Corn Gluten question

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by turbo5560, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    so what exactly is corn gluten? And what do farmers use it for? As a local supplier told me that the corn gluten that they sell for $35 for a 50lb bag is the same stuff local co-ops sell for 1/4 of that. So he told me to go there and get corn gluten but don't tell them that i am going to use it for fertilizer so then what do i tell them? What would others use it for? And for my own information what is corn gluten?
  2. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a natural substitute for synthetic pre-emergence herbicides. Pre-emergence herbicides attack seeds while they're still in the ground, before the seedlings emerge from the soil. CGM is a by-product of commercial corn milling that contains the protein fraction of the corn. Its use poses no health risk to people or animals. In fact, because it is 60% protein, corn gluten meal is used as feed for cattle, poultry, fish, and dogs. In addition to the 60% protein, corn gluten meal is 10% nitrogen, by weight.

    The use of corn gluten meal as an herbicide was discovered during turfgrass disease research conducted at Iowa State University. CGM was observed to prevent grass seeds from sprouting. Further research has shown that it also effectively prevents other seeds from sprouting, including seeds from many weeds such as crabgrass, chickweed, and even dandelions.

    Corn gluten meal is effective only against seeds, not existing plants. Annual weeds that are already up and growing will not be killed by products made of corn gluten meal. They'll die on their own, though, by the end of autumn. But most of the seeds they produce later in the season shouldn't sprout - provided you've applied the CGM properly and at the correct time. Crabgrass, foxtail, purslane, and prostrate pigweed are examples of annual weeds found in lawns.

    Existing perennial weeds such as quackgrass, plantain, and dandelions won't be damaged by CGM, either. And, they'll still come back from one year to the next because their roots survive most winters. What corn gluten meal will do is stop the seeds they shed each summer, so the population of these particular weeds won't increase. In fact, because some will die of "natural" causes, their numbers should actually decrease after several years of consistent CGM use.

    Hope this helps
  3. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    yes that does help alot, thank-you! The problem i am having is that a customers wants organic fertilizer, but that doesn't control pre-existing weeds. So correct me if i am wrong, but the only way to get rid of weeds beside pull them is to use non-organic means?
  4. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    Yeah I would just do one application to take care of pre existing weeds and apply the corn gluten from there. Also let the customer know that there lawn isn't going to look like a golf course at first. Anything worth while takes time. This also applies to organic weed control. Each year there will be less and less weeds. Keep in mind though of the cons with CGM. Potential problems with corn gluten meal stem from the fact that extensive moisture and microbial soil activity can reduce its effectiveness. You can control how much you water right after applying CGM, but you can't control rainfall. Sometimes seeds that had been prevented from forming roots can "outgrow" the problem.

    Another potential drawback is price and availability. While it is becoming more readily available, corn gluten meal is still significantly more costly compared to other pre-emergence herbicides. Check places that sell garden supplies, farm stores or county co-ops that sell seed and grain for hobby farms, and some stores that specialize in selling food for wild birds.
  5. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    thanks for the help, i appreciate it a lot!!!
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Iowa state university and a couple of professors in 1993 patented the use of corn gluten meal as a preemergent. They continue to hold the patent and sell the rights to produce and claim the CGM as a preemergent. There are 10 or so companies that are registered to produce CGM and make the claim.
    There is a process, that is also patented, to liquify the CGM and take out most of the N. The process leaves all of the proteins in CGM that work as a preemergent. The difficulty has been making a shelf stable product as proteins will rot rather quickly when bottled.
    You will start to see several organic "weed and feed" products coming out over the next couple of years, as it looks like the stablity issue has been tackled, after 4 or 5 years of working on it.
  7. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    do you know what companies will be making these?
  8. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    Corn gluten meal is the by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or starch, and is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Corn Gluten Meal (often simply called CGM) is a byproduct of corn (maize) processing that has historically been used as an animal feed, but was discovered to have pre-emergent herbicidal effects in 1985, by Dr. Nick Christians, during a turf grass experiment being conducted by Iowa State University.

    The use of corn gluten meal as an herbicide is patented, but like many food-related substances used for gardening is not regulated in the US.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Studies/Articles On Corn Gluten As A Pre-emergent

    PATENT: Updated patent

    ISU: Greenhouse Screening of Corn Gluten Meal as a Natural Control Product for Broadleaf and Grass Weeds

    ISU: Isolation and Identification of Root-Inhibiting Compounds from Corn. Gluten Hydrolysate

    ISU: Making its way to the marketplace: A natural product for the control of annual weeds

    ISU: Bioactivity of a Pentapeptide Isolated from Corn Gluten Hydrolysate on Lolium perenne L.

    ISU: Herbicidal Activity of Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten Meal on Three Grass Species under Controlled Environments

    ISU: The Use Of A Natural Product For The Control Of Annual Weeds In Turf

    ISU: A natural product for the control of annual weeds (Note: more or less same as previous link)

    ISU: The Use of Corn Gluten Meal As A Natural Preemergence Weed Control in Turf

    ISU: How To Use Corn Gluten Meal

    ISU: Cellular effects in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) associated. with the root inhibiting compound alaninyl-alanine

    UCD: Evaluation and Demonstration of Corn Gluten Meal as an Organic Herbicide

    UWEX: Corn Gluten Meal: A Natural Pre-Emergence Herbicide

    Studies/Articles On Natural Products & Methods For Weed Control

    UWEX: Corn Gluten Meal and Other Natural Products for Weed Control in Turfgrass

    UFL: Preliminary Evaluation Of Nonsynthetic Herbicides For Weed Management In Organic Orange Production

    JA-CSSPA: Weed Suppression by Deleterious Rhizobacteria is Affected by Formulation and Soil Properties

    JA-CS: Cultural Management of Weeds in Turfgrass: A Review

    PATENT: Xanthomonas campestris isolates and methods of use

Share This Page