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'N' Evaporation And Leaching

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    While there is more I would expand about on the article I will currently keep my thoughts to just two here.

    1-Humus depletion, etc... The problem isn't necessarily that they break down the OM so fast it doesn't have time to turn into Humus, it is that there isn't a balanced carbon input anymore and, over time, the humus (which contains/stores carbon & is used as a food source) runs out. Think of it like this. Microbes are eating a meal. They like, actually they need, a balanced meal with meat, bread, and veggies. When you fertilize with synthetic ferts you provide the veggies, but not the bread. Thus, they eat the veggies, but to be balanced, they also eat whatever bread is already in the soil. Eventually, all that is left in the soil are the veggies, and not enough bread or meat. Because all you are adding are the veggies.

    2-N-fixing bacteria... Why/how do the N-fixing bacteria get "out competed"? Hint: I don't believe that they do other than the fact they they too, can run out of "bread". Second hint: Why do they fix N in the first place?

    I don't know why this is a new perspective for you. I have been stating this angle to the people of this forum since my salt fertilizer doesn't kill microbes (it's actually food) thread on 08-18-2008.
  2. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Barry, I believe this is similar to what occurs when N is locked up when there is excessive carbon mixed into the soil (e.g woody bits) Their estimates of N from N fixers sounds high for turf (not a legume). I don't have a lot of time but I'll have a look later. It is though, yet another case for not using synthetics as they upset the natural balance.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Number 2 agrees with you... :)
    Number 4 is addressed in the article and quite an eyeopener for the too much irrigation and too much fertilizer crowd...
    "In the first few months after
    application the four most likely fates for the fertilizer are:
    1. It may be taken up by the crop, as intended.
    2. It may become incorporated in the soil’s organic matter, where it will remain
    unless it is remobilized by the bacteria and other organisms in the soil.
    3. It may be leached out of the soil.
    4. It may be denitrified. This happens when microbes hungry for oxygen utilize..."
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Wrong JD. Did you read the published study?

    You don't believe Diazotrophs can be out competed by other microbes? Why not .... and references are required in your reply.
  5. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Actually Kiril, I live in America, you know, the land of free speech, which means nothing is required in my reply. :laugh:

    In all reality though, let's stop having "peers" think for us and do some thinking on our own.

    Why do Diazotrophs fix N?

    Oh, but before that, if you actually read what I said, you would realize I never said that they couldn't be out competed. :dizzy:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  6. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Actually Kiril, it wasn't a published study. It was an article written referencing a few published studies. Some of the information was from the studies and some was from the authors un-investigated opinion. Again, let's work on our reading comprehension shall we? :drinkup:

    But I shall respond with a question. Tell me Kiril, how exactly is time a factor in the "depletion" of humus as this "article" suggests? What natural and biological processes occur to cause this gap? Isn't that part of what Barry was asking anyhow? Why argue with me when you can hold a civilized conversation with him? I'm not that fun am I? :laugh:
  7. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Exactly! Read the referenced studies before you start commenting on papers that discuss them. :rolleyes:

    See above reply, both of you.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,051

    How does one access them without having to pay for them? And how does a lay person make sense of scientific jargon?
    I can do without your rolling of the eyes.
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    as a lay person, compared to the folks that wrote those papers in their extremely narrow perspective of exactly what they needed to regurgitate in order to meet their goals for a grant, how do you understand the narrow perspective and grow it into a positive for your business to grow customers and stay profitable?

    to constantly say "read the papers" is ludicrous, not only do they not have the background to understand the science but they typically do not have the time as they are raising families and working to pay bills

    The better tract is to helpfully explain

    apologies if I spoke down to anyone, it is just something I have been wanting to say for a while

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