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  #71  
Old 10-16-2009, 10:10 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Cool, ... I'm curious if something is added now.

Another thing I thought of, is that a similar product in the NE had 6% iron. I still bet it is a naturally occuring element in the sludge. We'll see...

Well, the way the response reads to me, it looks like Milorganite gets the lion's share of iron for their product from outside vendor(s), Smallaxe.

____________________________________________________

My question, as it was e-mailed to Milorganite:

"Is the 4% iron content in Milorganite a direct by-product of the sewage that enters the pipes of the MMSD, or is it purchased from an outside vendor and added as a component sometime along the processing line?"


This is the exact response I got from Milorganite today:

"Thanks for taking the time to contact us.
We do add iron to Milorganite, the full 4% is not a by-product of the treatment process.
Please feel free to contact me with any other questions."


Jaime Staufenbeil
Agronomist
Milorganite

jstaufenbeil@milorganite.com
__________________________________________________________


This sort of makes sense, too, because the stuff I've read about the HISTORY of Milorganite going back to the early 20th century shows nothing whatsoever about iron being included.

I'll bet 'cha a hot fudge sundae they started adding iron only a few decades ago as a perceived marketing advantage to maybe help them keep ahead of their chemical & non-chemical competition a little better on the garden center shelves.

I wont rub it in TOO much, but now at least we all know a X% leading up to 4% of Milorganite doesn't originate from the crappers of Milwaukee!
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  #72  
Old 10-16-2009, 10:19 AM
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So I guess that begs the question: would be see much response on grass without the 4% iron?
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  #73  
Old 10-16-2009, 11:26 AM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Originally Posted by dirtandhoops View Post
So I guess that begs the question: would be see much response on grass without the 4% iron?
Oh, c'mon, d&h!
Did you really need to ask that question?!?

Without the supplemented iron there wouldn't be a chance in the world for much if any of Smallaxe's desired "Halloween color".
And the remaining 96-97% or so would take its sweet time in making an impact, not unlike the average response time you typically see from finished compost topdressing, I imagine.
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  #74  
Old 10-16-2009, 11:28 AM
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If my crap doesn't have much Iron, how do you explain the ring around my toilet?
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  #75  
Old 10-16-2009, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
If my crap doesn't have much Iron, how do you explain the ring around my toilet?
Barry, you're batting 2 for 2 with this comment and the "food fight" one on the Iron thread.
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  #76  
Old 10-16-2009, 07:43 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Cool, ... I'm curious if something is added now.

Another thing I thought of, is that a similar product in the NE had 6% iron. I still bet it is a naturally occuring element in the sludge. We'll see...
I got a follow-up e-mail from Milorganite this afternoon.
This time from one of their attorneys!

Here's what he had to say:

Domestic sewage is naturally rich in iron as iron is one of the most ubiquitous elements on earth. Iron is an essential element in enzymatic reactions necessary for life.

From the beginning of wastewater treatment by the Milwaukee Sewer Socialists, spent pickle liquor (used to clean iron metals before painting) was added to bind and remove phosphorus. Thus an iron source was “added” to the incoming mass as part of the treatment process.

In the past ten years, the local industrial sources of free used pickle liquor have disappeared. We discovered that phosphorus can be effectively removed from the wastewater without using pickle liquor.

The downside of not using pickle liquor (very high in iron) for phosphorus removal was the total iron in Milorganite® dipped below the 4% guarantee.

We had a choice: change the minimum iron guarantee or add iron to maintain 4%.
We add iron after activated sludge treatment to the solids before heat drying to ensure the 4% guarantee is met.

Iron concentrations in the activated sludge vary with the seasons. Sometimes the concentration is 4% or higher, sometimes iron is added.


Thomas J. Crawford, Senior Staff Attorney
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
260 West Seeboth Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204-1446
(414) 225-2243

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This makes perfect sense.
Adding iron to lock up & remove phosphorus on the molecular level.

According to Mr. Crawford, I suppose either one of us can be correct depending upon what time of year it is. (:
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  #77  
Old 10-16-2009, 07:55 PM
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free sh$t at football games

Since when does it require an attorney to handle SH$T issues. I wonder how much money there is in the "porta-potty" business just at college football games.

p.s. It's organic
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  #78  
Old 10-16-2009, 08:14 PM
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Larry,
I liked your old avatar better.
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  #79  
Old 10-16-2009, 11:15 PM
quiet quiet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcos View Post
Oh, c'mon, d&h!
Did you really need to ask that question?!?

Without the supplemented iron there wouldn't be a chance in the world for much if any of Smallaxe's desired "Halloween color".
And the remaining 96-97% or so would take its sweet time in making an impact, not unlike the average response time you typically see from finished compost topdressing, I imagine.
I disagree. I do see a response generally after a 2 week period from the Houactinite w/only a 1% Iron content. But down here the response from biosolids is very short lived on the heavy N feeding hybrid bermuda, particularly in mid-summer. But it is a visble and noticeable response.
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  #80  
Old 10-17-2009, 10:41 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is online now
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Well if the lawyers had to respond about their iron guarantee, then I would imagine that they are pretty concerned about their N guarantee as well. So I am not too concerned about the N actually being in there.

So - it is shown that the iron is added from outside sources and always has been the majority source - from pickle liquor.
Marketing was probably the reason in that rather than drop the % of the Iron on the Label , they obviously wanted to continue to advertise 4%.
So I was wrong on both counts.
He did say that sometimes it is high enough naturally and sometimes iron is added.

Thanks Marcos, that adds to an interestting story.
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