View Full Version : Cracked Corn??

A1 Grass
09-02-2003, 10:52 PM
I saw a post by Woodycrest a while back with some pics of his successful use of cracked corn.

Does anyone know about how/when to use it? How about using it on St. Augustinegrass?

09-02-2003, 11:16 PM
i would like info to

09-02-2003, 11:36 PM
It is also known as corn gluten meal. I checked with a local grain elevator, price is alot cheaper than from a distibutor.

A1 Grass
09-03-2003, 12:15 AM
I believe they are two different things.

"Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the manufacture of corn starch and corn syrup" (http://www.ingredients101.com/cgm.htm)

Cracked corn is just dried, cracked corn. And the less expensive of the two, I think. (not sure)

Mind you I know very little about this and that's just what I've read.

09-03-2003, 12:24 AM
I'm playing around with the cracked corn but would like to see some info on it as well.paid 7.50 per 50 pound bag.can probably get it a little cheaper but i wasn't shopping around.

09-03-2003, 12:51 AM
Yeah, its just corn.

THe stuff i have been experimenting with is actually rolled corn...but im sure cracked corn is the same thing. Its just corn that has been crushed or cracked and its mostly broken kernels but there are some whole kernels..i have found a few corn sprouts here and there, but after a couple of mowings they were gone.

I pay 10.00 for 40 kg(88lbs) at the local feed store.

I am new to this corn fertilizer thing so i am just relaying my observations. I applied the corn in early may at 10 lbs/thousand sq ft, then another 20lbs/thousand in mid august. In the meantime the grass around here is dormant....we have had very little rain around here. So i am waiting for a good soaking rain.

THere was definite improvement in the turf before it went dormant so i expect some good results when we get some rain.

Mike Bradbury
09-03-2003, 01:34 AM

09-03-2003, 02:16 AM
Thanks Mike for that link. I only had a problem with one sentence possibly being misunderstood.

Its nitrogen content adds significant value to corn gluten meal as an herbicide, but it cannot stand alone as a good natural fertilizer alternative. Actually it really can stand completly alone as a good natural fertilizer, but I suggest that for professional care givers, it not be used routinely. For one reason, the cost (except in Ohio and Kentucky) is prohibitive. Secondly, THAT STUFF IS FREAKIN' ROCKET FUEL FOR GRASS! :blob2: :blob2: :blob2:

Three weeks after applying it at 20-40 pounds per 1,000, you will have dark green grass up to your knees every week for a month or two. The herbicidal rates are completely outrageous compared to the 10-20 pounds normally suggested for 1,000 foot fertilizer apps. With this stuff I usually suggest using it at a rate of 5-10 pounds per 1,000 square feet to fertilize.

Oops! I forgot to mention that corn meal and corn GLUTEN meal are two different product. I'll cover that in a FAQ I'm writing for this forum.

09-03-2003, 02:35 PM
Freakin rocket fuel.....I like that.
I needed some rocket fuel because of a certain dog of mine so that will be good.I'm playing with some things on my own lawn because of the dog and the kids.Don't want to get carried away on a customers lawn till i know what I'm doing.

A1 Grass
09-03-2003, 05:44 PM
DCHall - You seem to be very informed on this "organic" stuff. Maybe they should consider you for moderator of this forum...

I'm glad to hear you are also in SA. I may have to get your opinion from time to time. I look forward to more of your informative posts!

09-03-2003, 08:41 PM
They already have and he already is.....A moderator for this forum.

09-03-2003, 08:55 PM

I talked with Groundskper the other night on AOL. He and Tims Turf have been trying to get me to post to this forum. I believe they might have warned you that I might pick it apart. In reality I think Organics can be of benefit. However Bridge products are where I draw the line Agronomic and economically.

Now I will agree the Carbohydrates in corn will increase micro population and in turn make nutrients more available to the plant. The Frugal Agronomist has suggested I do a cost comparison. 88lb divided by 40lb equals 2.2. $10.00 per 88lb divided by 2.2 equals $ 4.55 per K materials cost. Or $200.00 per acre is the material cost with out adding in labor or transportation. Even at Lescoís HIGH prices I can fertilize an acre with a complete slow release containing minors and secondary elements as well as Pre-m for about $25.00

I would like to quote the Frugal Agronomist, Lawrence Stone.

ďI can see how this program works for you since you have a 5 ton truck and a fork lift.Ē

09-03-2003, 09:05 PM
I don't believe this forum is about cost per se,it is about an alternative to chemming ourselves to death.
It is for educational purposes.If you aren't interested thats fine others are.

09-03-2003, 10:23 PM

Registered just two month and 446 posts. It appears you have a lot to say. If you don't like what I have to add then go to your profile and add me to your ignore list. I have been under the impression for the last several years this was a discussion forum.

In order to make any program work, cost becomes a factor. Agronomy is the oldest science known to man. It has evolved from organics to synthesis because of cost. It will do you or the environment no good unless everyone jumps on your band wagon. Your band wagon must be cost effective if it is to survive.

Now let us start over My name is Ric and I believe in the value of organic material in agronomy. However I am a firm believer in bridge products as opposed to pure. Pesticides have increased our life span and helped control disease. They are the reason the few feed the many. Our lives are better because of them. The next time you eat a piece of meat, know that you have consumed 46-0-0 a feed additive. Also be aware of the Chlordane that you are eating in your salad. Yes Sir COST is a very big factor. But let us work together to try and reduce the amount of pesticides in the world we live in.

dan deutekom
09-03-2003, 10:36 PM
Thankyou Ric. I have been biting my tongue.:dizzy:

09-03-2003, 10:36 PM
Cracked corn is 10cents a pound(for ease of calculation). So at 10 lbs per thousand sq ft thats 1.00 per thousand. Depending on the amount you apply the cost will be different of course. So for ease of calculation lets call it 50.00 per acre.

i dont want to mow grass up to my knees every week, so i would tend towards the lower amount. Suppose i apply 10/thousand in spring and another 10/ thuosand in fall....thats 100.00 per acre for the whole season. I dont necessarily need to apply at that amount every season though. From my understanding the amount of fertilizer required in an organic lawn becomes less and less every season as the health of the soil improves. So over the long term the cost gets lower and lower. So over a few seasons maybe you only need to fertilize once in the fall and still maintain the health of the soil which in turn makes the turf healthy.

09-04-2003, 12:07 AM
When will be the best time to apply this corn gluten meal? (will an early fall app work??)
I have been applying 5.2.4 Sustane for the 1st three applications and just getting the ordinary results, ie. maintaining PH, etc. I've noticed that the lawns were not as green as I would liked it to be.
Can I apply this corn gluten meal with the 5.2.4 Sustane as an early fall application??

09-04-2003, 12:09 AM

You make some good points about rate-cost factors. You also bring up the residual factor of SOM. However rate and residual factors are heavy dependent on CEC, AEC, EC, Porosity, Infiltration and the inverse log of the hydrogen ion. And last but by far not least Microbial activity. C-3 turf requires much less nutrients than C-4 therefore morphology is a factor also.

The Fertile hard pan soil of Canada consists of smaller particles size than the calcareous soil of Florida. Therefore what works for you won't work for me. My rate would be more like 40 lb time 4 per year.

An other factor to consider is wild life. I can hear the phone ringing now. " I got a deer on my front yard." Or worst yet " There are birds all over my yard." Armadillo, Raccoons etc etc. You don't have Fire Ants and trust me you don't want them, But corn would bring them in droves here in the South.

Another factor I would love to know the answer to is Smell. Once again I can hear the phone ring now. " My yard smells like a still" Here in Florida we get 55 inches of rain in a normal year and we get in a 6 month period. 100% humidity and a 95 degree air temp means the verger is at 104 degrees minim. I can smell the methane gas now.

Please don't take my post the wrong way. I am looking for a cost effective way to add organic material to my yards. No I will more than likely never be a all organic guy.

09-04-2003, 12:12 AM
Nothing I hate more than a server crash in the middle of my writing. I think I'm cooling off now.

You're plenty welcome here, Ric :blob3: And Dan you don't need to bite your tongue. I'm not going to bite mine. You guys know more about chemical turf management than I'll ever know. What I want to do is educate about organics and encourage you guys try some things out to see for yourself.

Economics is absolutely an important factor in all this. If you have a client (or potential) scratching at the door for a bid, you need to be able to give a good estimate or you're toast. I will give y'all the benefit of my economic analysis but first I want to say this...HOLEY CRIPES!! You can apply Lesco for $25/acre :dizzy: I'm stunned! How many times per year do you have to apply it?

Here's the economic analysis I use for corn meal. I like corn meal because it is available in bulk within 5 miles of nearly everyone in North America for about the cost of bagged dirt (well, not quite). I get mine for $6.50 per 50 pound bag. It goes on at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. So the cost is $6.50/5,000 or $0.0013 or $1.30 per thousand or $56.63/acre. But I buy retail. I've heard of people getting it in larger bulk for $5/cwt. So the cost goes to $0.0005/sqft or $21.73/acre. Multiply that by three for three applications per year and you get the annual cost for fertilizer. The next thing you need to factor in is the heavy weight of the organic product versus the light weight of the Lesco. You might need a new truck to handle your organics.

At this point it might be appropriate to mention the other costs and subtractions you need to make to compare sort of apples to apples. If you look at the overall costs per year for the client, keep these things in mind. With three applications of cornmeal, you won't need any fungicides. So however many different fungicides you keep for all the different diseases, you should not need any of them if you use corn meal. I use vinegar for an herbicide. My gallon cost $12 and I'm about to run out after 2 years (one yard). But with my maintenance program, my only weeds are in the driveway and some oxalis in the back.

I have my own compost pile (horse manure and oak leaves) but I don't use it routinely. My wife replenishes her pots with it every year after it matures. Compost is where the cost of organics really skyrockets. I just don't see a recurring need for the stuff.

Something else I like to factor in to my own decision to go organic is the hassle factor. Organics is no hassle. If I accidentally spill an entire bag of corn meal on the lawn, I vacuum up what I can and sweep in the rest. All you have to do is not smother the grass. No hassle.

If I get a fungus, I don't care which fungus it is because the effect of corn meal is to kill them all. But if I stay on a 90 day cycle for corn meal, I don't get fungus. No hassle.

If I miss a date for an app, or if the first freeze comes early, I'm okay with organics. Usually the application dates for organics are 3 weeks earlier than for synthetics anyway; but what if I miss altogether. Organics can be applied any day of the year, rain, snow, or shine. Maybe not snow. Something to keep in mind is that when the soil temp falls below 50 degrees F, the soil microbes cannot digest the protein. But the first freeze is always followed by a few warm days. If you get the organics on it will be sitting there ready when the weather warms up. No hassle.

Regarding picking this forum apart: feel free! I'm not trying to candy coat anything. I'm trying to educate so you can make educated decisions. I saw how some of the other organic threads were going in the rest of the Lawnsite forums and could see there was a lot of room for some education. In the next few days, I'm going to post a FAQ that explains HOW this stuff works. If you don't understand how it works you can't be very convincing when explaining it to the client. If I say something really stupid or impractical, please write in!

All I'm going to ask is you stay on topic and keep your punches above the belt. If you want a new topic opened, let's do it.

09-04-2003, 12:52 AM
The Fertile hard pan soil of Canada consists of smaller particles size than the calcareous soil of Florida. Therefore what works for you won't work for me. My rate would be more like 40 lb time 4 per year. I'm not sure why the difference. Woodycrest uses the same application rate and schedule as I use. I use 10 pounds per 1,000 three times per year and I suggest 10-20 for those with the budget for the extra. Many people think that more is better. Organics gives them a chance to prove to themselves that they were right. I agree that soil is a factor, as you mention. My soil is crushed white limestone from the quarry about three blocks away. My soil depth is zero to 18 inches before you get to solid limestone. Up the road they have solid sandstone on top of clay. You can't change that and you can't change the fact that people want to use organic materials on their yard. The point is to know what you're dealing with and make the best estimates you can.

An other factor to consider is wild life. I can hear the phone ringing now. " I got a deer on my front yard." Or worst yet " There are birds all over my yard." Armadillo, Raccoons etc etc. You don't have Fire Ants and trust me you don't want them, But corn would bring them in droves here in the South. This is a consideration. Some of the potential organic clients will not have thought this through. If they have deer, the corn meal needs to be ground up pretty fine. Or they could use soymeal which might be less attractive to them. As for birds, they are wholeheartedly invited to my yard. I think I have more birds now that I'm organic, but I never really took a census. But the birds are free to come in and eat as much corn as they can find. As long as they're here, they can eat grubs, ticks, fleas, caterpillars, sow bugs, and grasshoppers. And they're also invited to take a dump on my lawn. As for fire ants, I don't have any. I do have squirrels, possums, rats, and roaches. But I don't seem to have any more or less now versus a few years ago. Again, my census numbers are pretty weak.

Another factor I would love to know the answer to is Smell. Once again I can hear the phone ring now. " My yard smells like a still" Here in Florida we get 55 inches of rain in a normal year and we get in a 6 month period. 100% humidity and a 95 degree air temp means the verger is at 104 degrees minim. I can smell the methane gas now. A still has considerable amounts of yeast added and it is cooked at 170 degrees. A little corn meal dusted on turf is unlikely to take on an odor other than corn. Now, if you're talking about using corn GLUTEN meal at 30-40 pounds per 1,000, now we're talking about potential "fragrance." Some folks tell me there is one. I'll find out in a few days.

09-04-2003, 01:18 AM

I am no scientist, and what is the inverse log of a hydrogen ion anyway???:confused: :dizzy:

Certainly Canada is not Florida, I am experimenting to see what results i get in 'The Fertile hard pan soil of Canada ' How do you know you would require 4 applications at 40 lbs??
Currently most of the turf on my experimental areas is brown and dormant, some of the corn i applied three weeks ago is still sitting where i tossed it, there is no smell, just dry corn sitting on the turf. If the corn gets water it dissappears very quickly.

THe wildlife is certainly a concern..in my case the birds and squirrels have been having a field day. I think the wildlife would depend on where you live...i have no concerns about arrmadillos here. But again, if the corn gets watered in it quickly decomposes and is no longer a food source for wildlife.

Here's the phone call i got ..''Dave, that stuff really works, put on some more!.''

THe things i am writing about are observations, i am not an expert. My experiments are ongoing...

09-04-2003, 01:21 AM

It is late so I will try and keep it short. Thank you for the invite. I think we are talking two different products here Cracked corn is not Corn meal. Some of my objection would not apply.

I would be very interested in seeing a fact sheet on corn meal. Is there a website with all the poop?

As for the $25 per acre cost that would have to be applied weekly here in Florida. However that is at low maintenance rate on Blue Grass.

You might want to realize that Florida consumes 25% of all the fertilizer used in the country. Reasons are many soil, year round growing season, amount of agri, and number of Golf Courses. We here in Florida are always open but cautious of new fertilizers.

09-04-2003, 03:12 AM
I don't understand why it would take weekly applications of organic fertilizer? Are you using Lesco weekly now?

Normally because organic fertilizers have to be digested in a complicated food chain before they start to work, it takes 3 weeks to show any improvement. So using it weekly would be a waste until you could see the improvement.

I also don't understand the difference between cracked corn and corn meal? -unless you are talking about the size of the particles. Cracked corn usually is about 1/2 kernals, while corn meal is more like dust. Both started out life as whole kernel corn.

09-04-2003, 06:48 AM
I seen that in a earlier post you used vinegar for herbicide. How does that work?

09-04-2003, 10:17 AM
Let's open an new thread to talk about vinegar.

09-04-2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by woodycrest

I am no scientist, and what is the inverse log of a hydrogen ion anyway???:confused: :dizzy:

"p" is a math symbol for the negative logarithm or inverse logarithm( same thing). "H" is the chemical symbol for Hydrogen. Therefore the inverse log of a hydrogen ion ( I should of added "in a solution") is written in short hand as pH. pH is a measurement of acid to base or acid to alkaline. Because it is the reverse logarithm the more Hydrogen ions the lower the pH value. The more Hydrogen ions the more acid the solution is.

You question of why would I need 40 lbs a week is answered in my post about Florida uses 25% of all fertilizer in the country. However I would not need weekly apply.

Partial size, shape, and density all play a part in the activity index. Therefore cracked corn and corn meal would have difference Activity index's. There is a move on now to put Activity index's on all Fertilizer labels. You can request an activity index from your fertilizer manufacture. Partial size also plays an important factor in distribution. Also partial size would make a difference in wild life nuisance, however Fire ants would love corn meal better. Wild life especially Birds carry disease. Birds eat twice there weight each day and that food after it is recycled though the bird is a diseased mess. A mess that I or my customers don't want.


Do a search in the old organic thread. Tremor aka Professor Snake Oil Gave some interesting facts on the disease and pollution factor of organic fertilizers.

Agronomy is a branch of agriculture dealing with plant production and soil management. Soil management is the key phrase here. In order to understand any of this you must first understand soil.
The soil page on my website is down right now with server problems. I should be working on it instead of this. However I will try and post it here. It was written with the homeowner in mind so it is not very detailed, You might want to do a search under my name or Nitrogen. I started a thread about fertilizer but got PO with the dumb responses. I can not and will not teach a class on the Internet. I will get tier of this one very soon and stop giving you a hard time.

09-04-2003, 02:10 PM
The below is copyrighted and posted here by the author. Any reprint without the express permission of the Author is strictly forbidden


Soil is one of the most important factors in successful landscape. We use the soil triangle as a basic tool to understand soil. Sandy soil consists of large particles with large void spaces and water runs right through it. Clay soil has tiny particles with tiny void spaces and water is trapped by it. Loam or silt has medium sized particles with medium void spaces that both hold and drain water.

Silt allows plant root to both drink and breath. It is important to remember. The spaces between soil particles, is where roots grow. These spaces should be 50% by volume. Therefore after free drainage soil should be 50% solid particles 25% air filled void space and 25% water filled void space. The more we know about soil the better able we are to grow plants. Soil is the environment in which plants live. We do not water or fertilize our plants. We water and fertilize the environment in which they live. We must understand the relationship between all of these factors of soil. Volumes have been written about soil. I only offer a very condensed version.

The top 6 to 8 inches of the soil (rhizoshere) is where most landscape plants, from the mighty oak tree to a blade of grass, get their nutrition. The movement of air and water through this environment is important. Proper Drainage is as important as irrigation. Saturated soil does not allow air to get into the soil. Air is important to the roots of a plant as well as the beneficial aerobic microorganisms in the soil. Fertilizer, irrigation, drainage and Aeration help us manage this environment we call soil. This environment is complex and changing every minute. Spend the extra money for good topsoil on the final fill and grade if you are building a new house in Charlotte County. You will save that money many times over in water and fertilizer. Soil is one of the most important factors in successful landscape.

How do we judge soil? By looks, what color it is. By smell, aerobic soil has a sweet smell. Anaerobic soil has a sour or foul smell. And by feel, sandy soil will not clump in our hand or form a ball. Clay soil will clump in our hand but not break apart. Silt will clump in our hand and break apart easily. Thatís Qualitative; measurement differs individual to individual (Quantitative denotes scientific measurement). We give those measurements a name and can put numbers to them. For example pH., which measures how acidic or alkaline the soil, is. In Coastal Charlotte Co. our soil is alkaline so the last thing we want to do is add lime. Instead we manage the soil chemically with acid forming fertilizers. Physical properties of soil are measured in terms like texture, structure, particle size distribution, particle shape, density, infiltration, percolation, hydraulic conductivity, and water potential etc.

Bulk density is the way we measure compaction. Compaction is why farmers plow their fields and core aeration is how we manage compaction on turf soils. Compaction of the soil closes the void spaces. Water, air, fertilizer, and roots need these void spaces for our plants to grow healthy. Chemical properties are measured in terms like cation & anion exchange, salinity, pH, redox potential, and volatilization etc. You donít have to understand or know all of these term and reactions to have a nice yard, but the Farmer, golf course greens keeper and the nursery grower knows this science. It is this science that allows a few to feed the many.

What is soil? It is a matrix of physically and chemically weathered parent material (rocks & organic matter) along with microorganism that forms an environment. This environment of a sand-silt-clay matrix containing living and dead organic matter together with varying amounts of gasses and liquids has physical and chemical properties. Sand and silt are the skeleton of soil while clay is the flesh that holds it. Living and dead organic matter help to add structure and nutrition. Soil particles have shape, size, weight, density, texture, and structure. The void spaces allow movement of air, water, microorganisms, insects, nutrition and root growth.

09-04-2003, 02:19 PM
The below is copyrighted and posted here by the author. Any reprint without the express permission of the Author is strictly forbidden

What is fertilizer?

It is Chemical elements whether it comes from nature or a chemical factory. We can dissolve it in water. Spray it on the leaves or roots (if exposed) of plants. We can microinject or macro inject it into sap of a Plant like I do on a sick plant (only two way I know of to by pass the soil) We can pore into soil as a drench. We can apply it in solid or granular form to the environment in which our plants live, SOIL

There are 17 chemical elements used by a plant as nutrients to make there own food. The roots of a plant will only up take what it needs no matter how much is there. Fertilizer burn occurs when we apply too much in an un-useable form. Fertilizer chemicals must be broken down into a useable form in the soil by microorganism. Fertilizer burn occurs when water first activates it and energy in the form of heat is given off. Salts are also given off as these compounds break down. If we apply too much fertilizer we can in fact poison the soil with salt.

The life cycle of the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom work together. We use oxygen (O2) and give off carbon dioxide (CO2). Plants use CO2 and give off O2. Plants make their own food from photosynthesis. That is the energy of the sun and the right temperature plus air and water to make carbohydrates. Therefore Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen are primary elements. Carbohydrates are the food and we can express this chemically: 6 H2O + 6 CO2 -----> C6 H12 O6 + 3O2

Primary Elements

Carbon, C, is used in photosynthesis. Plants get carbon from both air and soil. Carbon is essential for all life forms and is the key of organic chemistry.

Hydrogen, H, is supplied by water. The inverse logarithm of free hydrogen ions, pH, is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution or mixture.

Oxygen, O, is a part of water and air. Oxygen is used in respiration and transpiration by living organisms. Oxidation is a process of chemically breaking down other elements.

Nitrogen, N, causes cell elongation and division (growth). It is important for the development of all tissue in a plant, but it is most important for leaf growth Nitrogen fully translocates systemically within the plant and leaches readily from the soil. Pound for pound it is one of the cheapest fertilizer chemicals to produce and shows the greatest response (green) in plants. For this reason fertilizer manufacturers overuse this product.

Nitrogen Deficiencies, cause reduced growth rate of the entire plant, then loss of color on the older leaves. Then older leaves turn yellow and a general decline occurs on the entire plant.

Phosphorus, P, is important in root development, flowering, fruiting, and germination. Phosphorus fully translocates systemically within the plant and is subject to leaching in the soil depending on its form. The Jacksonville area of Florida. has a problem with phosphorus contamination. Our area is rich in phosphorus and it has been mined here since the 1890s to the present. Most fertilizer blends sold in our area are low in phosphorus. The need for high phosphorus blend fertilizer is new sod, sod plugs, gardenias, and bird of paradise plants.

Phosphorus Deficiencies, cause purpling of lower leaves first, then move on up the plant and reduce flower production.

Potassium, K, develops vascular flow, which is important for flowering, stem strength, vigor, disease resistance and overall hardiness. Its most important contribution is root development for drought stress resistance. Potassium fully translocates systemically in the plant. Potassium leaches readily from the soil. I personally like to use potassium on a one to one ratio with nitrogen even though it is a more expensive fertilizer.

Potassium Deficiencies, first cause yellowing between veins of older leaves, then yellow specks in the veins. Leaves finally turn brown on the outside margin.

09-04-2003, 02:22 PM
The below is copyrighted and posted here by the author. Any reprint without the express permission of the Author is strictly forbidden

Secondary Elements

Macro Elements

Calcium, Ca, is essential for plant strength. Calcium does not translocate within a plant, nor does it leach from the soil. Luckily our soil has more than its share of calcium. Calcium nitrite is the cure for weak flushes of growth and fruit rotting at blossom end. It helps high traffic area turf.

Calcium Deficiencies, cause weak stem growth or growth of soft leaves.

Sulfur, S. functions with nitrogen to produce growth and photosynthesis. Sulfur compounds helps to reduce pH. Acid forming fertilizers are important in our area and use sulfur or sulfur combined material. The label on fertilizer will state whether sulfur is free or combined. Sulfur does not translocate in the plant but does leach out of the soil.

Sulfur Deficiencies, first cause yellowing on new growth then the entire plants slows its growth. Finally the plant goes into decline. If you have ever put fertilizer on turf and had areas grow but turn yellow, you have seen what a sulfur deficiency can do. Sometimes if we leave these areas alone they green up. The reason is that nitrogen breaks down in the soil first and is in useable form before sulfur.

Magnesium, Mg. Commonly available as Epson's salt is more important in maintaining green on older leaves but also helps new tissue. It helps in photosynthesis and helps to green up plants. Magnesium is mobile in the plant or translocates. It also readily leaches from the soil I have personally found it to make strawberries sweeter but cannot prove that.

Magnesium Deficiencies, cause older leaves to show yellowing between the veins. It looks like yellow triangles if you step back. On palm trees older fronds will yellow or brown early. Palm trees that have long ground sweeping green fronds do not have Magnesium or Manganese deficiencies.

Micro Elements

Iron, Fe. Plays a major role in photosynthesis and helps keep our plants green. Iron does not translocate in the plant. Iron will become soil bound in high pH soils and unavailable to the plant. Iron does not leach from the soil.

Iron Deficiencies, first signs are lack of dark green color on new leaves. Lack of iron causes yellowing between veins of the newest leaves first, and the green veins appear narrow. Soils with pH of 6.5 or higher lock up iron and it is unavailable to the plant.

Manganese, Mn. is used in photosynthesis and helps to keep our plants green. It is essential for new tissue development. It does not translocate in the plant and is stable in the soil. It does not leach.

Manganese Deficiencies, also cause yellowing between the veins of new leafs. Veins appear wider than iron deficiencies. On palm trees frizzle top or yellowing on new fronds is the result of Manganese deficiencies.

Boron, B, is essential to development of new tissues. It does not translocate in the plant. and does not readily leach from the soil.

Boron Deficiencies, cause interveinal or tip and marginal yellowing on new leaves as well as distorted and brittle, small leathery leaves.

Copper, Cu. is essential to development of new tissues. It does not translocate in the plant and it does not readily leach from the soil.

Copper Deficiencies, cause young leaves to become cupped, wrinkled or roughened. New leaves yellow overall or between veins and tip burn can be present. New twigs die back.

Zinc, Zn. is essential to development of new tissue. It does not trans-locate in the plant and it does not readily leach from the soil. Yes, this is word for word the same as B Cu and Mo.

Zinc Deficiencies, cause yellowing between veins on newest leaves first. New growth is tiny pointed narrow leaves.

Molybdenum, Mo. is essential for development of new tissue. It does not translocate in the plant and it does not readily leach from the soil.

Molybdenum Deficiencies, lead to distorted new leaves and stems. B., Cu., Zn., and Mo. all show the same or similar signs of deficiencies. These elements are generally sold as a minor element package, either liquid, water soluble power or granular. It is not important to know which element is deficient. Only to, treat the signs with minor elements.

Chlorine Cl. has only recently been found to be essential for plant life. Its primary function and how it works is not known. So we do not know what the signs of a deficiency are. Chlorine is a byproduct of the chemical manufacturing of fertilizer. Too much chlorine can poison the soil and burn plants. If you ever spill swimming pool chlorine on your yard you will see this for yourself. If you do not treat this with gypsum it might be a long time before you have grass. The lower the percent of chlorine in a bag of fertilizer, the better.

Fertilizer Terms:

Translocate, Refers to the plants ability to move elements or chemicals from one spot to another. This is an important concept in both fertilizer and pesticides.

Fertilizer Blends, Certain ratios of elements have been found to respond better on different plants. The top 3 numbers on a bag of fertilizer stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. N-P-K These numbers are the percentage of elements in the blend. Popular ratios are 4-1-2, 3-1-2, 3-1-3, 4-5-5, 1-1-1, and 1-0-1.

Acid forming Fertilizers, are blends which use sulfate formed compounds. As they break down in the soil, they form acid. Nitrogen source would be Ammonium Sulfate instead of Urea.

Complete Fertilizers, have all three primary elements included in their blend.

Balanced Fertilizers, have both Nitrogen and Potassium in equal parts. 1-0-1

Straight Fertilizers, have equal parts of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. 1-1-1

Slow Release Fertilizer, There are two ways to cause granular to slow release. First is chemically form the compound in long chain bonds that take longer to break down into useable form. The second is to coat the each individual grain of fertilizer; this coating must wash away before the fertilizer is released.

09-04-2003, 06:49 PM
Do a search in the old organic thread. Tremor aka Professor Snake Oil Gave some interesting facts on the disease and pollution factor of organic fertilizers. Okay Ric. I've fallen for this diversion twice now. If you can't come up with better search criteria than Tremor and Organic, I'm not falling for it again :) I did read puhlenty of what Tremor has to say, though. He's a pretty bright guy but I didn't see anything on the hazards you mentioned.

Next time you revise your website, you might tune up the soils part of it with the most current thinking on the organic fraction of the soil. You started to introduce a section but other than that you nearly totally left it out. I can help a little. I'm sure you have read Tremor's writings but for some reason his biological discussions never made it into your work. Still a lot of new science has been done since 2001.

Soil is more than sand, clay, and loam. Recent DNA analysis has determined that each teaspoonful of soil is the home for billions of microbes falling into between 25,000 and 45,000 different species. These microbes can be classified as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes (ak tin oh MY see tees), and other microscopic members of the animal kingdom. The purpose of these creatures in the soil is to decompose dead things that fall onto the soil and to convert the decomposed materials into usable materials for the other species living in the soil. The other species living in the soil include plants.

Plants and soil microbes have developed a symbiotic relationship for hundreds of millions of years. The plants provide sugars, through the photosynthesis process, to the soil microbes, and the soil microbes provide plant food directly to the roots of the plants. In fact they provide nature's perfect plant food. They provide it specifically when the plant "asks" for it and they provide exactly the amount the plants ask for.

How do plants ask for food? Typical cell walls have revolving doors in them as well as other chemical signaling methods. The revolving doors are a metaphor, but the idea is very close to what actually goes on. When a plant exudes a certain quality of sugar into the root, the revolving door picks up that chemical and literally transports it through the cell wall to the outside where microbes are waiting for a dose of sugar. The microbes pick up the sugar and in direct response, they give up a few molecules of plant food that corresponds to the chemical they received from the plant root. This method of transportation through cell walls is extremely common in all forms of life.

What else do the microbes do? Bacteria are interesting in that they usually produce an excess of slime. Anyone who has handled a freshly caught fish knows what bacterial slime feels like. When that slime dries out, it forms an organic glue. When some of that glue gets on a soil particle (sand, loam, or clay), it sticks to it and the nearest other particle of soil. As particles of soil become glued together, larger and larger aggregates are formed. Eventually the particles become too big to resist other physical forces and they break back into an "average" size. These average sized conglomerations of soil particles are collectively called "crumb structure." If there are excessive forces applied to the soil, the crumbs can break back down to the original dust sized powder they started out as and the soil is said to have become compacted.

What to the fungi do? Like bacteria they do many things. One of the interesting things some fungi do is to send out runners called hyphae into the soil. If these hyphae are left alone to grow, then can extend from an inch to yards out into the soil. These hyphae are attached to the plant roots at one end and extend down and out into the soil far beyond where the roots might penetrate. In essence these fungi become root helpers. When a signal for a certain nutrient is given by the plant (as described above) the fungus immediately starts to transport that material back to the home base at the root where the plant can take it up. Another interesting function these hyphae perform is to loosen the soil. When they become wet from irrigation or rain, they swell a little pushing the crumbs apart. Then when they dry out they shrink back away from the opened up crumbs leaving an air gap in the soil. As the hyphae penetrate deeper into the soil, the air gaps go deeper into the soil. Then when it rains again, the air gap fills with water before the hyphae swell up allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil.

Another "byproduct" of soil microbes are humic acids. Humic acids are highly buffered materials with a pH of nearly exactly 7.0 Buffered acids means that if you apply a very strong (pH 1.0) unbuffered acid to a buffered acid at 7.0, you can apply quite a bit of the 1.0 acid before the overall pH of the soil will change. The fact that living microbes are continually manufacturing humic acids is what gives soil the capacity to absorb seemingly strong acids with no change to anything at all. When a soil is continually washed with acidic rain or contains a lot of strongly alkaline materials (calcium), the soil pH will drift from the normal of 7.0. It is thought that the encouragement of the soil microbes with additional protein and sugar could be enough to restore the normal pH of the soil without the use of sulfur or lime products.

This just about blows my wad on microbial benefits in the soil. I would suggest you look into these ideas and incorporate them into your next revision for your soil primer. Contrary to what many people believe, I believe it makes a difference whether a plant receives its nutrition from chemicals or from microbes. Microbes provide exactly the correct chemical nutrients, at exactly the right time, in exactly the right quantity/quality without me having to guess the specific timing. All I have to do is get close. Furthermore, the microbes provide growth hormones, and natural protection from disease that chemicals cannot do.

Now let's say a few words about organic fertilizers. Pardon me but I will use a short excerpt from your copyrighted words for reference in my reply.

What is fertilizer?

It is Chemical elements whether it comes from nature or a chemical factory. We can dissolve it in water. Organic fertilizers do not dissolve in water, so this is a little correction you should look into. In the case of organic fertilizers, the chemicals used to make plant food start out as highly complex amino acids and cellulose. They are digested and redigested many times before the good plant foods are made. Fortunately Mother Nature provides us with billions upon billions of the microbes. Students of statistics will see right away that the theorem of central tendency comes into play and the perfect plant food is made in nearly every case. All we have to do is keep a supply of mulched leaves and protein coming to the soil surface to keep nature's cycle going. In the wild the leaves came from trees and shrubs everywhere and the protein came from dead animals and plants.

I hope the originator of this thread and the list owner do not get irate but this topic is hopelessly hijacked.:)

09-04-2003, 06:57 PM
i may have learned something?

A1 Grass
09-04-2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Dchall_San_Antonio

I hope the originator of this thread and the list owner do not get irate but this topic is hopelessly hijacked.:)

Nah... I think it's interesting and informative, though I was just looking for answers more suited to "Organics 101" class.

I have a friend who will give you the history of automobiles if you ask him what the tire pressure is. I understand. My goal is to educate myself, so one day I will understand what the hell you guys are talking about!

I am very happy when someone reduces it to:
Cracked corn - 10#/1000 - Fall and Spring.

Now that I understand...

Thanks to all!

09-04-2003, 08:29 PM
Hopelessly hijacked by someone who tells me that "you must have a lot to say"................Hmmmmmmmm.:cool:

dan deutekom
09-04-2003, 08:41 PM
To be quite honest to me it dosn't really matter where the NPK comes from. The plant dosn't care either. Organic matter is always good in the soil. It may be old science but it has always been taught that the NPK binds to the organic matter so that it sticks around longer for the plant. Now cost is an important factor and strictly organic is a lot more expensive, slower to show results and less consistent in results. When I get a call to "fix" a lawn the client wants results yesterday. Organics don't give me that response. When I install a new lawn I try to set it up with all the basics in place so that little chemical intervention is required but when you have a mono-culture which isn't a natural occurrence, then some chemical intervention is required from time to time. When I hear about the fungicidal or herbicidal qualities of these products I have found them to be highly exaggerated. I have done some personal testing and when I have a little more time I will post my admittedly unscientific results which add to the many unscientific results claiming the superior results of organic gardening. Keep up the discussions because if nothing else it is educational and thought provoking:confused:

PS. Where is Tremor when you need him?

09-05-2003, 12:01 AM
Yes it is very evident that the chemical applicator's biggest threat and fear in this lawn care industry is organics.
I geuss at the end of the day we have to offer what the client needs. In our area the consumer have a choice between quite a number of chemical applicators but they dont have a choice between chemical and organic because it has never been offered around here.
So, I'd be stupid if I see a gap in the market and I dont go for it!
Keep up the interresting info on organics.

09-05-2003, 12:27 AM
PCN,Motion seconded.

09-05-2003, 02:08 AM
Dadgummit, Dan! If you don't switch to organics I'm going to come through your computer screen and remove the D key from your keyboard. :mad:

I'm not really mad. I just wanted to use that smiley once :)

But seriously, if you and your clients don't want to use organic materials, what am I going to do about it? This forum is here to help educate, which I can do some of, and to help y'all determine how to make organics work in a professional sense. The materials I use and the techniques I suggest are in use by homeowners. Maybe some of the materials and techniques don't work for professionals, but you may be asked about them. So you still need to explain why you cannot do something the client might want and still remain organic.

If you need to buy a different trailer, you should know that before you start with this. I'm totally neutral on the implementation and your personal business decisions. Buying a new trailer is neither good nor bad to me. I'm just reporting that organic fertilizers go on a lot heavier in weight. The cost...well, I think the cost is similar to Lesco prices. Someone reported they could use Lesco fert for $25 per acre. At first I was shocked, but later I realized that in some places (Ohio and Kentucky, for example) corn meal and other ground grains can be had for about the same cost per acre. Maybe all y'all can get the same prices if you're buying in bulk.

Someone else reported that he was using some ungodly amount of Milorganite, was it 100,000 pounds??? I sure hope he's getting serious bulk prices plus a personal Christmas card from the president of Milorganite. But if you have 100 accounts of any size, I can see an organic provider using corn meal at 50,000 pounds per application or 150,000 pounds per year. Cost for that should be on the order of $7,500US with a good deal. That would be like 100 pallets worth. Is that a lot? It is to me, but maybe not to you once you get your new trailer :)

So if we can expose all the arguments for and against this, you guys will be better educated to deal with the homeowners. I just want to be sure you get a good background on organics and not the one-sided slant you've gotten so far. I try to make it make sense but sometimes I go overboard. Slap me if you want a simpler explanation.

09-05-2003, 02:23 PM
What about from a mowing perspective?
I do a couple of yards that use chemical fertilizer and in the spring the grass grows so fast it triples in depth in a week, so instead of half an hour to cut the grass it needs to be cut twice or three times. My observations on areas where i used the corn is that the grass tends to get thicker rather than taller. i would much rather cut thicker grass than taller. The chemically fertilzed lawns are now compacted, bumpy dustbowls. THe corn fed lawns are dry and brown, but the ground is not like cement. And water soaks in instead of running off.

These are just my observations. The only way i can be convinced if the organic way works is by trying it and seeing the results. To assume it is not cost effective or that it doesnt work is very shortsighted in my eyes. THe pending pesticide ban around here is good reason to at least try out the organic way and at least be able to provide an educated response to a customer and have an organic lawn so they can see for themselves. That puts me one step ahead of the competition.

If you buy one 88lb bag of corn you can fertilize more than one average yard. Now if you are talking acreage, well yes, thats a huge amount of corn. Everyones situation is different. I look after about 15 properties so in my case i would not have to get bags and bags of corn. Some people dont care about fertilizer or having a perfect yard, they just want the lawn cut. Some people do their own fertilizing or they hire Chem lawn or whoever.

The reason i started experimenting was just to see if it worked, nothing more. So far the results have been good.

09-05-2003, 04:41 PM
Everytime I read something from woodycrest I'm reminded of ex-smokers. They can be insufferable. A year ago I was quite insufferable, too. Now I'm just sufferable :)

Once you give corn meal or alfalfa a decent shot, you will see for yourself.

Most of you should be armed enough now such that if you wanted to try using corn meal in a few places as an experiment, you should know what to do. I'm still working on the FAQ for you guys to put most of it all in one place.

dan deutekom
09-05-2003, 07:04 PM
Don't get me wrong. I am not against organics. In fact I use manure, and mushroom compost in my beds every year before planting my annuals. I am a big believer in IPM. I also use liquid fertilizer where warranted and for pest control I use mechanical, cultural, biological or chemical control as conditions warrant. What bothers me is that organic is presented as the "panacea" of lawn care and in all my experience it isn't. I have done many informal tests and in lawn care my chemically treated lawns generally are more weed free and disease resistant than the organic areas. But then again I have lawns that get absolutely no treatments at all and look absolutely great. I always try different ways of treating plants from the absurd, to the practical, even the singing to the sun gods. Basically it comes to starting with a good soil, planting the right variety for the conditions and preventing infestations from becoming a major problem. Organics are always being tooted as being "environmentally friendly" and to that I say BS. You think all that corn is grown without chemicals? I know for a fact that the fields are sprayed with a very powerful herbicide (atrazine) before seeding and different pesticides as warranted throughout the season. What about all the synthetic fertilizer used to grow this corn? If we create a large new market for this product we are just moving the problem. What about the fuel for the tractors plowing, cultivating, harvesting, milling and transporting this product? Thats a lot of burned diesel fuel which comes from the same raw ingredients most of the synthetics come from. What is the impact of manufacturing the bigger trucks and spreaders to apply this new product? I don't know what the answers are to my questions but it seems to me a bag of synthetic fertilizer just might be the lessor of 2 evils when compared a 1/2 ton of corn gluten. And what about genetically engineered? Do you know if the corn gluten you are getting is or isn't, and is that unnecessarily bad? We have to look at the big picture not just your backyard. I sure don't have the answers and so far I havn't seen anyone else with them either.:confused:


09-05-2003, 10:20 PM
I'll agree with you Dan, at least with the theory. It seems like nothing is squeaky clean anymore. My high school biology teacher used to advise us to turn down any offer to tour a food plant, especially one that made hot dogs or ketchup. That was back in the days when one of the ketchup manufacturers had that TV commercial that showed a huge, beautiful tomato being sucked into an empty ketchup bottle. Sometimes it's nice we can live in a world protected from the reality of economics. There's probably plenty of that in your world that I'd rather not know about, too. Like on a gallons per acre basis, where does the majority of gasoline get used, home lawns or farmer's fields?

I don't know everything that goes into growing grain, but whatever it is they sure don't seem to get much per pound for the stuff. If I can buy it retail for $0.10 per pound, what do the farmers get? And I'm thinking I can get it retail bulk for $0.05/pound.

With Dan's thoughts in mind, there are alternatives to using perfectly good food for a fertilizer. The best one I can think of quickly is used coffee grounds. These are going to the dumpster unless someone rescues them. Coffee grounds are an amazing product, too. They go from as high as $10/pound to absolutely worthless in 3 minutes. Amazing. But they still are full of protein and very useful as a "free" fertilizer. Corn gluten meal is in a similar position. It probably never went to the dumpster, but using it for feed is pretty close. Another waste product that is not available in very many places is called distiller's grains - basically the cooked corn, hops, and yeast used to make whiskey. Cottonseed meal is another waste product relegated to feed. Ground leather, ground feathers, hooves, horns, and hair are great organic sources of protein but the soil microbes can only decompose them in geologic time frames. A hot compost pile can vaporize them in in under a week, but in cool soil it takes longer. If you can figure out a way to bring them to market, the dead dog and cat supply is huge. As much as people want to believe these animals are used to make animal food it doesn't happen. The ratio of muscle mass to skin/hair is not good enough make them a profitable food source. Cattle and chicken blood and organs make great fertilizer but I'm not familiar with anyone who has used them in bulk successfully. Too expensive now. The tons of seaweed that wash ashore are excellent sources of environmentally friendly protein.

But back to the point I keep returning to. If a client waves his bulging wallet in your face and says he wants you to put a legitimate organic fertilizer on, what are you going to do? Unless you read this forum, you're either going to refer him to someone else or give him a line of BS that he'll probably see through. If you get yourself educated (here and elsewhere), you can talk to him about the pros and cons. If you want to explain how many corn plants went to the gallows to make his fertilizer, you'll kill a legitimate deal.

dan deutekom
09-05-2003, 10:35 PM
If a customer specifies he wants an organic program I will price it accordingly and make a buck. If a customer wants me to strip naked, dance in circles singing "the green green grass of home" in the moonlight I will give him a price. If he wants to pay it great. Still dosn't mean that it is the best way to do things and I wouldn't be a professional if I didn't at least inform him of an alternative way from his, with an alternative price. But business is business and the customer gets what they want. So far most really don't care if it is organic or not as long as they see results today for as little money as possible.

09-05-2003, 10:54 PM

Oops you made a Boo Boo.
Originally posted by Dchall_San_Antonio
These microbes can be classified as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes (ak tin oh MY see tees), and other microscopic members of the animal kingdom.

There are two categories one of which all microbes will fall into 1 Prokaryotes 2 Eukaryotes

There are in fact three domains or Super Kingdoms of microbicals 1. Bacteria 2. Archaea 3. Eukaraya.

There are in fact 8 Kingdoms of microbial, 1 Eubacteria 2 Archaeabcteria 3 Archezoa 4 Chromista 5 Protista 6 Fungi 7 Plantae 8 Animalia.

Actinomycetes are if Eukaryotes in the domain of Bacteria and Kingdom of eubacteria.

I will admit I had to dust off the old class notes. If I wanted to take the time I could shoot holes all through you essay.

One more time I will say. I believe in the use of organic material to improve soil in many ways. However I am not a believer in total organic soil management. This is where this Forum And I differ in our beliefs, I believe in bridge products or a combination of the two. Bridge Products are in fact a mixture of both. This forum is only interest in organic treatments and maybe this works fine on a homeowner yard. I in turn must manage acres of turf and planting beds of which I must produce a favorable response. Therefore I donít need to be posting to this forum. Before I leave this forum I will add my last .02. My last .02 will not save the whales.

Colonization of a stable microbial community is more successful in high SOM soils. They also Climax at a higher population. Soil biota and their taxonomy structure is key in the science of Agronomy. Interaction of these populations can be either positive or negative. Pesticides can control negative interaction unfavorable to plant growth.

I have e-mailed Tremor (not his real name) and ask that he provide you or me with the facts that I donít feel like searching for here at LS. If Tremor is so inclined to post you may get the answer to you question on Organic pollution. However Tremor sells lesco products and to my knowledge their organic are bridge products.

Last but not Least I will come to your cause with the PDC fertilizer story.

In college we had test plots of turf. All the same type of turf. We applied fertilizer and pesticides to those plots with many different blends. However only the professor did one plot. He told us he would use PDC as his only fertilizer. After a year the PDC plot showed a response of 8 on a 10 scale. Other plots showed a 7 to 9.5. Remember 7 to 10 are not big difference. Can any body tell me what he was using? You can buy it in a supermarket, just look in the pet section. People buy it in big bags. Yes to my knowledge it is organic. No one in my class could guess it, but we didnít know the pet part. BTW Dr lee has a cockerspaniel

09-05-2003, 11:09 PM
Yeah, that would be dog food. And what is one of the main ingredients in dog food?? Corn.

Since i have some cat food handy, heres the ingredients...
brewers rice, corn gluten meal, ground yellow corn, beef and bone meal, fish meal, plant protien products, poultry by-product meal(?) turkey by-product meal(??)....

Seems to me DChall listed most of if not all of these in previous posts.

09-05-2003, 11:23 PM
Dan ,

Doesnt it seem like everything is 'evironmentally friendly'

I agree on the 'panacea' thing, whether it be synthetic or organic.

The golf course i look after is surrounded by corn fields and many times while mowing i have had the 'drift' from those huge spraying machines drift pass my nose. The creeks and ponds that run thru the golf course drain directly into Lake Scugog. So rather than spraying the corn and the grass, why not use the corn that already grows right across the street to fertilize the course?
It may help the lake.


09-06-2003, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Ric
However I am not a believer in total organic soil management..... This is where this Forum And I differ in our beliefs,...... This forum is only interest in organic treatments and maybe this works fine on a homeowner yard...... Therefore I donít need to be posting to this forum.

So, What are you doing here?? I refer you to the Pest and Fertilizer Forum!
Thank You

09-06-2003, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Ric

One more time I will say. I believe in the use of organic material to improve soil in many ways. However I am not a believer in total organic soil management...... I believe in bridge products or a combination of the two. Bridge Products are in fact a mixture of both.......

Colonization of a stable microbial community is more successful in high SOM soils......

Last but not Least I will come to your cause with the PDC fertilizer story.......


If you are going to quote me then get all the facts.

For the uninformed SOM stands for Soil ORGANIC Matter

09-06-2003, 11:04 PM
"I don't know everything that goes into growing grain, but whatever it is they sure don't seem to get much per pound for the stuff. If I can buy it retail for $0.10 per pound, what do the farmers get? And I'm thinking I can get it retail bulk for $0.05/pound. "

Man you guys are way over my head. I'll just be sitting over hear reading for a while I can see already I have a lot of reading to do. But I do know what the price of corn is as of today.

Todays market prices.

Market News
March corn closed at $2.36 and 3/4, down 1 cents.
March soybeans closed at $5.63, down 7 and 1/2 cents.
March Wheat closed at $3.24, unchanged.
Feb. Hogs closed at $498.67, down 45 cents.
Feb. cattle closed at $81.65, down 40 cents.

I guess sense we grow fifty acres of the stuff I need to figure out how to crack my own with out mortgaging the farm for equipment. You no of any cheep way for me to do this?
Their are some really good farmers sites that have relevant info including links to chemical companies,soil testing and new and used equipment. Do a goggle on Agriculture.

As for some of the info posted so far holy lack of education Batman I have a lot to learn. Your debate so far is very informative thanks for taking the time to enlighten those of us that need it. :)

09-07-2003, 03:08 AM

Are those grain prices by the bushel?
How much is in a bushel?

09-07-2003, 11:25 AM
57 lb in a bushel of corn.

Soybeans and wheat are sold at 60 lb a bushel.

Oats are 32 lb a bushel.

I know you can get cracked corn at the grain elevators but I think I'll ask my neighbors that feed hogs cracked corn if they have equipment to crack there own corn. If I find some one willing to crack some of my corn for me I might have a cheaper route to go personally. We sold our corn for an average of 2.25 a bushel last year.

09-07-2003, 02:22 PM
Just a thought...what about running it through a chipper? I have a 10hp unit that came with a bag that can be attached to collect the discharge. I'm not sure if it would grind it up fine enough.

09-07-2003, 02:31 PM
Thats a real good thought I think I'll try it. I have a new troy built chipper that my father in-law gave me when he moved to New Mexico. It just needs a starter to replace the one he took off and gave to some one. It might be just the right size for this job. It has screens that can be changed to adjust the chip size it might be just the ticket. Now that would be a hoot if I already have what I need. :D Now all I need is a bushel of corn. What if I ran the whole ear thu it? Dose the cob have any beneficial property's to it?

A1 Grass
09-07-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by leadarrows
"As for some of the info posted so far holy lack of education Batman I have a lot to learn...."

No kidding Leadarrows! At this point I feel the same as you, but honestly I don't care. I get info as quickly as my brain will process it. As for the arguing geniuses - go for it.

09-07-2003, 03:27 PM
So, there ya go....at 2.25 a bushel thats about 4 cents a pound...so to fertilize 5000 sq ft at 10/1000...so for two applications that would 100 lbs....total price 4.00.

If nothing else it is a cheap experiment.

That corn is hard stuff...just for fun i tried to grind up some whole kernels in my food processor and if i had left it on any longer the thing would have overheated.

I'm not really too concerned about the scientific part of it, all i know is that it is about the simplest fertilizer out there. I am satisfied that it works.

09-07-2003, 04:13 PM
Ok, so how long after application of the magical corn should I see results for green up-growth and for weed control?

2 questions there.

09-07-2003, 04:37 PM
just bought 50lb cracked corn at the local feed store it was
10 bucks i am looking for someplace cheaper.

09-07-2003, 06:12 PM
You should be able to find corn meal (or rolled corn) for around $5-7 for 50 pounds if you shop around.

Just an hour ago I happened to meet a guy who used to be in sales for a feed suppler, so I asked him about how low the price might go if I bought a thousand 50-pound bags all at once. He said it might go for $4-6/bag. So about a dollar less per bag. As for unbagged/bulk, he couldn't answer.

Mower babe,
First question: Green up with corn meal at 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet should be clearly visible in 3 weeks - and now Jim is going to write in and remind me that I live in the warm country and it doesn't work that way in the north. However, my Canadian friends from Great Lakes to the Pacific report that it does work that way. So if you are going onto an organic program with clients, remember to apply corn meal at least 3 weeks before you need it. If you apply early, no problem. Late might give you some yellowing inbetween the old application and the latest application.

Second question: Corn meal is not a weed controller. It does kill fungus, though when used at 20 pounds per 1,000. That takes about the same amount of time. The grass that survived the fungus will turn green in 3 weeks and it should begin to refill about the same time. Fast spreading grasses will, of course spread in faster than the zoysias.

Second question again: If you were confused between corn meal and corn GLUTEN meal, I have another answer for you. Corn GLUTEN meal has the preemergent weed seed control. That is a tricky product. If you put it on too early, the microbes will eat it up before the weed seeds get the benefit of the CGM. So we talking about using it after the first cold front in the fall. The date for that is hard to come by but it is usually cold weather that triggers germination of the cold weather weed seeds. So if you put it down concurrently with the seeds germinating, you should get the weed control effect lasting through spring.

How can I say on the one hand that CGM goes away quickly and also say that it gives a weed control until spring? Well, some of the weeds you see in spring are germinating now and will remain microscopic until spring when they come out to flower. Many of Texas' famous wild flowers are well known to do this. For example if you don't have your Bluebonnet seeds down now, you won't have any plants/flowers next spring.

Regarding using a chipper to make corn meal: I'm thinking you'll ruin the chipper quickly. I would closely inspect the blades or hammers or whatever you have inside first. Then run 10 pounds of corn through and see if there is any deterioration. If not, run 40 pounds through and inspects again. Corn is traditionally "cracked" by rolling a huge stone over it until there is dust left - very low tech and no blades to sharpen.

Another acquaintence of mine owns a Mexican bakery. He gets 1,000 pounds of whole corn and grinds it to flour every day. His shop isn't that big, so the grinder must be in there somewhere. If you wanted to do it yourself, I can tell you that he pays a few cents more per pound for his food grade whole corn than I pay for feed grade ground corn meal in 50 pound bags.

09-08-2003, 10:34 PM
Correction on the pounds in a bushel: 56 lbs per bushel for corn. His first qoute was on the Chicago Board of Trade, not cash price that farmers recieve. Todays price is in the 2.20 or less (per bushel) for harvest delivery. The Board is trading at 2.49. That is called basis. So, yes, it is cheap. That is why we get govt. subsidies ($$$$). The real kicker is this: price is up from two years ago. Was $1.60/bu. Anyways, if anybody wants corn from me, I'll will gladly sell it for $5-6.00 per bushel.

I farm 800 acres with almost 400 being corn. Raise close to 50,000 bushels of corn (28,000,000 lbs.) per year. No shortage here. So dump it on!!!

dan deutekom
09-08-2003, 10:45 PM
Does anyone have some Internet links to independent studies about corn meal or corn gluten that is not depending on information supplied by Iowa State University. Would prefer other universities or independent sources. Since ISU holds the patent on corn gluten it is licensing products for use as a weed suppressant. Seems like a conflict on proper research.

09-08-2003, 11:15 PM
Sorry, my math isn't so good. That would be 2.8 million lbs., not 28. Sorry:)

Try Purdue University, University of IL, Texax A&M, Cornell... any land grant college or AG school for you info.

09-08-2003, 11:46 PM
"Correction on the pounds in a bushel: 56 lbs per bushel for corn."

Whoops that was just a key stroke mistake on my part thanks for correcting it.

I did list the price we recived on our corn last year. We also contract sell most of our crop so that has an effect as well.