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JDUtah
01-14-2009, 08:55 PM
I hope this doesn't evolve into another bashing thread. I want to understand where Barefoot is coming from (as related to comments he has made in two other threads).

Barefoot,
Free of the heat from either of those threads... To start off right and understand each other I think it is important to clarify the very thing that started a little spiff... so what did you mean by "dead soil" in that post where you said you believe in it?

Hopefully I understand and do not feel like taking this thread any farther lol.

Peace,
David

ps... I am going out to dinner, but will be back later.

ICT Bill
01-14-2009, 09:26 PM
I have no idea what the previous "stuff' is about

Think succession, disturbed soils start at a place in "succcession" typically small areas of bacterial colonies. The soils have to build from there.

If you bulldoze or rototill an area you will break up the fungal and bacterial colonies that are in the soil. These are the nutrient miners, the decomposers that supply nutrients to the plant root. These are in most cases symbiotic realtionships between the plant and the soil

Get rid of these symbiotic relationships and you have basically "dead soil". what deminishes the colonies and beneficials can happen in all sorts of ways

Katerina (the hurricane) is a good example, salt water and often total destruction of soil (washed away), fire, standing water for long periods of time, etc

treegal1
01-14-2009, 09:47 PM
some soil was just not meant to hold any life, like the sand I live on. its a mix of seashells and quarts, most of the time the rain washes all the OM from the top to the marshes and swamps..................

Barefoot James
01-14-2009, 11:34 PM
I told them to check out http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/articles.htm

This was about reduction in soil fertility due to years of synthetic ferts, herbs and pests. The pest side wanted proof I referred JD to Acres USA.

My whole deal was you could help soils with OM and organic inputs that would help the soil fertility and even help the NPK's, herbs and pests work better.

Mr. Creech went off on a tangent about genetic improved corn and yields that grow every year, blah, blah, blah. I basically tried several angles of reason all pointed towards - how organics would only help - even genetic corn could have even bigger yields if OM and other organic inputs went back into soil. Even sent him a study (specific proof) on Pecan Tree yields/30% to 40% just with myco - he tripped out - how are you going to crop rotate Pecan Trees.:laugh: - thought that was pretty funny.

Anyway JD wanted specific proof, tests, peer-reviewed stuff (you know JD) about subject and how he had looked all over the web and found nothing about synthetics hurting soil fertilities.

Even too many organic inputs could hurt soil fertility (or lock it up) but Ferts alone cannot build or improve soil fertility. - The actual synthetics in the soil might improve the yields but they are bypassing the soil - so it is not really part of the soil. I have never read anything but that synthetics bypass the soil and the water basically is the carrier (of synthetics) to the plant - granted the organics present in the soil will help as best it can to process and use synthetics on a whole. But without organic inputs actual soil fertility would decline because of the synthetics themselves, wind, rain, pollution, etc.

One fact that is just fact - and would reduce soil fertility is Synthetic P. Over 10% will kill mycorrhizae. If it will kill a benefital fungi that builds soil structure and glomalin production, which is proving to be THE primary soil building super star then this shows synthetics, reduce soil fertility. One of many things in synthetic ferts that compromise soil fertility (salt, reduced CEC, etc).

Kiril
01-15-2009, 12:30 AM
Even too many organic inputs could hurt soil fertility (or lock it up) but Ferts alone cannot build or improve soil fertility. - The actual synthetics in the soil might improve the yields but they are bypassing the soil - so it is not really part of the soil.

I don't know if I would go this far. If everything you apply is taken up by plants, yes, but is this really the case? These ferts could also be taken up by microbes, adsorbed onto charged particles (clay, OM), form different compounds and precipitate out of solution, etc... This means that to some extent synthetic ferts could add to overall soil fertility in the short term, BUT they generally do nothing for overall soil health.

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-15-2009, 12:41 AM
I come across "dead soil" all the time here, David. It's almost a given in any of the new construction areas.

Landscapers bring in big machines and scrape off that top layer of soil that contains the microbial world - and then they plop sod onto the sublayers of "dead soil".

I peddle Mycorrhizal Fungi to these types of accounts to initiate microbial development, and the results compared to just letting new sod fend for itself in these situations is phenomenal.

Barefoot James
01-15-2009, 12:44 AM
Good point but the biology has to be in place organically for this to happen? I look at soil fertility as the soils ability to grow stuff and grow itself - so it may help short term grow plants but it is not adding to the soils ability to grow the humus part of the soil? So is it helping the whole circle of fertility. Or am I talking about soil structure here? Or both?

Kiril
01-15-2009, 02:10 AM
If we assume soil health = soil fertility, and we define a healthy soil as one that can support the desired plant growth naturally without the use of synthetics, then you are correct. In an ideal world, the above would be a soil that requires no inputs at all.

JDUtah
01-15-2009, 02:37 AM
OK so we can agree that "dead soil" is soil that does not have the microbial life required to perform the mineralization that supports plant life?

Would you agree with this statement?

BTW Barefoot you might want to re-read the post where I entered that conversation. Note the peer reviewed part. No hard feelings.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php?p=2694758&postcount=23

But anyways do we agree on the dead soil definition?

Kiril
01-15-2009, 09:21 AM
OK so we can agree that "dead soil" is soil that does not have the microbial life required to perform the mineralization that supports plant life?

Would you agree with this statement?

No, as that is only one possible definition.

Smallaxe
01-15-2009, 11:30 AM
some soil was just not meant to hold any life, like the sand I live on. its a mix of seashells and quarts, most of the time the rain washes all the OM from the top to the marshes and swamps..................

Has anyone added composted clay, to the sand down there to see if that helps hold the OM from leaching a little better?
Our sand is not quite as bad as Florida's but still problematic. Up here we typically just put down a heavy clay based topsoil about 4" thick over the top of the sand and grass to hold it in place.

JDUtah
01-15-2009, 03:31 PM
No, as that is only one possible definition.

Kiril,
May I remind you of the original question of this thread?
"Barefoot... so what did you mean by "dead soil" in that post where you said you believe in it?"

I am not asking for an all inclusive definition. I am looking for the definition Barefoot meant when he used the term dead soil with Rodney. As far as I know, you are not telepathic and cannot know what he was meaning. If you are, can you please send me the brainwaves he was having when he wrote dead soil so I can understand where he was coming from?? Thanks

So let me rephrase that....

Barefoot,
In the context you mentioned dead soil with Rodney, is this what you meant?

"dead soil" is soil that does not have the microbial life required to perform the mineralization that supports plant life?

Shall I quote what you wrote?

"I don't do organics because of global warming - don't think it is real. But I do believe in dead soil and groundwater contamination. Look at the gulf or Chesapeake Bay. Granted lots of “organic poop from cows too (they should compost it and use it for good)” but there is way more evidence of over use of oil made NPK with salt carriers and herbicides and pesticides that have killed the soil."

But I suppose you wont admit it... so to move on...

What did you mean by the "over use of oil made NPK with salt carriers and herbicides and pesticides... have killed the soil."

Define overuse please? And how did they kill the soil? Particularly, how did the NPK kill the soil?

Kiril
01-15-2009, 03:33 PM
Is that what you meant Barefoot?

Does the underline mean I can't respond? :laugh:

JDUtah
01-15-2009, 03:53 PM
Does the underline mean I can't respond? :laugh:

lol, just wait for him to respond, then you are welcome. :)

Barefoot James
01-15-2009, 03:54 PM
I meant soil that has been compromised or soil that has reduced fertility - to me that means dead as in won't grow good fescue but will grow good weeds and crab grass - to me that means the soil is dead (but good for weeds) but it should be poor soil fertility for fescue. Now according to your buddy Mr. corn those corn scientists can create genetic corn that can grow on concrete (he did not say that exactly - but he did say they could make the corn grow in anything) so ... it is what it is.
You should be a speechwriter for Bill Clinton!;)
Basically it all gets back to weeds. I would assume they like ANY soil? But grass likes specific soil. So my company works to get that specific soil profile build so grass grows great and has the opportunity to out compete the weeds and we amend, amend, amend and seed, seed, seed until we get it soooo thick and healthy that IF a weed should pop it head out it is easy to pluck or torch or ignore. That is our weed program for lawns. That is how that whole thing started organics don't work cause you can't kill the weeds. Well obviously you can cause we do!

JDUtah
01-15-2009, 04:02 PM
Thank you for responding Barefoot.

I am sorry. I assumed by 'dead soil because of NPK, Herbicides, and pesticides' you meant the microbes in the soil were killed off. I jumped in to ask for more evidence for that (the microbes).

Knowing where you are coming from now I understand and can appreciate what you were trying to say. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

David

Pssst, Kiril, the floor is now open. :laugh:

LawnTamer
01-15-2009, 04:03 PM
I hope I can answer, even though I am not Barefoot, I come across dead soil often. It is one of the problems I deal with regularly and you probably do to JDUtah. Our soil here is desert soil, sand deposits, clay deposits from lake Bonneville with a thin layer of organic material on top, very minimal, and usually scraped off in the construction process.

Like Whoop, I have had great success with Mycorhizal fungi products like Endoroots, lawns that have poor soil will always be wanting/needing more fert, water etc, just to survive. It takes a while, but the lawns I have treated with Endoroots need less water, less fert and are generally healthier.

One other "dead soil" issue I have come across are places around homes where nothing will grow. I call them dead spots, and attribute them to spillage that occurred during construction. In one case, the homeowner had the soil tested and found diesel fuel in it. Probably a leaking piece of equipment.

JDUtah
01-15-2009, 04:06 PM
OK thanks Lawn Tamer and everyone.

I was stuck in the micro world of organics but now I am a liberated man! lol

I do come across that often.

Smallaxe
01-15-2009, 09:52 PM
One more concern about 'dead soil' to consider. With all the compost, CT, microbes that you can imagine -- it is all for 'nought' - if there is not a cultural program to match it.
I am glad we've gotten past the - 'one glove fits all', routine, but let's look deeper into cultural practices, (according to weather), b4 we relax. :)

treegal1
01-15-2009, 11:38 PM
Has anyone added composted clay, to the sand down there to see if that helps hold the OM from leaching a little better?
Our sand is not quite as bad as Florida's but still problematic. Up here we typically just put down a heavy clay based topsoil about 4" thick over the top of the sand and grass to hold it in place.I wish we had that sort of thing here. as close as we can come is river sediment, but we have to tread lightly with the metals it almost always has.

muddstopper
01-16-2009, 10:41 PM
I dont believe there is any such thing as a dead soil. Dig down 200ft into deep subsoil and you will find some sort of microbiology. It may not be what you want to find, but it will be there. To say that you can remove what makes a soil fertile and classify that as a dead soil, can and does happen. To simply add microbes to your definition of a dead soil wont make that soil fertile again. You first have to restore the soil structure so that it can support your areobic microbes. simply adding compost to this type of soil wont necessary provide a good home for the microbial life you are trying to re-establish. Fertile soil is made up of centuries of weathered and decaying minerals. These minerals have been used and reused millions of times and then left in the form of humis as a food source for the microbes. When you remove this organic humis layer, you are left with the base material that the soil was originaly derived from. It will take a million more years before the microbes can digest enough of those base materials converting them back into the original humis layer. Chemical imputs can speed this process up. The chemicals are used by the microbes as a food source and then passed on to the plants to live and die and be recycled. Chemical fertilizers can make a soil more healthy, but there is more to the chemical makeup of a healthy or fertile soil than NPK. Therefore only adding NPK chemical fertilizer will never make a healthy soil. Only by using chemicals in correct balances to restore the readily available nutrients to the microbes as well as the host plants can you build new humis levels, in a reasonable period of time. The chemical balance of the soil creates the physical properties necessary to maintain a functional soil biology.

There is much debate as to what is organic and what isnt. Urea in its chemical form is the exact same urea found in animal urine, which is organic?

One fact that is just fact - and would reduce soil fertility is Synthetic P. Over 10% will kill mycorrhizae.

Synthetic p is still derived from the same sea creatures as rock phosphate, it has only been treated to remove the other impurities. Why is one considered organic and the other not?

Another fact is that super phosphate will become tied up in the soil colloids in about 4 weeks as it reverts back to its original form of tricalcium phosphate. To say that one can kill all the mycorrhizia in the soil, includeing its spores, in 4 weeks is stretching the truth a little bit. There are studies out there that suggest that mycorrhizal growth, while temporay suppressed, is actually stimulated after p applications. Which science is one to believe. Which leads me to my next point.

If it will kill a benefitual fungi that builds soil structure and glomalin production, which is proving to be THE primary soil building super star then this shows synthetics, reduce soil fertility. One of many things in synthetic ferts that compromise soil fertility (salt, reduced CEC, etc).

While glomalin does what you say it does, it cant do it without a carbon source. Growing, thriveing, plants pull carbon from the air in the form of CO2. This carbon is exchanged from the plant roots to the mycorrhizia. If you can improve the plant growth, Which P applications can do, would you not also improve the carbon transfer. Of course, if there isnt any mycorrhiza, then there is no exchange between the plant and the glomalin. In your so called dead soils, the innoculation with mycorrhiza will prove benefitual, but I wouldnt go as far as to say that you shouldnt add a little synthetic P, rock phosphate, or a high P compost material, if the soil is deficient in available P. Its going to take the Mycorrhiza a million more years to provide enough readily available P to a growing crop for maximum production. The trick is to determine how much is the correct amount.

Kiril
01-16-2009, 10:57 PM
Damn Mudd, been a while.

Generally I agree with what you said, however there are a few items that don't quite sit right. Maybe I will detail it tomorrow.

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 12:25 PM
Damn Mudd, been a while.

Generally I agree with what you said, however there are a few items that don't quite sit right. Maybe I will detail it tomorrow.


Damn motel rooms internet service is terrible at best lately. More aggravation that its worth most times.

I have my fireproof raincoat on, throw out your details. Sometimes I dont articulate in words what I am trying to say the best I should. At any rate, I appreciate any comments you might have.

Kiril
01-17-2009, 01:46 PM
When you remove this organic humis layer, you are left with the base material that the soil was originaly derived from.

I assume you are talking about the O and A horizons. The horizons that follow are not neccessarily parent material.

Various links on soil profiles and horizons.

Good discussion here:
http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter/geog101/textbook/soil_systems/soil_development_profiles.html

A must read and required reading in some soil science courses:
http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010159.Jenny.pdf

A cool animation:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com:8100/legacy/college/strahler/0471238007/animations/ch21_animations/animation1.html

From the FAO to cover international as well:
http://www.fao.org/docrep/w8594e/w8594e0g.htm

It will take a million more years before the microbes can digest enough of those base materials converting them back into the original humis layer.

http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/1121SoilThroughTime.jpeg (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/GeologicalDiagrams2.html)

Note: image is link back to source page.


The chemical balance of the soil creates the physical properties necessary to maintain a functional soil biology.

More factors here to consider than just chemical balance.

Another fact is that super phosphate will become tied up in the soil colloids in about 4 weeks as it reverts back to its original form of tricalcium phosphate.

There are more possibilities here that will effectively make applied P unavailable.

Some discussion on this:

http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/soils/2D.pdf

http://www.pals.iastate.edu/agron154/Agron_154/Unit_24/terms.htm

if the soil is deficient in available P. Its going to take the Mycorrhiza a million more years to provide enough readily available P to a growing crop for maximum production.

Time scale again, plus if there is no P, then there is no P (inorganic that is). Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't see how the myco can provide P to the host plant if there is no P available in the soil/parent material to begin with. The P would have to come from some other source.

I also want to point out that myco associations provide far more benefit to a plant than simple P acquisition. :)

Kiril
01-17-2009, 02:36 PM
Lookie at what I found the other day.

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 02:38 PM
Alright Kiril, its going to take me a little time to look over the links you provided. I do like the graph showing 1000 to 100,000 years instead of the million years I suggested. Either way, we wont live long enough to see it and my million year remark was an exsaggeration meant to show that is doesnt happen overnite or a year or two.

Time scale again, plus if there is no P, then there is no P (inorganic that is). Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't see how the myco can provide P to the host plant if there is no P available in the soil/parent material to begin with. The P would have to come from some other source.

Exactly the point I was trying to make, if it aint there, and we dont add it, it isnt going to get there, which is why I dont think we should totaly ignore the addition of P to a P deficient soil simply based on that it might kill some of the mycorrhiza.

There are more possibilities here that will effectively make applied P unavailable.

agree, anytime you have more than one ion present, there are going to be exchanges and tieups of nutrients. Zinc is a big tie-er upper of P. Lack of soil mositure also prevents nutrient exchanges. high ph levels, which is usually a result of to much calcium. I can probably think of a few more, but I already have a headache.


I also want to point out that myco associations provide far more benefit to a plant than simple P acquisition.

again I agree.

Anyways, keep up the good work.

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 02:43 PM
Whats the pic of. To me it looks like someone spilled some chicken laying mash on the ground and it got wet, or a pile of wiggley little grub worms.

Kiril
01-17-2009, 03:24 PM
Whats the pic of. To me it looks like someone spilled some chicken laying mash on the ground and it got wet, or a pile of wiggley little grub worms.

:) Bet TG knows. ;)

Attached high res shot of same "stuff" at a different location on the same property.

phasthound
01-17-2009, 03:35 PM
:) Bet TG knows. ;)

Attached high res shot of same "stuff" at a different location on the same property.

Worm poo! That's disgusting.

ted putnam
01-17-2009, 03:54 PM
Worm poo! That's disgusting.

If worm poo, they've been ingesting sheet rock :laugh: That's disgusting!

Kiril
01-17-2009, 04:01 PM
Worm poo! That's disgusting.

......... and it is all over the place too. :laugh:

Mr. Nice
01-17-2009, 04:06 PM
Mudd,

You are probably correct to say utilizing the RIGHT amount of P can be beneficial to the fungi?

Regarding mycorrhizal fungi and P

I believe that commercial producers or any one pot culturing mycorrhizal fungi do not add any P unless the plant is showing sings of deficiency.And I have read that too much P in soil ******s sporulation.

Not completely sure about all but some mycorrhizal fungi require all their carbon come from the plant?
Now a plant will send carbon compounds to the fungi in return for other nutrients needed
for growth that they are unable to obtain on their own or in sufficient amounts for healthy growth. When the plant uses it's energy to make and send these carbon compounds, it is using it's own food in the trade. The plant does this because they get something in return.

Now if the plant does not require the fungi to mine, produce larger amounts of very necessary macro and probably micro nutrients as well, why would the plant waste it's energy giving that fungi food that could be used to feed it's self or other soil/foliar microorganisms? There are other metabolites the myco fungi offer but how much energy does the fungi require to do that compared to the energy needed for exploring and mining large area's of soil.

Just a thought.

I would imagine mycorrhiza are not the only ones in the soil producing different "glues" building structure ,OM, making nutrients available and in the end making true stable humus in the soil.

Farming microbes will help build OM but only if you have plenty of carbon being added. More then what just a plant can offer though it's roots if you expect it to be done in a faster process to produce top soil.
I would say faster you add carbon the faster microbes can processes it.
And in turn

A soils nutrient fertility is a direct relation to it's health to a point. By adding soluble nutrients bypasses natural nutrient cycling to a degree, by passes some microbial decomposition that is needed and responsible for the soil structure,fertility,micro population's #'s
that are the true reason healthy soil has its fertility and structure to Begin with.

I do how ever agree that the use of proper amounts of solubles can help economically feed plants and add nutrients to the soil if deficient.
But determining the right amount or type for that matter is the trick.
And the adding of solubles alone with plants root exudate's for the microbial community will only go so far to help generate top soil in a timely fashion.

DUSTYCEDAR
01-17-2009, 04:06 PM
Dang they beat me to it poooooooooooo

treegal1
01-17-2009, 04:39 PM
:) Bet TG knows. ;)those are my best friends. Lumbricus terrestris???the GC guys hate the little fellows, they mess up play and dirty the sand traps and, well I have herd all the excuses in the world. red light at 3:00AM and its a free for all. and these guys will chew up wood( not really but it seems like it).

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 05:13 PM
I dont think I have ever seen any whiteish colored worm poo before. The soil is red here and the poo comes out brownish.

One thing I did notice was all the wood chips in your pic. Could all those chips be whats making the poo so light colored?

treegal1
01-17-2009, 05:21 PM
these guys do the some hole every day thing so i think that is some of the debris that they barf out of the hole, maybe just sun wind rain washed???

thats a great question, you got whats left of my mind working..............................

Kiril
01-17-2009, 05:38 PM
One wet, one dry? Soil in the first pic is fairly light colored. Soil in the attached pic is fairly dark colored.

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 05:40 PM
Mudd,


A soils nutrient fertility is a direct relation to it's health to a point. By adding soluble nutrients bypasses natural nutrient cycling to a degree, by passes some microbial decomposition that is needed and responsible for the soil structure,fertility,micro population's #'s
that are the true reason healthy soil has its fertility and structure to Begin with.

I do how ever agree that the use of proper amounts of solubles can help economically feed plants and add nutrients to the soil if deficient.
But determining the right amount or type for that matter is the trick.
And the adding of solubles alone with plants root exudate's for the microbial community will only go so far to help generate top soil in a timely fashion.


I think you are pretty close in your assessment. You can bypass the natural nutrient cycleing and grow crops. Its done everyday in hydroponics. but I have never tasted one of those water rooted veggies that tasted anywhere as good as a soil grown one. Like said, the trick is learning how much ferts is enough or to much. Which brings us to another point.

Soil testing facilities use many different testing methods to determine nutrient imputs to the soil, either thru soil analysis or leaf analysis. Since there seems to be no standardized method of determine the nutrient content of the soil or plant, or at least not a single testing method used by every testing facility, how on earth is one supposed to figure out which scientific research is accurate. You can split a soil sample and send it to two different labs and get completely different results as far as nutrient content. A lab using the melich1 testing procedures will show about 1.5 times lower P content than a lab using the melich3 test. Then you read a research paper that says p levels below a specific amount are considered deficient. They never mention which testing solution was used to determine these results. If Melich 3 was used, then of course a Melich1 soil test report would show deficient P levels. Then, after reading the research paper you look at your soil test and bam, you dont have enough P, or bam, your P levels are to high. I say find a method that works for you and stick with it. Learn how to interpet the results and what the numbers mean and do your own observations so you can tell if you are having a problem. There are way to many numbers thrown around, all claiming to be correct, ( and according to their testing methods probably are), and all misleading or confuseing the reader as to what is actually going on with their soils.

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 05:42 PM
...And I have read that too much P in soil ******s sporulation.

Not completely sure about all but some mycorrhizal fungi require all their carbon come from the plant?
Now a plant will send carbon compounds to the fungi in return for other nutrients needed
for growth that they are unable to obtain on their own or in sufficient amounts for healthy growth. When the plant uses it's energy to make and send these carbon compounds, it is using it's own food in the trade. The plant does this because they get something in return.

Now if the plant does not require the fungi to mine, produce larger amounts of very necessary macro and probably micro nutrients as well, why would the plant waste it's energy giving that fungi food that could be used to feed it's self or other soil/foliar microorganisms? There are other metabolites the myco fungi offer but how much energy does the fungi require to do that compared to the energy needed for exploring and mining large area's of soil.

Just a thought.

I would imagine mycorrhiza are not the only ones in the soil producing different "glues" building structure ,OM, making nutrients available and in the end making true stable humus in the soil.

Farming microbes will help build OM but only if you have plenty of carbon being added. More then what just a plant can offer though it's roots if you expect it to be done in a faster process to produce top soil.
I would say faster you add carbon the faster microbes can processes it.
....

Your "just a thought" comment - makes one of my my concerns about this entire concept - recieve some light :)

Why do humates loaded with carbon, work so well?!?

Could it be because: that it provides an overly abundant supply of carbon?... that it may now exchange or trade, if you will, one form of energy for another?

Would not the healthy growth of Mycorrizae benefit both: the plant and the microbes - involved in a beneficial 'big picture' eco-system?

Everything I've read - points to P, being present in spades, yet available to plantlife only under certain conditions. My current train of thought , revolves around the idea that, "Increasing the carbon base, indirectly increases availability of P!
Could this possibly be a clue?

Interesting indeed. :)

Kiril
01-17-2009, 05:53 PM
Why do humates loaded with carbon, work so well?!?

Could it be because: that it provides an overly abundant supply of carbon?... that it may now exchange or trade, if you will, one form of energy for another?

You need to be more specific what you mean by "humates".

Barefoot James
01-17-2009, 05:56 PM
Oxidized Lignites (fresh water derived - mainly from NM) or leonardites (salt water - mainly from SD)??

Mr. Nice
01-17-2009, 06:12 PM
In my opinion the finest quality source for humic acids is from simple water extraction from worm cast and woody composts.

But I do use the alkaline extracted lignite sources as well.

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-17-2009, 06:45 PM
Y'all got some real-world proof that humates does anything? I haven't researched it for a couple years now, but last time I did I studied it with the Turfgrass Professor at the ag school here - and we couldn't find one lick of verifiable evidence that humates were anything more than snake oil...

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 06:49 PM
Y'all got some real-world proof that humates does anything? I haven't researched it for a couple years now, but last time I did I studied it with the Turfgrass Professor at the ag school here - and we couldn't find one lick of verifiable evidence that humates were anything more than snake oil...


heres you some interesting reading, I dont think this bunch is affiliated with any specific company or brand, and they list a bunch of sources for the research.
http://www.humichealth.info/effects.html

treegal1
01-17-2009, 06:59 PM
Y'all got some real-world proof that humates does anything? I haven't researched it for a couple years now, but last time I did I studied it with the Turfgrass Professor at the ag school here - and we couldn't find one lick of verifiable evidence that humates were anything more than snake oil...
for now just some pictures of green grass and some wild veg's and the green beans are off the chart, like they fell from heaven, oh and the maters and cuks, or the rad-dishes.
oh oh the coconuts, I cant forget the coconuts. the island boys fight over them!!! I use only some great natural worm humates (humus) and sometimes add some liquid smoke from the smoker lid(just a pinch)

also got a question found some real dark soil that was very dark next to a mined like of unknown depth, this stuff was black inside and was so sweet smelling with a diesel sort of smell in the back ground. who would be able to test to see what this is, humate wise...............

phasthound
01-17-2009, 07:00 PM
Y'all got some real-world proof that humates does anything? I haven't researched it for a couple years now, but last time I did I studied it with the Turfgrass Professor at the ag school here - and we couldn't find one lick of verifiable evidence that humates were anything more than snake oil...

I know I posted several peer reviewed university studies on the pesticide forum.

There is no doubt about the benefits of humates regarding soil and plant health. Snake oil? Far from it.

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 07:06 PM
You need to be more specific what you mean by "humates".

Exactly!!! :)

Humates of relevance vs. Humates not so relevant.

Does compost, have enough humates, to provide enough 'carbon' - to feed the Mycorrizae and the plants, both?
If so: Then the mycos can feed the plant the necessary P, as well as increase its own kingdom.

If not, then there is a 'net loss' in energy production as the mycos 'mine' the soils for P. What are the other benefits of microbial activity for grass- if they perform at peak efficiencies?
If the mycos are at top eficiency, then all life forms should benefit, Nay?

Mr. Nice
01-17-2009, 07:31 PM
Smallaxe,


There is confusion some times with that word humates, It Is I think a name you stick on
man made humic acid products or things like lignite and such?

Not whats in the soil naturally. humus.

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 07:42 PM
Smallaxe,


There is confusion some times with that word humates, It Is I think a name you stick on
man made humic acid products or things like lignite and such?

Not whats in the soil naturally. humus.

OK, - When I think 'humates' I think naturally occuring processes.

Thanks for the 'Heads up'.

muddstopper
01-17-2009, 07:47 PM
It might be interesting to note that humate response is soil specific. If you add humate to soils low in OM, you will see much more response than if it is added to soil with a high OM. This stands to reason since high OM soils already contain adequate amounts of humic substances. I think this is one reason why some people swear by it and others swear at it.

Kiril
01-18-2009, 03:14 AM
Humates of relevance vs. Humates not so relevant.

Reading

http://fulvalife.com/documents/pdf/4.humic.substances.compnds.of.unkwn.structure(2005).pdf

Smallaxe
01-18-2009, 11:46 AM
Reading

http://fulvalife.com/documents/pdf/4.humic.substances.compnds.of.unkwn.structure(2005).pdf

There seems to continue to be more speculation than hard data regarding humus, humates, and humic acids in regard to its chemistry and its use or non-use in soils.

I think there is a consensus that it all comes from organic biodegradation [compost] and as Muddstopper said, when you got high OM already, it doesn't seem to do much.

"Polyphenols come mostly from lignin during
its biodegradation, and probably play a key role in
the formation process. Polyphenols are also
regarded as the main agents in the formation of
humic substances from some plants that do not
contain much lignin and/or from non-lignin
containing plants. Polyphenols can be considered
as humic acid precursors. They themselves possess
enough reactive sites to permit further
transformations, for example some condensation"

Compost also helps in the following, and some say, that compost is all you need to accomplish this.
"Humic acids, one of the most important
components of HS, help break up clay and
compacted soils, assist in transferring
micronutrients from soil to plants, enhance water
retention, increase seed germination rates, and
stimulate the development of microflora
populations in soils."

The following makes me wonder what coal dust would do for the unbelievably porous sands I've come across.
"Humic acids also slow down
water evaporation from soils. This is especially
important in soils where clay is present at low
concentration or not at all, in arid areas, and in
sandy soils without the capability to hold water.
Humic acids provide also sites for microflora to
colonize. Bacteria secrete enzymes which act as
catalysts, liberating calcium and phosphorous from
insoluble calcium phosphate, and iron and
phosphorous from insoluble iron phosphate. The
chemical structure of HAs is very complicated and
depends on their source."

Mr. Nice
01-18-2009, 01:51 PM
Very high and very low phosphorus levels may reduce mycorrhizal infection/colonization (Koide, 1991). It is well established that:

infection by mycorrhizal fungi is significantly reduced at high soil phosphorus levels (Amijee et al., 1989; Koide & Li, 1990)
the addition of phosphate fertilization results in a delay in infection as well as a decrease in the percentage of infection of roots by mycorrhizae (deMiranda, Harris & Wild, 1989; Asimi et al., 1989)
an increase in the level of soil phosphate results in a reduction in chlamydospore production by the fungus (Menge, et al. 1978). These spores are involved in root infection and spread of the fungus through the soil profile.
Research by Abbott and Robson (1979) concluded that levels of soil phosphorus greater than that required for plant growth eliminated the development of the arbuscles of vesicular-arbuscular (VA) types of mycorrhizae. Arbuscles are structures produced within the host plant cells by the VA mycorrhizae. These structures are responsible for the transfer of absorbed nutrients from the fungus to the plant. The arbuscles resemble miniature shrub-like trees (arbuscular = shrub in Latin). Mosse (1973) reports adding phosphate results in no arbuscles forming.

What levels of P are critical?
When the soil level of bicarbonate-soluble phosphorus exceeded 140 mg kg -1 (140 parts per million) the rate of infection was found to decrease (Amijee et al. 1989). Abbott and Robson (1977 & 1978) found the mycorrhizae Glomus fasciculatum ceased to be effective when the soil level of phosphorus reached 133 mg kg -1 [133 parts per million (ppm)]. Schubert and Hayman (1986) found mycorrhizae was no longer effective when 100 mg or more of P was added per kilogram of soil (100 ppm). Mycorrhizal infection virtually disappeared with the addition of 1.5 grams or more of mono calcium phosphate per kilogram of soil (Mosse 1973). With small additions of phosphorus fertilizer, entry points and fungal growth on the root surface remained normal but arbuscles were small and fewer in number reducing the effectiveness of the fungus/plant relationship. Other researchers have reported mycorrhizal infections tend to die out in soils containing or given much phosphorus (Baylis, 1967; Mosse, 1967). The development of mycorrhizal relationships were found to be the greatest when soil phosphorus levels were at 50 mg kg -1 (50 ppm) (Schubert & Hayman, 1986).


Summary and recommendations:
The benefits of mycorrhizae are greatest when soil phosphorus levels are at or below 50 ppm (50 mg kg -1). Mycorrhizal infection of roots declines above this level with little if any infection occurring above 100 ppm P even when soil is inoculated with a mycorrhizae mix.

Prior to inoculating soil with mycorrhizae, a soil test should be conducted. If phosphorus levels are greater than 50 ppm the addition of mycorrhizae will likely be ineffective.

The level of phosphorus in the plant also has been shown to influence the establishment of VA mycorrhizae with high levels inhibiting colonization by mycorrhizae (Menge, et al. 1978). Foliar applications of phosphorus therefore should be avoided when inoculating soil with mycorrhizae


•
As the soil's phosphorus levels available to the plants increases, carbon drain on the plant by the AM fungi become parasitic
–
(Grant, C. Bitman, S., Montreal, M., Plenchette, C., Morel, C.. "Soil and fertilizer phosphorus: effects on plant supply and mycorrhizal development". Canadian Journal of Plant Science 85: 3-14.)

The benefits of mycorrhizae are greatest when at or below 50 ppm
•
Mycorrhizal colonization of roots declines above 50 ppm
•
Little if any infection occurs above 100 ppm P even when soil is inoculated with a mycorrhizae mix
–
(Swift, C.E. Mycorrhiza and soil phosphorus levels)

Smallaxe
01-18-2009, 02:07 PM
That is one more good thing about plenty of humus. [compost] :)

muddstopper
01-18-2009, 03:09 PM
The following makes me wonder what coal dust would do for the unbelievably porous sands I've come across."[/b]


I am going throw out an observation on a particular old coal shute site I see regularly. This site hasnt had any coal dumped there in at least 30years that I am aware of. There are Pinoaks probably close to 3ft in dia growing out of the coal residues. They always have a heavy acron crop. The grass grows right up to the tree trunks and is very thick. I have never seen any maintance as far as fertilizer or chemical applications, just weekly mowing. When mowed the clippings are many and left where they fall. The soil is very dark, but I havent noticed any large pieces of coal laying around, and I have looked.

My general observations seem to suggest that something is holding moisture in the soil, otherwise the grass should be suffering under the large canopies of the large trees and the roots running along top of the soil. The area is almost completely shaded in the summertime. Weed pressure is heavy, but low growing weeds that would probably be eliminated if the mower deck was raised. The fast growing turf suggests plenty of N is in the soil, dark green color also suggests maybe lots of iron, but could also be caused by other micro nutrients. You can move a 100ft from this old coal shute and its like a different place as far as soil color and plant growth

I have often considerd taking a soil sample just to see what the soil really has in it, just have never gotten around to doing so. I have read studies that suggests that coal can be used for a soil amendment, but problems exsist with heavy metals.

muddstopper
01-18-2009, 03:50 PM
Very high and very low phosphorus levels may reduce mycorrhizal infection/colonization (Koide, 1991). It is well established that:

infection by mycorrhizal fungi is significantly reduced at high soil phosphorus levels (Amijee et al., 1989; Koide & Li, 1990)
the addition of phosphate fertilization results in a delay in infection as well as a decrease in the percentage of infection of roots by mycorrhizae (deMiranda, Harris & Wild, 1989; Asimi et al., 1989)
an increase in the level of soil phosphate results in a reduction in chlamydospore production by the fungus (Menge, et al. 1978). These spores are involved in root infection and spread of the fungus through the soil profile.
Research by Abbott and Robson (1979) concluded that levels of soil phosphorus greater than that required for plant growth eliminated the development of the arbuscles of vesicular-arbuscular (VA) types of mycorrhizae. Arbuscles are structures produced within the host plant cells by the VA mycorrhizae. These structures are responsible for the transfer of absorbed nutrients from the fungus to the plant. The arbuscles resemble miniature shrub-like trees (arbuscular = shrub in Latin). Mosse (1973) reports adding phosphate results in no arbuscles forming.

What levels of P are critical?
When the soil level of bicarbonate-soluble phosphorus exceeded 140 mg kg -1 (140 parts per million) the rate of infection was found to decrease (Amijee et al. 1989). Abbott and Robson (1977 & 1978) found the mycorrhizae Glomus fasciculatum ceased to be effective when the soil level of phosphorus reached 133 mg kg -1 [133 parts per million (ppm)]. Schubert and Hayman (1986) found mycorrhizae was no longer effective when 100 mg or more of P was added per kilogram of soil (100 ppm). Mycorrhizal infection virtually disappeared with the addition of 1.5 grams or more of mono calcium phosphate per kilogram of soil (Mosse 1973). With small additions of phosphorus fertilizer, entry points and fungal growth on the root surface remained normal but arbuscles were small and fewer in number reducing the effectiveness of the fungus/plant relationship. Other researchers have reported mycorrhizal infections tend to die out in soils containing or given much phosphorus (Baylis, 1967; Mosse, 1967). The development of mycorrhizal relationships were found to be the greatest when soil phosphorus levels were at 50 mg kg -1 (50 ppm) (Schubert & Hayman, 1986).


Summary and recommendations:
The benefits of mycorrhizae are greatest when soil phosphorus levels are at or below 50 ppm (50 mg kg -1). Mycorrhizal infection of roots declines above this level with little if any infection occurring above 100 ppm P even when soil is inoculated with a mycorrhizae mix.

Prior to inoculating soil with mycorrhizae, a soil test should be conducted. If phosphorus levels are greater than 50 ppm the addition of mycorrhizae will likely be ineffective.

The level of phosphorus in the plant also has been shown to influence the establishment of VA mycorrhizae with high levels inhibiting colonization by mycorrhizae (Menge, et al. 1978). Foliar applications of phosphorus therefore should be avoided when inoculating soil with mycorrhizae


•
As the soil's phosphorus levels available to the plants increases, carbon drain on the plant by the AM fungi become parasitic
–
(Grant, C. Bitman, S., Montreal, M., Plenchette, C., Morel, C.. "Soil and fertilizer phosphorus: effects on plant supply and mycorrhizal development". Canadian Journal of Plant Science 85: 3-14.)

The benefits of mycorrhizae are greatest when at or below 50 ppm
•
Mycorrhizal colonization of roots declines above 50 ppm
•
Little if any infection occurs above 100 ppm P even when soil is inoculated with a mycorrhizae mix
–
(Swift, C.E. Mycorrhiza and soil phosphorus levels)

After posting that, do you have any ideal of how the bicarbonate of soda testing solution they used compares to the testing solution of the soil test labs you might use. My guess is most probably dont. My point being that there are at least 12 different testing methods used to determine P levels in the soil and the numbers will be different on every single one of them. there is no way you can take these test results and compare them with the test results of another testing facility and arrive at what is to much or not enough. There are to many varibles in types of extracts used and the amount of time the particles are left in the solution. Was their test a 10 min test or a 30 min test. If its a ten min test, then one might suspect that there is a lot of P in the soil, but if its a 30 min test, then 50ppm isnt all that great.

Does this study suggest that there is a problem with to much P in the soil, yes, but we already new that. What this study didnt reveal is how much is to much. Just for an example, if the Melich 3 test is used for determining P levels and found 50ppm as the acceptable level, that would equate to about 125ppm on a melich 1 test and probably around 250ppm on a Bray, depending on if its Bray1-2-or 3. Same soil, same P, just different testing procedures. Which number do you choose. Now if 50ppm on the bray test is considered to high, then you would not be allowed for any P to showup on the other type test. Posted numbers are meaningless without knowing the testing procedures. Further, old research was done using older testing procedures, many of which are still being used by various labs all over the country. You cant compare numbers with different soil testing procedures and different labs.

Still, yours was a good post and I dont want you to think I am throwing flames at you.

Smallaxe
01-19-2009, 07:57 PM
Yes, heavy metals -- Good point!

Otherwise your observations kind of made the point from that website that I quoted.
I suppose an accumulation of good compost would eventually produce similar results. :)

Tim Wilson
01-19-2009, 08:40 PM
I'm guilty of not reading the posts from Dr. Nice and Mudstomper thoroughly but; yes applied P is not a favorite love of mychorrhizal although some strains tolerate and use it; yes soil tests are all over the place, so much so that I completely gave up the practice (for now anyway until I find a reliable lab); I tried doing my own testing for a while with a top grade (well that you can buy for farm use) extraction/reagant kit. When it showed me that my spring fed drinking water had a sky high phosphorous level I stuck it in the corner and have not used it since.

treegal1
01-19-2009, 08:47 PM
Tim that's funny that you said that, just today I said that my lamotte test kit was like a crystal ball, there is something there, but you may just as well read tea leaves......

even the health department here has had some far out results with my well water................

Kiril
01-20-2009, 01:52 AM
http://www.hannainst.com/

treegal1
01-20-2009, 02:21 AM
http://www.hannainst.com/

спасибо........

Mr. Nice
01-22-2009, 10:53 AM
Still, yours was a good post and I dont want you to think I am throwing flames at you.

Not at all Mudd, I appreciate your insight.

I posted the that for a few reasons. I made a comment in the pesticide forum
saying I wasn't sure about high phosphates killing mycorrhizae? that maybe it was just they did better in a low P soil to receive more carbon compounds?

But there seems to be More to it? There seems to be evidence that High phosphates cause a toxic responses to the mycorrhizae hindering metabolic functions responsible for sporulation?
And since new root infections are necessary for mycorrhizae continues survival at site that high P can possibly "kill" off the mycorrhizae?

You bring up good points about what different chemical soil tests can show.

What is the true amount of P thats toxic? I'm sure since all soils are different
it would be a hard thing to determine for each site?

I thought it was interesting about how foliar feed P could produces toxic effects to the myco and even know it's hard to determining what is a toxic amount/level that the test studies show that just a small amount "50ppm" would cause some toxic effect? I will have to research the test's studies done to see if any were done in a closed system with soil less medium and known P inputs amounts.

muddstopper
01-23-2009, 11:03 PM
Mr Nice, the study mentioned a bicarbonate solution so I am going to suspect maybe a variant of the bray testing procedure. If so, The acceptable numers would be much higher than the 50ppm if a lab is using the Melcih testing. Treegal mentioned the Lamotte test, this is pretty much a water soluible test and I dont know how the numbers would compare. I dont think anybody has ever developed a conversion chart on nutrient amounts according to various testing procedures. If someone knows of one let me know. I dont Know of any way to reasonably compare numbers from one soil test lab with another lab. My suggestion is find a lab and stick with it and learn to work within their suggested perrimeters.

Kiril
01-24-2009, 12:22 AM
Mr Nice, the study mentioned a bicarbonate solution so I am going to suspect maybe a variant of the bray testing procedure. If so, The acceptable numers would be much higher than the 50ppm if a lab is using the Melcih testing. Treegal mentioned the Lamotte test, this is pretty much a water soluible test and I dont know how the numbers would compare. I dont think anybody has ever developed a conversion chart on nutrient amounts according to various testing procedures. If someone knows of one let me know. I dont Know of any way to reasonably compare numbers from one soil test lab with another lab. My suggestion is find a lab and stick with it and learn to work within their suggested perrimeters.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a713623122~db=all

http://www.sera17.ext.vt.edu/Documents/Methods_of_P_Analysis_2000.pdf

http://www.lanfaxlabs.com.au/papers/P68-EA2007-convention.pdf

tattooedturf
01-24-2009, 12:40 AM
:confused:Please elaborate on the (other possible definitions)

JDUtah
01-25-2009, 04:00 AM
:confused:Please elaborate on the (other possible definitions)

I meant dead as to microbes. I was thinking (what I consider) old school organic that believes synthetic ferts kill microbes. I thought that is what he meant by dead.

tattooedturf
01-25-2009, 01:56 PM
I meant dead as to microbes. I was thinking (what I consider) old school organic that believes synthetic ferts kill microbes. I thought that is what he meant by dead.
Thanks, I agree totally. We stopped using synthetic ferts on all our properties last Sept and switced to organics. In 1 year I have seen such a difference in the quality of turf that we gained over 30 new residential properties just by word of mouth. It all starts with soil. Healthy microbial life = healthy turf.