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Cracked Corn??

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by A1 Grass, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    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.
  2. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    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.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Oops you made a Boo Boo.
    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 don’t 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 don’t 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 didn’t know the pet part. BTW Dr lee has a cockerspaniel
  4. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    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.
  5. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    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.

  6. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

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

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


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

    For the uninformed SOM stands for Soil ORGANIC Matter
  8. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    "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. :)
  9. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435


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

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    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.

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