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turf hokie
01-23-2009, 01:09 PM
I have a sports complex that we are going to use an organic bridge program on.

Soil test came back with the following (let me know if you need more info)
pH 7.1
OM% 3.5
CEC 10.2

Now I now the OM is on the low side but I am not sure what the optimum goal is.

We will be applying 10/bs of OM per 1,000 thru the fertilility program.
Is this enough to raise the OM? or should I begin looking into compost and if so what are you thoughts on a pelletized compost worked in with an aerevator so that I dont effect the playability.

Thanks for the help as I am sure I could find this info if I looked long enough but I am short on time today.

Bryan

Kiril
01-23-2009, 02:00 PM
Do you have a more extensive soil test report, or an specific address?

turf hokie
01-23-2009, 07:34 PM
No specific address. It is a brand new sports complex. 50/50 rye blue sod installed in August or so with no treatments since.

I only had a standard soil test done with a check on OM.
Here are the results that I got back.

Lbs per acre available
P = 150
K = 203
Ca = 3476
Mg = 294
CEC = 10.2

% base saturation
K = 2.6
Ca = 85
Mg = 12
OM3% = 3.5

If there is more needed then I will get a more specific test done. I am still at the infancy stages of using/learning organics so I am not sure if this is the info that I need to get to the answer I want.

Kiril
01-23-2009, 09:12 PM
No specific address. It is a brand new sports complex. 50/50 rye blue sod installed in August or so with no treatments since.

General location then? I need the information to pull a soil report. The type of program you settle on will depend on the type of soil you are dealing with. Based on what you have posted, I would say a loamy sand, but would rather have the report so you can have the proper tools to make an informed decision.

Also, units for the results, or the lab you used would be helpful.

They already installed the sod heh. Did they amend the soil before doing it?

turf hokie
01-23-2009, 09:33 PM
I dont think the map will help. The soil was amended. Unfortunately I was not onsite for any of the construction so I cannot tell you to what extent and with what. I can tell you that from what we pulled doing the soil test your are right with loamy sand. Old Orangeburg Rd, Orangeburg NY if that helps

We used CLC labs.

Unfortunately, they used 3/8 gravel in their drainage system and they seemd to be sloppy with it as we pulled some up when we took our plugs. Probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but not my choice of gravel.:hammerhead:

Just like I would have preferred a TTTF w/ KBG and not Rye. But this is what I have.

Kiril
01-23-2009, 10:45 PM
Soil report attached. Verify?

rcreech
01-24-2009, 05:27 PM
Turf Hokie,

It takes alot material and time to increase OM!

Hope this helps!

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/components/7402_02.html

How long does it take?
Building organic matter is a slow process. First, the amount of residue and active organic matter will increase. Gradually, the species and diversity of organisms in the soil will change, and amounts of stabilized organic matter will rise. It may take a decade or more for total organic matter levels to significantly increase after a management change. Fortunately, the beneficial effects of the changes appear long before organic matter levels rise. These improvements, however, can be reversed in a year or two by returning to previous practices.

Why does it take so long for organic matter levels to increase? An acre of soil six inches deep weighs about 1000 tons, so increasing the proportion of organic matter from two to three percent is actually a 10 ton change. However, you cannot simply add 10 tons of manure or residue and expect to measure a one percent increase in soil organic matter. Only ten to twenty percent of the original material becomes part of the soil organic matter. Much of the rest is converted over several years into carbon dioxide.

turf hokie
01-24-2009, 08:22 PM
According to the map we would be in the weathersfield (WeB) gravelly silt loam 3-8% slope prior to the leveling, amending and grading of the area.

Is this what we are looking for? What would be the goal for % OM in the soil if we could change it tomorrow. Just so I know what we a striving for.

Thanks for the article Rodney, just dont you and Kiril hijack this thread:laugh:

I know it will take time to change the OM levels I just dont know if we can do it quicker or better or more efficiently by adding a pelletized compost or if the program alone will suffice.

I just want to make sure that I am putting the right foot forward with the program being that nobody has messed with the turf since it left the farm. They have my program already, I just want to finalize any changes that need to be made now that I have the soil test and hopefully some more information. This way they know if there is any additional budgetary concerns.

Mr. Nice
01-24-2009, 08:41 PM
Your looking for a OM at or above 5%

Best way to quickly add/rise OM levels is first with out a doubt adding good finished compost, then feeding/farming microbes


If your just adding synthetic nutrients and a total of 10 lbs? of composted manure per 1000 per year it will take a very long time to increase OM?

What is OM? to me it's decomposing carbon based organic compounds and microbe biomass.

turf hokie
01-24-2009, 08:50 PM
Your looking for a OM at or above 5%

Best way to quickly add/rise OM levels is first with out a doubt adding good finished compost, then feeding/farming microbes


If your just adding synthetic nutrients and a total of 10 lbs? of composted manure per 1000 per year it will take a very long time to increase OM?

What is OM? to me it's decomposing carbon based organic compounds and microbe biomass.

I have put them on the nutrients plus program which has thier organics based on biosolids and poultry manure at about 20% of each of the total product the other 60% is basically urea and SCU. Barry may be able to qualify this a little more. But this is where I get the 10lbs of OM per season.

I did not think this would be enough to get the OM up to where it should be any time soon so I was asking if pelletized compost would help. I dont want to go with top dressing as these fields will be under almost daily use and I cannot shut more than one down at a time never mind for multiple days. I have the ability to work the pelletized compost in with an aerevator(sp?) and I can get it customized with humates and seaweed extract etc if I desire or if that is the route that I should take.

Thanks
Bryan

rcreech
01-24-2009, 08:51 PM
According to the map we would be in the weathersfield (WeB) gravelly silt loam 3-8% slope prior to the leveling, amending and grading of the area.

Is this what we are looking for? What would be the goal for % OM in the soil if we could change it tomorrow. Just so I know what we a striving for.

Thanks for the article Rodney, just dont you and Kiril hijack this thread:laugh:

I know it will take time to change the OM levels I just dont know if we can do it quicker or better or more efficiently by adding a pelletized compost or if the program alone will suffice.

I just want to make sure that I am putting the right foot forward with the program being that nobody has messed with the turf since it left the farm. They have my program already, I just want to finalize any changes that need to be made now that I have the soil test and hopefully some more information. This way they know if there is any additional budgetary concerns.


Don't worry I won't! Just wanted to get you that info!

Mr. Nice
01-24-2009, 09:26 PM
Adding little bits of manure while feeding only synthetics will not help rise OM levels.
and if anything that type of program will help eat up more OM in the soil lowing it's level possibly?

Kiril
01-25-2009, 04:03 AM
I know it will take time to change the OM levels I just dont know if we can do it quicker or better or more efficiently by adding a pelletized compost or if the program alone will suffice.

The program alone will not suffice. Given the soils you are dealing with, I would shoot for somewhere around 8-10% SOM. I can go into more detail if you wish.

Obviously this won't happen overnight as you know, however if you can find a time of the year to apply a good layer of compost, then it will get better with time, and your other inputs will decrease proportionally.

phasthound
01-25-2009, 11:00 AM
The Nutrients PLUS program goal is to add 10-15 lbs OM per 1000 annually in order to improve plant health. It will not significantly increase SOM %. The program is designed to get the best results by combining OM with some synthetic nutrients. It is a bridge program that makes it easier for LCO's to start using OM. It will increase microbial activity and improve nutrient uptake while reducing NPK applications.

To increase SOM, compost does a soil good.

turf hokie
01-25-2009, 11:55 AM
OK, so as I continue to absorb additional organics info. and I become more edumacated.

It looks like I will be adding compost to the program and then I assume I will just need to continue soil testing until I meet the goal of 10% OM or so. Is there a time that is better than another. I would assume that this should be done right after aerating.

Barry and anybody else familiar with the pelletized compost. Is this as good as bulk compost? Just based on ease of application and not having to purchase another piece of equipment yet I would prefer to go this route.

muddstopper
01-25-2009, 12:16 PM
Why do you want to raise OM to 10%? Also define what you mean by organic matter. In soil, organic matter consists of plant and animal material that is in the process of decomposing. When it has fully decomposed it is called humus.

phasthound
01-25-2009, 12:17 PM
OK, so as I continue to absorb additional organics info. and I become more edumacated.

It looks like I will be adding compost to the program and then I assume I will just need to continue soil testing until I meet the goal of 10% OM or so. Is there a time that is better than another. I would assume that this should be done right after aerating.

Barry and anybody else familiar with the pelletized compost. Is this as good as bulk compost? Just based on ease of application and not having to purchase another piece of equipment yet I would prefer to go this route.

In all honesty, nothing works as well as good compost. The pelletized is good and easier to apply.

Kiril
01-25-2009, 12:34 PM
In all honesty, nothing works as well as good compost. The pelletized is good and easier to apply.

I agree. You will get far better results faster with compost.

muddstopper
01-25-2009, 12:43 PM
you can also add a little powered humate (not humic acids) along with your compost and maybe a biostimulant

Kiril
01-25-2009, 12:46 PM
Why do you want to raise OM to 10%?

Mudd, take a look at the soil report (in particular the WeB series), compare against the test results posted and you will see why a higher than average percent SOM is a good idea.

More info on the Wethersfield Series

http://www2.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/osd/dat/W/WETHERSFIELD.html

muddstopper
01-25-2009, 01:12 PM
Not seeing the connection between your link and the soil test report.
My thoughts are that due to the high calcium content, it might be necessary to raise OM levels in order to improve CEC and porousity, and to tieup some of that excess calcium.. I just dont see how you came up with the numbers of 8%-10%. :confused:

Just sitting behind my desk and looking at the blackboard, you may have to get your:hammerhead:out.

Kiril
01-25-2009, 02:29 PM
Mudd,

There is no particular reason I choose 8-10%. It was a number I picked based on the test results and the soil report. With more data, I could run a regression analysis to determine a closer value, but that is beyond the scope of the discussion.

Lets consider the indigenous soils physical and chemical properties of the 0-13" portion.

Clay fraction = 0-17
OM% = 2.0-5.0
pH = 4.5-6.0
ECEC = 0.0-4.6

Now look at your soil test

pH 7.1
OM% 3.5
CEC 10.2

Lets assume the soil test CEC is total not effective.

The soils natural tendency here will be to become more acidic over time.
Given the effect of pH on CEC (primarily that which is due to OM), as the pH falls, your ECEC will also fall (i.e. it is directly proportional).

We also know that an increase in CEC will increase the buffering capacity of the soil to changes in pH. Given we don't know the relative contribution of the clay fraction to CEC, we will assume it is not substantial.

In order to provide sufficient CEC to buffer changes in pH as well as provide exchange sites for nutrient retention, we need more SOM (or more appropriately SOC) to achieve this goal. Therefore based on the soil report, I choose an OM% that was roughly 2 times that of the indigenous soil.

What is the appropriate % SOM to achieve the above goals? That will need to be determined with soil tests over time. It may end up only being 6% SOM needed, or perhaps 12% will be needed. Design the program figuring you will need to raise the SOM substantially in order to achieve the end goal, a net reduction of inputs.

muddstopper
01-25-2009, 05:36 PM
Keep going, you have my attention. But where did you get these numbers Lets consider the indigenous soils physical and chemical properties of the 0-13" portion.

Clay fraction = 0-17
OM% = 2.0-5.0
pH = 4.5-6.0
ECEC = 0.0-4.6
, I dont think I saw this in any of the other post. Did I miss it.

I might not be online for a day or two, but I intend to come back to this thread.

Kiril
01-25-2009, 09:06 PM
Keep going, you have my attention. But where did you get these numbers , I dont think I saw this in any of the other post. Did I miss it.

They are from the soil report that I attached to one of my posts.

turf hokie
01-26-2009, 09:01 AM
Boy, I knew I was a neophyte when it came to organics but just this little bit has me feeling like there is so much more than what I thought.

My understanding is that goal OM% will vary based on what the subsoil is? This is because certain soils will hold OM better and others will lock up OM?

Kiril, you are basing the total OM goal on what the soil report you have says. But we know that they have amended the soil and at least in field tests it is a loamy sand. I also know that this amended soil is at least 8" due to our field tests. Will this change the recommendation?

Sorry, for not giving this info. I was not sure what was relevent or not.

I also realize that topdressing OM is better then pelletized OM but I cannot shut the fields down for 2 weeks while the topdress breaks down. I could do this late fall (November) but is this still good timing or is it too late?

And off topic, but it seems to me that the organic customer is one that is few and far between due to what appears to be an inherently high cost of providing the organic service. It seems that I will need to charge 3x that of my synthetic in order to be able to provide a true organic program and that does not even account for compost applications.

I really need 2 days to peruse this forum dont I.

phasthound
01-26-2009, 10:01 AM
Boy, I knew I was a neophyte when it came to organics but just this little bit has me feeling like there is so much more than what I thought.

The more you look at something, the more you realize you have more to learn. But think back to when you were starting out and learning about conventional lawn care. I'll bet you were maybe a little bit overwhelmed learning about different fert & pesticides, unidentifying pests & diseases, application timing and rates.

I also realize that topdressing OM is better then pelletized OM but I cannot shut the fields down for 2 weeks while the topdress breaks down. I could do this late fall (November) but is this still good timing or is it too late?

Applying a 1/4" of compost does not mean you have to shut down the fields for 2 weeks.

And off topic, but it seems to me that the organic customer is one that is few and far between due to what appears to be an inherently high cost of providing the organic service. It seems that I will need to charge 3x that of my synthetic in order to be able to provide a true organic program and that does not even account for compost applications.

Have you spoken with any of the NOFA Landcare folks? I don't follow many of their guidelines, but they have a lot of knowledge & experience going for them.

I really need 2 days to peruse this forum dont I.

There is a lot of info here, some good some bad, just like any other forum,

----------------------------------------------------------------

treegal1
01-26-2009, 10:14 AM
maybe try and boost the SOC with some bio char to get the CEC up to where it can be more effective, and then work out the SOM, as that takes some more time. just a thought........

also Barry is correct that a 1/8 inch top dress will not hardly show-up, maybe try and time it so that you do it on a Monday and water that next morning, or something like that...........

Kiril
01-26-2009, 10:30 AM
Boy, I knew I was a neophyte when it came to organics but just this little bit has me feeling like there is so much more than what I thought.

This really isn't as much about organics as it is sustainable land management. This just happens to be the only place this type of discussion is "allowed". ;)

My understanding is that goal OM% will vary based on what the subsoil is? This is because certain soils will hold OM better and others will lock up OM?

Unless there was a substantial amount of "topsoil" brought in, the natural tendency of any soil will be to revert to it's natural state if nothing else is done after the initial amendments.

Kiril, you are basing the total OM goal on what the soil report you have says. But we know that they have amended the soil and at least in field tests it is a loamy sand. I also know that this amended soil is at least 8" due to our field tests. Will this change the recommendation?

No, per above answer. I suspect based on your test the primary amendments were lime and OM. The effects of these amendments will disappear over time ... probably within a 1-2 years.

I also realize that topdressing OM is better then pelletized OM but I cannot shut the fields down for 2 weeks while the topdress breaks down. I could do this late fall (November) but is this still good timing or is it too late?

Anytime you can is a good time .... as long as you get some down. Is there irrigation here? It is possible to do several lighter apps which will "disappear" quickly instead of one heavy app.

And off topic, but it seems to me that the organic customer is one that is few and far between due to what appears to be an inherently high cost of providing the organic service. It seems that I will need to charge 3x that of my synthetic in order to be able to provide a true organic program and that does not even account for compost applications.

Not sure I agree. Once you get the OM levels up in your soils, pH should more or less stabilize, overall fertility will increase, which all leads to far less inputs over the course of the season (i.e. no lime, less ferts, better water management, etc....).

I really need 2 days to peruse this forum dont I.

Jump in with both feet. :) You can still practice sustainable land management without knowing all the hardcore details.

turf hokie
01-26-2009, 12:39 PM
Thanks, Kiril, Barry, Tree and others. A lot of good help. I will look into the smaller amounts of topdressing compost. I will have more questions on organic programs and products etc soon, but I am going to do some more homework first.

I have information from NOFA but have not spoken to them. It seems whenever they have seminars they are 2-3 hours away and span multiple days so I have not been able to attend any as of yet.

I am looking more into organics for a few reasons. As I started the bridge program on some turf last year with good/great results.

There is definately a draw to sustainable and organic practices in this area. I am looking at it from a few perspectives. One is customer/potential customer perception, a niche that has yet to be filled and the fact that the more my business grows and the more chems that come thru my warehouse the more aware I am of just how much less I want to deal with them.