friendly environment for these microbes and bio-assays will bare this out. Good soil should have 50% minerals, 45% pore space for water & air, 5% organic matter. Compaction reduces the area that roots and microbes thrive in. Low organic matter (in NJ it's 2-3%) means less food source for the microbes. By adding organic matter and microbes, one can reduce the amount of nutrients needed for healthy plants. It also reduces drought stress and disease pressure.

What are you arguing about? I'm confused.

phasthound

I am not arguing just stating facts. Just like the fact I am now semi-retired and have sold my F 9000 and Skid Steer. Therefore I no longer have the equpment to haul enough Organic material to improve the SOM ratio of the our soil enough to make a difference. So it is a matter of Too Little Too Late. The soil should have been amended before the sod was laid with the final fill and grade by the building contractor.

BTW I might not have a F 9000 any more to haul enough organic material for one lawn, but I still have a Pick up truck that I can haul 10 acres of synthetic fertilizer.

tremor
08-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Building a biologically active soil is a very expensive luxury that farmers cannot afford. Especially farmers of the third world & developing nations. As America's wealth has grown we're consuming that wealth on a social/enviro conscience that even we have trouble justifying.

Guilt caused by association with success if you will.

A guy treating one half acre of turf can produce some great results in a year with 3 or 4 bags of urea. All it takes is good timing & skill.

Organic & other slow N sources buy us the luxury of poor timing.

garydale
08-18-2008, 04:12 PM
Organic & other slow N sources buy us the luxury of poor timing.

Well said!

phasthound
08-18-2008, 06:54 PM
[QUOTE=Ric said

I am not arguing just stating facts. .[/QUOTE]

OK, now it all makes sense to me. If I use University Studies to back up my statements, it's hocus-pocus and snake oil.
If you re-state the same thing I said, it's fact. :)

Just so I'm clear on that now. :waving:

rcreech
08-18-2008, 07:00 PM
Phasthound,

As you can see....nobody on this part of the forum (pesticides) is interested in your magic microbes!

I can promise you if you go over into the organic forum they will be frothing at the mouth and will totally agree with everything you say!

We all know what we are doing and "don't buy" the "all natural" microbial approach.

Can't you see that by now?

Yes microbe life is important, and we know that!

You started a post and was the only one to post on it like 5 times!

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR MAGIC MICROBES! :dizzy:

Please give it up and let us talk about our horrible fertilizers and pesticides! :laugh:

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
08-18-2008, 07:24 PM
Phasthound,

As you can see....nobody on this part of the forum (pesticides) is interested in your magic microbes!

I can promise you if you go over into the organic forum they will be frothing at the mouth and will totally agree with everything you say!

We all know what we are doing and "don't buy" the "all natural" microbial approach.

Can't you see that by now?

Yes microbe life is important, and we know that!

You started a post and was the only one to post on it like 5 times!

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR MAGIC MICROBES! :dizzy:

Please give it up and let us talk about our horrible fertilizers and pesticides! :laugh:

:clapping::clapping:

Well said! Take your magic microbes & go home!:laugh:

GreenUtah
08-18-2008, 08:40 PM
ok, so back to the main purpose of this thread. If you truly believe that the reasons for high prices on fert are the EPA cracking down on manufacturing plants ( please. what, they couldn't afford 10 grand to their local/state/federal political parties to sideline EPA efforts with bureaucratic stalls forever to protect their investments in the plants?) or demand from third world countries? (China and India didn't just start growing in the past year, nor have I ever seen, even once, and Chinese or Indian, in their native countries depicted as the normal Joe, driving their Caddy, swilling their Bud and yapping with a half masticated cow hanging out of their yaw. We're still talking about the majority making just a few dollars a day and relying on our glutony to fuel their own growth. ) Did the product just materialize there, or are they immune from transportation costs that have hobbled the rest of us who have product shipped half way across the country. How are they overcoming the rising costs of bringing it there, that is making it so cheap to ship away from here? Govt subsidies? It still has to boil down to someone absorbing the cost and no one, govt or corp, anywhere, has an unlimited supply of cash to subsidize that kind of volume indefinitely, even on corn here. On that subject, does anyone in a major city outside of the corn belt have more than a half dozen ethanol pumps anywhere in the area among the thousands of gas and diesel?

However, ask yourself how all the commodity shortages that routinely make the news resemble the California electricity crisis of a few years back. That was the doing of just a couple of companies in Texas with inside information about some weaknesses in a market that one of them help set up) that they promptly manipulated to send granny's electric bill higher than her house payment. Was that a result of real shortages? Nope. Disinformation, sleight of hand and some burn in hell tactics, but no shortages. Look hard. Who has moved into the "manufacturing" process and what sorts of smokescreens, you know, the kind it's difficult for the average shmuck like us to verify, are they blowing? Is there boogeymen? Is there doom and gloom? A threat to our way of life, the kind of thing it's your patriotic duty to open your wallet to save us from? If so hold on to your checkbook, it's gonna get deep. Get pissed and make your customers the same. Direct it toward the suppliers and the politicos who are giving them a helping hand.

Rant on and over for the moment. Now it's your turn.

rcreech
08-18-2008, 10:05 PM
ok, so back to the main purpose of this thread. If you truly believe that the reasons for high prices on fert are the EPA cracking down on manufacturing plants ( please. what, they couldn't afford 10 grand to their local/state/federal political parties to sideline EPA efforts with bureaucratic stalls forever to protect their investments in the plants?) or demand from third world countries? (China and India didn't just start growing in the past year, nor have I ever seen, even once, and Chinese or Indian, in their native countries depicted as the normal Joe, driving their Caddy, swilling their Bud and yapping with a half masticated cow hanging out of their yaw. We're still talking about the majority making just a few dollars a day and relying on our glutony to fuel their own growth. ) Did the product just materialize there, or are they immune from transportation costs that have hobbled the rest of us who have product shipped half way across the country. How are they overcoming the rising costs of bringing it there, that is making it so cheap to ship away from here? Govt subsidies? It still has to boil down to someone absorbing the cost and no one, govt or corp, anywhere, has an unlimited supply of cash to subsidize that kind of volume indefinitely, even on corn here. On that subject, does anyone in a major city outside of the corn belt have more than a half dozen ethanol pumps anywhere in the area among the thousands of gas and diesel?

However, ask yourself how all the commodity shortages that routinely make the news resemble the California electricity crisis of a few years back. That was the doing of just a couple of companies in Texas with inside information about some weaknesses in a market that one of them help set up) that they promptly manipulated to send granny's electric bill higher than her house payment. Was that a result of real shortages? Nope. Disinformation, sleight of hand and some burn in hell tactics, but no shortages. Look hard. Who has moved into the "manufacturing" process and what sorts of smokescreens, you know, the kind it's difficult for the average shmuck like us to verify, are they blowing? Is there boogeymen? Is there doom and gloom? A threat to our way of life, the kind of thing it's your patriotic duty to open your wallet to save us from? If so hold on to your checkbook, it's gonna get deep. Get pissed and make your customers the same. Direct it toward the suppliers and the politicos who are giving them a helping hand.

Rant on and over for the moment. Now it's your turn.

Getting the customer upset doesn't help in any way! We actually need to educate them and keep them calm for best results!

I am not sure where you have been....but we are shipping all our fert out and they can buy it because of our weak dollar!

Not sure where you have been, but this is pure supply and demand!

It't really simple, if you can't get it....it's worth more!

whoopassonthebluegrass
08-19-2008, 12:53 AM
Speaking of the weak dollar, I chatted with a customer today. Said they were in Mexico last week and nobody wanted to be paid with American currency! How pathetic is that?

LawnTamer
08-19-2008, 01:51 AM
Speaking of the weak dollar, I chatted with a customer today. Said they were in Mexico last week and nobody wanted to be paid with American currency! How pathetic is that?








holy crap! Maybe we should start requesting payment in pesos.

phasthound
08-19-2008, 08:40 AM
I am not sure where you have been....but we are shipping all our fert out and they can buy it because of our weak dollar!



Please share your source for this information.
The US imports 50% of its fertilizer.

RigglePLC
08-19-2008, 08:54 AM
Soybeans are never fertilized with nitrogen. They provide (fix) their own nitrogen. They are a legume--likewise clover. We may be adding clover to our lawns in the next year or two. Or maye someone can succeed in adding nitrogen fixing genes from clover into ryegrass or bluegrass. We can only hope. However, how do you spray for weeds in a yard full of clover?

rcreech
08-19-2008, 09:12 AM
Please share your source for this information.
The US imports 50% of its fertilizer.

We also import cars, grain, and many other things that are manufactured, grown on mined here in the US!

It is called TRADE!

What is your point?

ted putnam
08-19-2008, 09:41 AM
Not sure of all the "mechanix" of it all, but I do understand a little about supply and demand. I have heard that when the demand for what we have here is low, the supplier/blenders/mfg are exporting it from here at the premium price they are presently getting thereby keeping the present domestic supply low therefore the price high. So I guess technically...you are both right! Sometimes it seems like a bunch of smoke and mirrors...

whoopassonthebluegrass
08-19-2008, 09:48 AM
This simple fact of the matter is this:

Regardless of the source of the problem, we can't boycott or go on a hunger-strike. Thus, aside from whining and commiserating together - there isn't a damned thing we can do beyond taking it up the tailpipe.

rcreech
08-19-2008, 10:25 AM
This simple fact of the matter is this:

Regardless of the source of the problem, we can't boycott or go on a hunger-strike. Thus, aside from whining and commiserating together - there isn't a damned thing we can do beyond taking it up the tailpipe.


Ding, Ding, Ding!

We have a winner!

You are exactly right!

rcreech
08-19-2008, 10:29 AM
Soybeans are never fertilized with nitrogen. They provide (fix) their own nitrogen. They are a legume--likewise clover. We may be adding clover to our lawns in the next year or two. Or maye someone can succeed in adding nitrogen fixing genes from clover into ryegrass or bluegrass. We can only hope. However, how do you spray for weeds in a yard full of clover?

This is exactly what they are doing with corn right now!

They have corn traits in the pipeline right now that you wouldn't even dream of!

- Drought tolerant corn
- Nitrogen effecient corn (may take 50% or less of current rates)
- 2-4,D tolerant beans

And I could go on and on!

These traits will not be out until 2012, but why couldn't someone work on this for turf?

Next question....do we want then to? :laugh: I like applying N as I make a very good living doing so! :laugh:

GreenUtah
08-19-2008, 01:45 PM
Getting the customer upset doesn't help in any way! We actually need to educate them and keep them calm for best results!

I am not sure where you have been....but we are shipping all our fert out and they can buy it because of our weak dollar!

Not sure where you have been, but this is pure supply and demand!

It't really simple, if you can't get it....it's worth more!

Chinese currency has been tied to the dollar, expressed as a fixed percentage, for years, to keep their prices low, comparatively, keeping the demand train flowing to the United States, the largest single economic market in the world. When we cut back, they lose, even though they are number three now behind the US and Japan in total size of their market. Our pain becomes their pain. They aren't suddenly surging with cash as our markets tank out. The Europeans are the ones who have the buying clout against the weak dollar, but are we talking about them suddenly getting all of our commodities? Nope. Not suitable as boogeymen. They look and act too much like us.

Everyone feeling the pain is the only way to get action. What, you're going to absorb pricing bouncing all over the chart to keep the customer insulated? You're your dealer's customer, are they doing that for you? You spend a lot more with them than any single customer you have is spending with you. Everyone needs to be mad and it needs to be directed at the right people, even if it means barking up the tailpipe to which you are attached.

You can't get it and so you'll pay more is exactly the point. The question still remains to the real reason you can't get the normal production that you've seen for years.

phasthound
08-19-2008, 06:09 PM
We also import cars, grain, and many other things that are manufactured, grown on mined here in the US!

It is called TRADE!

What is your point?

My point is that 50% of the raw material used to blend conventional fertilizer comes from over seas.
So will you please post your source of the information you posted so we can read it first hand.
I am only asking what you asked me to do.

rcreech
08-19-2008, 09:22 PM
My point is that 50% of the raw material used to blend conventional fertilizer comes from over seas.
So will you please post your source of the information you posted so we can read it first hand.
I am only asking what you asked me to do.


What 50% are you talking about that comes from overseas? We mind both P and K here in the US...so what are you talking about?

You want my souce....

#1......LOOK AT THE FIRST POST THAT STARTED THIS!

#2 It is freakn common sense if you read or watch the news. All the good ol rice eaters are now eating meat...and that means they need fertilizer to raise grain crops! They are growing faster then any other area in the world!

#3 Every ag meeting (both fertilizer and seed meetings) and source I have is stating the same facts. I am very involved in the ag sector (probably even more then turf) and have to understand what is happening so I can make sound recs to my customers!

What is you point here? I understand you are pissed at me because I called you out on you magic products and that is fine.

Stillwater
08-19-2008, 09:27 PM
[QUOTE=rcreech;2473842]What 50% are you talking about that comes from overseas? We mind both P and K here in the US...so what are you talking about? QUOTE]

he may be talking about the massive quantities of NG and LPG required in manufacturing fert.

phasthound
08-19-2008, 10:49 PM
Let me say this slowly... the U.S. imports 50% percent of the raw materials used to blend fertilizers. We do not manufacture enough N or mine enough P & K domestically to meet our needs.

Almost 40% of our country's natural gas is used to produce N for fert.

Now billions of other people are beginning to have the capability to follow in our foot steps & there isn't enough to go around.

We need to become sustainable instead of looking for blame elsewhere.

rcreech
08-19-2008, 11:04 PM
Let me say this slowly... the U.S. imports 50% percent of the raw materials used to blend fertilizers. We do not manufacture enough N or mine enough P & K domestically to meet our needs.

Almost 40% of our country's natural gas is used to produce N for fert.

Now billions of other people are beginning to have the capability to follow in our foot steps & there isn't enough to go around.

We need to become sustainable instead of looking for blame elsewhere.

Gotcha...I didn't know what you meant! Saying it slower must have helped!
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine and he went to a local Co-op meeting today (which I will have no part of...not a big Co-op man), and he said that they shared with him that they had barges of fert sitting somewhere in the water and it ended up going somewhere else (can't exactly rememeber but I think he said Russia). Said that once it gets on the barge it is a bidding war and it goes to the HIGHEST bidder!

Again....Supply and Demand!

They are freaking out over it!

If one doesn't believe this or see what is going on...they are going to be in trouble!

Stillwater
08-20-2008, 01:19 AM
http://fossil.energy.gov/epact/Section_1818/The_Fertilizer_Institute_(2)_present_12-.pdf

phasthound
08-20-2008, 08:25 AM
Gotcha...I didn't know what you meant! Saying it slower must have helped!
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine and he went to a local Co-op meeting today (which I will have no part of...not a big Co-op man), and he said that they shared with him that they had barges of fert sitting somewhere in the water and it ended up going somewhere else (can't exactly rememeber but I think he said Russia). Said that once it gets on the barge it is a bidding war and it goes to the HIGHEST bidder!

Again....Supply and Demand!

They are freaking out over it!

If one doesn't believe this or see what is going on...they are going to be in trouble!

Exactly! We agree. :waving:

phasthound
08-20-2008, 08:26 AM
http://fossil.energy.gov/epact/Section_1818/The_Fertilizer_Institute_(2)_present_12-.pdf

Excellent info. Thank you.

Weedkilla
08-20-2008, 09:45 AM
Excellent info. Thank you.


good info- something to think about

Ric
08-20-2008, 01:53 PM
Excellent info. Thank you.

Phasthound

Even at today's prices I believe Price per applied Pound of N, Synthetic N is still Less than organic N. I believe cost is the theme of this thread

Once again I will make the point of the compact size advantage of synthetic N over organic N. Whereas Urea is 46% N, for every 100 pounds of shipping weight we get 46 pounds of pure N. With today's transportation costs we must factor in those costs when delivering product to our accounts. The average Pick up truck today can handle a Pallet of Fertilizer or one ton 2,000 pounds. That is equal to 920 pounds of N or over 20 acres @ a Pound per thousand. There are however 17 elements used by plants as nutrients in order to grow. Since the 4-1-2 Ratio of N-P-K along with minor elements has long been the accepted best Ratio for most turfs, Let us drop the 20 acres to 10 acres as the average synthetic fertilizer a Pick up truck can carry.

So My question is!!!!! How many sq ft can 2,000 pounds of organic Fert cover at 1 pound N 1/4 pound P and 1/2 pound K per thousand sq ft, or 4-1-2 ratio???????????????

tremor
08-21-2008, 03:22 AM
Ric,

You're cheating your own argument! Do you want a 100% Natural organic answer or another "bridge product" answer?

When a sludge, meat rendering &/or manure based organic (6-10%N) is used instead of a limestone filler then a pickup load can come arguably close in cost per acre. Fertilizer grade limestone filler has become very pricey these past couple years. Dusty too.

Most of these "organic bridge blends" are only running 30% bio-solid (human tankage) filler. Once a cheap (usually dusty & smelly) source is located there is no trouble competing.

However with the Milorganite supply issues this year we've been having to resort to Sustain for some our bridge products. Quality stuff for sure but much costlier than limestone filler.

I cannot speak of any of this thread's contributors but we've seen a locally produced bridge product where the bio-solid is the consistency of dirt & the ag-grade urea is sized like ping pong balls. To save money the producer has lowered their standards to a new all time low. I'd run some through my Sylvite SGN/UI gauge but the stench would foul my truck. One cannot even calculate the true UI. But then a certain class of buyer wouldn't appreciate knowing. It's a bottom line thing more than a quality thing.

One interesting aspect of the bridge phenom....JDL buys from TCS who in most cases (local regs) cannot keep sludge in their blending bins. Anderson's don't seem to care. This has given other blenders a niche opportunity to play on a quiet court.

A true zero filler 4-1-2 would still play well. We've dropped the P entirely due to DAP costs though. I'll run some 4-0-2 numbers & call you tomorrow.

bug-guy
08-21-2008, 07:46 AM
What 50% are you talking about that comes from overseas? We mind both P and K here in the US...so what are you talking about?


i believe the main source of "K" is canada, not overseas but still imported

Ric
08-21-2008, 10:13 AM
Ric,

You're cheating your own argument! Do you want a 100% Natural organic answer or another "bridge product" answer?

When a sludge, meat rendering &/or manure based organic (6-10%N) is used instead of a limestone filler then a pickup load can come arguably close in cost per acre. Fertilizer grade limestone filler has become very pricey these past couple years. Dusty too.

Most of these "organic bridge blends" are only running 30% bio-solid (human tankage) filler. Once a cheap (usually dusty & smelly) source is located there is no trouble competing.

However with the Milorganite supply issues this year we've been having to resort to Sustain for some our bridge products. Quality stuff for sure but much costlier than limestone filler.

I cannot speak of any of this thread's contributors but we've seen a locally produced bridge product where the bio-solid is the consistency of dirt & the ag-grade urea is sized like ping pong balls. To save money the producer has lowered their standards to a new all time low. I'd run some through my Sylvite SGN/UI gauge but the stench would foul my truck. One cannot even calculate the true UI. But then a certain class of buyer wouldn't appreciate knowing. It's a bottom line thing more than a quality thing.

One interesting aspect of the bridge phenom....JDL buys from TCS who in most cases (local regs) cannot keep sludge in their blending bins. Anderson's don't seem to care. This has given other blenders a niche opportunity to play on a quiet court.

A true zero filler 4-1-2 would still play well. We've dropped the P entirely due to DAP costs though. I'll run some 4-0-2 numbers & call you tomorrow.


Steve

I am shooting in the dark but I am talking pure gross weight here. To make myself clear I am asking How many pounds of N-P-K are in a ton of pure Organic Fertilizer if blended in the 4-1-2 Ratio. I can not see organics competitive with numbers like 46-0-0, 0-48-0 or 0-0-52.

The point of my argument is Transportation costs from the applicators side. The average pick up can carry 10 acres of 4-1-2 Fertilizer or one ton. So how many acres can one ton of Organic 4-1-2 blend fertilizer cover???

Comparative price cost factor per acre would be interesting of the same blend of Organic vs Synthetic. In fact those numbers might put the whole argument rest one way or another.

phasthound
08-21-2008, 07:35 PM
Phasthound

Even at today's prices I believe Price per applied Pound of N, Synthetic N is still Less than organic N. I believe cost is the theme of this thread

Once again I will make the point of the compact size advantage of synthetic N over organic N. Whereas Urea is 46% N, for every 100 pounds of shipping weight we get 46 pounds of pure N. With today's transportation costs we must factor in those costs when delivering product to our accounts. The average Pick up truck today can handle a Pallet of Fertilizer or one ton 2,000 pounds. That is equal to 920 pounds of N or over 20 acres @ a Pound per thousand. There are however 17 elements used by plants as nutrients in order to grow. Since the 4-1-2 Ratio of N-P-K along with minor elements has long been the accepted best Ratio for most turfs, Let us drop the 20 acres to 10 acres as the average synthetic fertilizer a Pick up truck can carry.

So My question is!!!!! How many sq ft can 2,000 pounds of organic Fert cover at 1 pound N 1/4 pound P and 1/2 pound K per thousand sq ft, or 4-1-2 ratio???????????????

Ric,
These are great questions and I appreciate you bringing them up. The answers are not as straight forward as one might think and you deserve the best answers I can give. No, I am not trying to skirt the issue, but I have just walked in the door from a 4 day whirlwind. So I ask you to wait a day or two for my response until I recuperate, i.e. grow some more brain cells. :dizzy:

Plant Buyer 83
08-22-2008, 04:22 PM
Wow - you don't come on this site for a few days and look at all the good info I have missed. I will have to read sometime tomorrow if time permits. Anyway not sure where this thread has gone - but I know it took a turn down Organic lane for a while but here is another good piece of lit back on topic (You may have read already).

Before anyone jumps on me I am aware this article is from late April. Just sharing some info.

phasthound
08-22-2008, 06:21 PM
Phasthound

Even at today's prices I believe Price per applied Pound of N, Synthetic N is still Less than organic N. I believe cost is the theme of this thread

Once again I will make the point of the compact size advantage of synthetic N over organic N. Whereas Urea is 46% N, for every 100 pounds of shipping weight we get 46 pounds of pure N. With today's transportation costs we must factor in those costs when delivering product to our accounts. The average Pick up truck today can handle a Pallet of Fertilizer or one ton 2,000 pounds. That is equal to 920 pounds of N or over 20 acres @ a Pound per thousand. There are however 17 elements used by plants as nutrients in order to grow. Since the 4-1-2 Ratio of N-P-K along with minor elements has long been the accepted best Ratio for most turfs, Let us drop the 20 acres to 10 acres as the average synthetic fertilizer a Pick up truck can carry.

So My question is!!!!! How many sq ft can 2,000 pounds of organic Fert cover at 1 pound N 1/4 pound P and 1/2 pound K per thousand sq ft, or 4-1-2 ratio???????????????

Since cost is the theme of this thread, are we trying to determine cost by amount of product used or by achieving results, such as a green healthy lawn?

So instead of comparing apple to oranges let's look at what it costs to obtain results. In order to verify results, I've attached a synopsis of a study done 10 years ago by The Ohio State University. Please read it.

Now since most compost contains a lot of water that adds to the bulk, imagine if it is processed into a dry granular product. Instead of applying 1/4 inch topdress, you can apply 10lbs/1000 sq ft. If you use this organic matter for a base and add some Urea, Ammonium Sulfate and Sulfur Coated Urea; you can apply at 4lbs/1000 sq ft to get the desired results.

Costs are reduced by adding low cost organic matter that increases the efficiency of nutrient uptake, therefor reducing the amount of expensive nutrients required to reach the desired results.

As you can see from my post on another thread, we can put together a program that provides results with applications of 4lbs/1000 with an annual product cost of about $288/acre for truckload buyers.