View Full Version : Pomar

02-21-2004, 05:17 PM
I read somewhere that the Perferred Organic Matter Requirements (POMAR) for turfgrass was 17-23 lbs per 1,000 per year.

Does anyone know what organization developed POMAR ?


02-21-2004, 05:23 PM
any more info?;)

02-22-2004, 12:28 AM
Just that I'm marketing a Fert program which highlights the ecological benefits of adding organic material. I was curious as to where this 'POMAR' came from and if there is an organization that could offer more information, including the methodology they used to arrive at this recommendation. I've searched but have come up empty. Maybe somebody here could point me in the right direction. Thanks.

02-28-2004, 09:17 AM
Your inquiry was brought to my attention. I am the author of POMAR and would be pleased to answer any questions.

02-28-2004, 02:16 PM
thank u for taking the time to help.
where can i find info on the benefits of the organic matter requirements for residential turf in the south east pa.
i am trying to market organic based lawn care and i am finding many different opinions and prices for material is all over the place
thanks dusty

02-28-2004, 06:59 PM
Organic matter requirements:
I will figure how to send attachments in this forum. I can send a fertility program called Cool Season, SE PA NPK PL15. There is also NPK PL10 and NPK PL12.5 and each allows you to determine delivery of OM and desired NPK and cost to deliver both nutrient (NPK) plus (PL) organic matter. Using progarm, you choose fertilizer, rates to apply, lbs per 1000, bags per acre, etc. Its very easy to use. Most importantly, nitrogen based fertility programs become CARBON BASED. Pallet quantity purchases are possible. Again, I will find a way to attach files and send. No Problem.

trying 2b organic
02-29-2004, 01:34 AM
Wow , sounds great. If you have time check out our other thread where we have discussed our fledgling organic programs and how to deliver the correct amounts and ratio of N-P-K organically.

What inspired you to write this? Do you sell organic fertlizer?

02-29-2004, 07:37 AM
Trying 2b
I sent you a copy (pm) of my first reply to Raster. Provides background to methods and reason for developing a quantitative approach. I noticed you are from British Columbia. Sun March 7th I present to the Canadian Golf Course Superintendent Association "A New Approach To Fertility- 'Why Didn't Someone Think Of this Before'?" in Nova Scotia. I am sure their proceedings will be published via internet.
Regardless, I do have the information available to you from the methods used, backup resources, research to prove, power point presentation, treatment by treatment application programs, fertilizers to buy at conventional pricing- by the bag and applied. As you can see this is very well established but I will respect this forum's protocols for keeping content non-commercial. Actually, I am not versed in this area enough to know what can exactly be conveyed. I will familiarize myself and figure a way to provide you and anyone visting this discussion with the tools/products mentioned above.

03-02-2004, 02:05 AM
2b (or not 2b?) Sorry- a little humor.

As you suggested, I scanned the 'Fledgling Organic Programs' dialogue. Much being covered there. Alot to consider.

Nomenclature debates! Ugh. Whether a material is natural, oranic or natural- based etc. seems to me, for the most part, to be irrelevant.

Microbes can't read! Labels and marketing literature- all consumerism. The real consumers are in the soil. They could care less what we think or say (OMRI and AAPFCO included).

The only way to make organic MATTER is to apply it. If so- how much?

Collectively there is an average of 2-6 tons of organisms per acre furrow slice. This same environment posseses an average of 2-3% organic matter- their food source! Is that enough to sustain them?

What about type of organic matter? Is the organic matter 2% sugars, starches and fiber or fat, waxes, cellulose and lignins? Even if 8%OM is found as a result of a soil test- that may be a high percentage but more testing is required to determine the compositional value- but is it worth the money to find out?

This is the area of organic I specialize in and questions I believe merit more discussion in the industry. Maybe I am biased but I think this is the cornerstone for getting results in an organic program.

03-02-2004, 03:15 AM
I'm certainly interested in learning more. :)

To say that a yard need a certain number of pounds of organic matter applied per 1,000 makes some assumptions. For example there is a huge difference in applying 20 pounds of blood meal versus 20 pounds of sawdust. Something needs to be clarified.

I'm also a little unclear on what it means for nitrogen based fertility programs to become carbon based??

03-02-2004, 09:36 AM
Right on with both questions.

Agronomic Tenet: Maintaining Carbon to Nitrogen balance in the soil is an important first step in any fertility program.

In the new approach, fertility is neither exclusively nitrogen or carbon based. Rather it is nitrogen AND carbon based- as it should be. Soil nitrogen and carbon are not independent. They are directly related and interdependent. For Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) ratio balance in the soil, lets balance the C:N ratios of products applied. This balance, I contend, cannot be accomplished in a one-dimensional nitrogen-based only fertility program.

Two keys then are:
1. Knowing what percent of your product is organic matter (10-10-10 and....50%OM?, 55%OM? etc). Knowing this identifies how much organic matter is to be applied each application.

2. What is the C:N ratio of your product?

These two values have no consideration under the old paradigm so this is a good place to start a sound organic program.

Then consider, as you have suggested, the composition of OM. Fresh additions should replenish the soil with more readily digestable (by microbes) forms of organic matter- sugars, starches and fiber vs. fats, waxes and lignins. Examples of the former are manures and meals and the later- sawdust. Sawdust is not a good idea of course although all fractions of OM has value. Here again, its the balance we are after. For an intresting aspect on OM and OM characteristics: see work by Walter Goldstein at the Wisconsin agricultural research institute. An article in Biocycle August 2002 "Organic Matter Pools" is a good summary of their work and current scientific thinking. Their work is on crop production but the characteristics on OM referred to is generic and can be applied to turf.

03-15-2004, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by jmoriarty
For Carbon to Nitrogen (C:N) ratio balance in the soil, lets balance the C:N ratios of products applied. This balance, I contend, cannot be accomplished in a one-dimensional nitrogen-based only fertility program.

Two keys then are:
1. Knowing what percent of your product is organic matter (10-10-10 and....50%OM?, 55%OM? etc). Knowing this identifies how much organic matter is to be applied each application.

2. What is the C:N ratio of your product?

These two values have no consideration under the old paradigm so this is a good place to start a sound organic program. OK, most fertilizers state on the bag if they contain organic matter, sometimes as a percentage by weight. Can't recall seeing C:N ratios on bags, though. Am I just missing this or how do I find out what the C:N ratio is?

And, once I find fertilizer with a 1:1 ratio, do I use it all year? Or, do I vary the C:N ratio at different times to accomodate the turfgrass needs?


03-15-2004, 08:54 AM
Chicken Doo

Foghorn Leghorn- one of my favorite characters- ESPECIALLY for our business.

This forum really does reveal some interesting questions and keen insights. I can now see how unclear my comments were and thank you for pointing them out!

Hopefully, this clarifies my message intended:

You are correct. Many values such as carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio characterizing organic matter (OM) are not published nor required by the state officials regulating the fertilizer industry. We must ask why? Regulators are hung up on politics and what we call it for political reasons (all natural, organic, organic based, etc) but need to regulate the science. On 50 lb bag labels if we are provided with a breakdown on such things as total nitrogen and whether its ammonical, urea nitrogen, water insoluble, slow release, slowly availalble and on and on why not do the same for organic matter such as its percentage as a whole and C:N ratio and compositionally if it 'slow release' OM or 'quick release' OM. Microbes will do well on the quick (sugars) but in some cases slow (complex proteins and even fats). Both serve the soil and its life well. Until then its up to us to test these ourselves.

To establish and maintain a balance between carbon and nitrogen in the soil, one needs to (I contend) vary the carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N) of the products applied. This means you are not seeking products with a 1:1 ratio- although certain applications, under certain circumstances may call for it. Rather, we seek high C:N ratios in the summer and low spring and fall.

For example- apply a biosolid in the summer for a low nutrient analysis. While spoonfeeding the turf you are also applying a high percentage of organic matter for organisms at a time of year they need it most- warm soils.

Boston's biosolid is 4-2-0, percent organic matter is 55% and C:N ratio is 7.8:1. Milwaukee's Milorganite is similar although with 6 units of N the C:N ratio goes down a bit. Moreover, you can go further into characterizing these products. Not only is the analysis low but the water insoluble nitrogen (WIN) content is very high namely- 90%-95% WIN. Therefor there is a low risk of burn particularly since the the WIN is mostly hot water insoluble(the lab analysis using proportion of hot water and cold water to breakdown N is referred to as the activity index and the more hot water relative to cold the lower the index). You cant go wrong. In the summer, on warm and cool season turf, apply a low analysis, high WIN, low activity index, high C:N product. Spring and fall increase your analysis and decrease the C:N ratio to say 1.5:1 or 2:1.

Finally- the result!
Over the season the C:N ratio in the soild will be static and WHY? Because you vaired the C:N ratios of the products you have applied. Darn- I start out thinking I can answer this quickly and 30 minutes later I may have confused you more. My apologies if so.

03-15-2004, 09:02 AM
the picture is getting a little clearer on this foggy monday morning

03-15-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by DUSTYCEDAR
the picture is getting a little clearer on this foggy monday morning Yes, it is. Thanks, jmoriarty.....

03-24-2004, 12:42 PM
I think the idea of a carbon:nitrogen balance or ratio is oversimplifying things. But for the purposes of this forum, I'll try to stay very practical.

I like to think of a ratio between proteins and carbohydrates because that is what the soil microbes eat. Proteins carry the nitrogen and carbohydrates carry the carbon, so while there is still a carbon:nitrogen ratio going on, I don't pay much attention to it, per se. One reason I don't pay that much attention to it is the differences in the availability among the various organic materials makes any C:N ratio a mix of apples and oranges.

I believe availablity is important especially to landscape managers. You want fast greening but no possibility of burning. It would be great if jmoriarty could link us to a site that lists the availability of the various materials. I know that urea and blood provide proteins (nitrogen) that are more quickly available than feathers, hair, and leather. I also know that table sugar and molasses have a faster availability for carbon than sawdust. But where the mix goes in and out of balance I cannot tell you. One very good organic fertilizer has the following ingredients, in order, feather meal, alfalfa, corn, corn gluten meal, cottonseed meal, and blood. I suspect the blood is a low percentage of the mix to minimize (eliminate??) burning but give a timing boost over the three weeks normally expected greening to take with plain vegetable type meals.

As the readers of this forum are well aware, I shy away from the rapidly available proteins like urea and blood in favor of ground seeds like corn meal and alfalfa pellets. I also don't talk a lot about improving clay or sand soils with sawdust because the readers of this forum do not have 10 years to wait to improve their client's soils. Soil improvement has to happen on the fly with these folks.

This is an excellent discussion, folks!

03-25-2004, 08:48 AM
You are correct. Using C:N ratios alone would be oversimplfying. An even greater oversimplification exists in conventional programs in that there is no regard for organic matter- at all! So in following with your thoughts:
1. First priority is quantity- how much organic matter should be applied (I recommend 10-15lbs annually)?
2. Next, we know the proportion of the soil's C:N is a basic agronomic tenet and must be maintained for keeping soil life and fertility in balance (the product's C:N should vary in accordance to time of year applied).
3. Finally, the the qualitative differences of the organic matter applied must be considered. The stage of decomposition and compositional make-up is important.
a. must be stable (as most sources for fertilizer are).
b. how much is fat, waxes, lignins, cellulose, protein, fiber,
starch and complex carbohydrates or simple sugars.

Therefor, I subscribe to your idea that C:N ration alone is an oversimplied approach if considered alone. In reply, the above comments highlight this fact by using other factors as bookends to the C:N and are to be considered when developing your program. This approach is made easier to apply by remebering the POMAR acronym- Preferred Organic Matter Annual Requirement ie. 10-15lbs.

03-25-2004, 08:53 AM
I will work on finding you links for compositional differences in OM. I personally tested all commercial fertilizers to learn myself and keep them filed but its not an electronic file. Rather the old fashioned way- manila folders!

03-25-2004, 08:57 AM
i like the vanilla way never crashes