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Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by General Grounds, Jul 7, 2008.
You are entitled to your thoughts.
This is America where you have the right to dislike or hate anyone as long as they are White Anglo Saxon Protestant. Unfortunate I am not even christian Anglo Saxon let alone pure white.
I don't think the Ideas presented by myself or rcreech are OUR Ideas exclusively, But rather Facts of the science of both Agronomy and Economics or in fact, Agronomics the study of crop production. The crop we speak of is turf. The economics we speak of is the average budget a homeowner will spend on turf and OUR margin as applicators. If in fact Homeowners had the same budget per Thousand Sq Ft as Augusta we might be able talk. But in real life we must make a living by providing the most economical methods, which pretty much leaves you out.
Well, crap... and just when I thought we could be friends...
Organic lawn care is not just what an applicator does with organic 'foods' like corn meal, philk.
It's what they do to make the turf biologically "come back to life" ...over TIME...often after so many years of being pounded with salts & chemicals that usually make the soil, in essence, barren, in terms of beneficial microscopic life.
This comes from years of "feeding the grass", but NO time spent "feeding the soil".
Once a certain corner has been turned, and a certain period of time has elapsed ( ...all of which varies from situation to situation, of course, because of varying soil structures, turf care habits, etc) a given piece of turf will begin to respond to things like corn meal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, etc.
And often, the 'bonus' that an organic applicator could experience, is that the turf may often respond valiantly, even at surprisingly lower rates than what is typically prescribed for the given meal or supplement.
So...frankly, you're comparing apples to oranges, if you're trying to equate in your mind the textbook standard application of 1 # of N / 1000, exactly to that of a 20# / 1000 application of corn meal.
We can talk pricing.
Nutrients PLUS 16-2-3, 60% SRN with 2% ca. 3% S, 1% Fe, 40% Organic Matter, 5 nitrogen sources for long steady release. Application rate, 3 - 5 lbs/1000 sq ft.
Truckload (22 pallets) price $15.70/50 lb bag delivered.
Single Pallet price $19.40 delivered to PA, $23.50 to FL, $20.40 to Ohio, etc
Nutrients PLUS 5-4-0(compare to Miliorganite) 90% WIN with 1% Fe, 60% Organic Matter. Application rate 5 - 10 lbs/sq ft.
Truckload (22 pallets) price $8.15/50 lb bag delivered east of the Mississippi except FL & ME.
Single Pallet price $13.20 delivered to PA, $14.25 to FL, $11.50 to Ohio, etc
Where's the BEEF???? Potassium.
I'd still like to see you pro-organic guys explain the justification for the increase in labor. So you can get chemicals close to competitive... so what? What about the raised labor/fuel/time expense to applicate? That's as big a deal or bigger than chemical pricing... Are you strictly throwing this stuff with a PG? Even at 5#/M that's a LOT of fert to carry around for just one day's work...
I am not at all against the products here... but they're a logistical nightmare for an industry with such minimalistic profit margins...
We also have:
What can I say? Many companies are increasing their customer base and making a living by offering these options. The demand is growing, the results are there, and the cost is just getting better compared to synthetics.
There is a learning curve whenever you try something new.
However, I can guarantee it is easier for applicators to understand & use these products than it is for them to learn & properly use pesticides. I'm not saying you should remove the option to use them, but if you are able to reduce the need for them, your costs decrease both by material and training costs.
To quote the Infamous Lawrence Stone, " I hope you have a 5 ton Truck and a forklift to handle your Organic Fertilizer".
I really am too lazy to open Pandora's box about N to K ratios and it's effect on P in the soil. But a simple explanation is the more K to N the more P becomes available to the plant and the less leaching of P. BTW pH comes into play here and K rises pH which we all know doesn't help P to be released from it's soil bound state. But that is why I don't want try and explain this Phenomena in more scientific detail and really open Pandora's Box. The more N to k ratio and just the opposite happens and the Leaching of P into the water table is a very big Issue. But at 1 N to 3 K and above, P starts to become more available to plants and stops leaching. Most all Turf schools have for years suggested that the minimal Ratio for turf be no less than 4-1-2 ratio and most golf Greens get a 1 to 3 ratio and they general state this as elemental and not oxide forms like the label of Fertilizer here in America. Most countries List Fertilizer in Elemental terms instead of Oxide like the USA.
Actually you products might be good, But You sure haven't convinced me by what you have presented so far. I can read and Understand a fertilizer label unlike 99% of the people in this business I look hard at the Derived From part of the label as well as the percentages of elements. Fact is I am more interest in the Derived From and Ratio than the Percentages. But I don't want to wait for Kelp to decompose before having it available.