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Thread: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

  1. #1
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Having just finished reading Kinsey's book for the first time I did a bit of digging (literally and not literally) and came up with this thread (and a rock shaped like a quoit),

    http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/sho...t=51188&page=2

    and this excellent post in particular:

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    I have read and had various soil tests done, most of our problems are high calcium soils ,but you wouldn't add magnesium it would make them tighter and you physically couldn't add enough sulphur to reduce the calcium, so effectively you are stuffed .
    What we o is add foliar magnesium ,and some sulphur,so trying to balance soils to albrecht Kinsey et al is probably a waste of time for the uk

    However I believe it needs more research in this country,we need to look more at the locking up of P and whether we are applying the correct products .Just to add to what I was saying here is a reply to a letter I wrote to a soil scientist over here

    Must say, I have been working with soils for over 25 years and have yet to find anything close to ideal.However, while the ideal soil may not exist in reality, components of an ideal soil can be identified and management processes put in place to optimise them.However, soil characteristics will change with climate,weather, cultivation, application of fertilisers,lime, manures,cover crops,specific crop and root exudates etc,making the soil a very dynamic medium with constantly changing target or optimum values of any given nutrient or component. Striving for the ideal value of any given parameter can be a fruitless task,but interpreting how parameters interact, and how to optimise soil or crop response to these interactions,can provide useful guidance to soil management strategies.One such guide is the concept of Cation Exchange Capacity(CEC).
    CEC is a measure of the negative charge associated with clay and organic matter,and
    the ability for this charge to hold,adsorb or react with materials with a positive charge.The more active organic matter and functional clay,the higher the CEC,the better the nutrient and water holding capacity of the soil,and the higher the yield potential or performance characteristics of the soil.CEC is expressed in terms of unit charge, typically as milli equivalents per 100 gms (meq/100g) or centimols of cationic charge per kilo (cmolc/kg).This unit measure can be related directly to the atomic mass and charge of any given cation. A charge of one meq/100g would hold 449 kg per ha of Calcium, or 269 kg per ha of Magnesium, or 876 kg per ha of Potassium, or 516 kg per ha of Sodium or 22.4 kg per ha of Hydrogen (the unit measure of
    acidity).Similarly, CEC can be converted into mg per litre to match standard soil testing. However, the numbers are derived using different extraction protocols and can not be used under Cross Compliance for soil management purposes.Anion Exchange Capacity, or AEC, is the measure of positive charge associated with clay and organic matter, and is expressed in the same unit terms (meq/100g or cmola/kg). AEC is typically very low and the anionic
    (negatively charged) nutrients such as nitrate, sulphate, chloride and borate tend to have high diffusion rates,moving at over 1 cm per day though
    the soil profile.Typical ranges for CEC would be 1 to 4 meq for sands, 2 to 8 meq for silts, 6 to 20 meq for clay loams, 15 to 45 meq for clays, 35 to 75 meq for organic soils and upto 225 meq for peats.CEC is a useful means of determining the ability of the soil to hold nutrients and can be used to measure both chemical concentration gradients
    and actual nutrient loading.
    Concentration gradients are readily calculated as Base Cation Saturation
    Ratios, or BCSR, by dividing the unit charge of a particular nutrient by the
    total charge of the soil. Each cation has different behavioural characteristics at specific concentration gradients, dependent on soil textural class and clay chemistry.Although optimum Calcium uptake can occur at 20% BCSR, for most soils,
    Calcium works best at 60% to 68% BCSR. However, as Calcium has a positive impact on the physical spacing of the clay colloid, target BCSR values for Calcium must be adjusted to match clay type and content, in some cases increasing to over 80% BCSR before sustainable, self-structuring clay aggregates can be formed. By contrast, Magnesium activity may be optimum at around 4% BCSR, but must balance Potassium and Calcium if sufficient uptake levels are to be achieved. Conversely, Magnesium has a very high water holding capacity and has a tendency to decrease clay particle spacing, increasing the plasticine limits of the soil. Increasing the Magnesium BCSR
    on a sand soil would reduce drought stress and Potassium uptake, while decreasing soil structure and increasing water holding on a clay soil (ideal for black grass).

    For the example of Small Tustins, the values on the results sheet show;

    element CEC as cmol/kg Base Cation Saturation Ratio Target

    BCSR for this type of clay soil Nutrient load in kg/ha above or below
    target
    Calcium, Ca 23.40 meq, BCSR = 23.40/27.90 = 0.8387 or 83.8%
    ideal for this soil 74 to 78% gives 1158 kg calcium excess
    Magnesium, Mg 0.94 meq, BCSR = 0.94/27.90 = 0.0337 or 3.37% ideal
    for this soil 5 to 7% gives 541 kg magnesium deficit
    Potassium, K 0.45 meq, BCSR = 0.45/27.90 = 0.0161 or 1.6%
    ideal for this soil 2.2 to 3.4% gives 154 kg potassium deficit
    Total CEC 27.90


    Interpretation is the key here. The Calcium excess is making a significantcontribution to soil structure, aeration, drainage, water infiltration ,
    biological activity etc and it would be detrimental to reduce this to the target value. Although the Calcium excess is creating a concentration gradient against which Phosphorus, Magnesium and micro-nutrients will struggle, Calcium must be maintained at this level, or above, if soil structure is to improve to facilitate cultivation, grass weed control, Nitrogen assimilation and uptake etc. The down side is transient lock-up with Phosphorus, Manganese etc, all of which can be addressed using appropriate placement fertiliser, seed treatment, foliar feed, biolgicals
    etc.Similarly, Magnesium base loading is low, but increasing the Magnesium level
    to lowest BCSR target value would have major impact on soil structure, increasing plasticine limits and water holding which would restrict cultivation and favour grass weed seed development, while restricting Potassium uptake and Nitrogen Use Efficiency etc. making it far better, cheaper and agronomically more viable to foliar feed Magnesium to optimiseNitrogen and Potassium uptake.The BCSR values indicate chemical interactions. Target, or optimum levels, can be determined for optimum nutrient uptake and soil formation, but must be metered to suit specific soil type, cropping and environmental parameters.
    As for Phosphorus - Potassium balance, one of the vital factors is crop nutrient demand. In the main, UK arable cropping focuses of autumn establishment, biasing P demand to the first 30 days from germination and leaving K to stem extension and beyond. This is not the case with most other parts of the world, where P and K demand are more closely timed. As a result, our crops need P at planting and K with first Nitrogen, while others can put total NPK in the seed bed and forget them for the rest of the growing season. In addition, most soils used to determine CEC and BCSR did not have the buffer capacity or strong alkaline nature of the typical
    calcareous UK clay, and as a result are not subject to the massive P-fixing and antagonistic lock-up issues seen here, so P fertiliser strategies need to be modified to reflect this.Striving for ideal values may have agronomic benefits, but may also have cost implications that are prohibitive. For the example given, with 1158 kg Calcium excess, it would take 2400 kg Sulphur, in addition to the S required
    by the growing crop or lost to the soil system by leaching etc, to effectively reduce the existing Calcium level to the ideal level. At 450 per tonne, this application would cost over 1000 per ha, which would not include the cost of loss of soil structure as the clay colloids begin to collapse, delays in drilling and crop establishment as soils take longer to dry and become friable, or the impact on grass weed seed germination, the activity of residual chemicals etc. As soon as this soil is subject to cultivation, the inputs of steel and diesel would trigger Calcium release from parent material, re-setting the Calcium BCSR at an excessive level. If
    the farming system was reliant on direct drilling, cover cropping and surface mulching of crop residue, and if the reduction in Calcium from excessive to ideal had associated agronomic benefits, then the Sulphur route may have value.
    But under conventional management, with high input cost and volatile output prices that are often break-even at best, it may be far better to keep the Calcium level in excess, gain the benefit of improved soil structure, and work around the antagonistic nutrient interactions.Similar stories could be told for other cations. Building soil Magnesium to ideal would restrict Potassium uptake, lower Nitrogen Use Efficiency,
    increase disease pressure, reduce soil structure and favour grass weeds.
    Foliar feeding Magnesium will give improvements in Nitrogen use, protein building, disease suppression, green leaf area, without affecting soil structure. Building soil Potassium level would reduce Magnesium availability further, increase the tendency for the clay to shrink and crack, lift soil pH and reduce Zinc uptake. But timing an application of Potassium with Nitrogen at the onset of stem extension could lift grain yield potential in cereals by 400 to 600 kg/ha, provided the crop had access to sufficient Phosphorus and Manganese at germination.Its great to have targets. Even better to have the means to measure, monitor and manage those targets. But sometimes striving for ideals can be misleading, especially in the dynamics of the soil eco-system.
    Although I hope to have some soil testing done it is likely that the results will be similar to the results that are exemplified in the above post.

    My questions stem from the second section that is highlighted in bold:

    1. Given the soil above and given also that a DD system (true no-till or strip - take your pick) is in place, do you think a reduction of the calcium levels would bring agronomic benefits and, if so, what are they?

    2. In the above post it is suggested that a Ca reduction would give a negative effect on workability. Why? I got the impression that it was only if Ca was reduced well below 68% that soil stability became an issue.

    3. Based upon current market prices (of sulphur and grain) does anyone care to give a back of the envelope calculation as to whether you think an attempt at correction in the exemplified case would be of value?

    4. Kinsey doesn't talk very much about the correction of elemental deficiencies in a direct drilling system (hardly at all in fact). He does talk about the need to mix whatever corrective substance is being applied throughout the top x number of inches for optimum effect (I'll try and find the page number shortly). I wonder, then, if the correction methods needed in the above case would work in a DD system?

    5. Do you agree that sulphur is the solution in the example given? If so, what form of sulphur?

    6. If adding things like sulphur does work in a DD system does the required dose change depending on whether one practices conventional tillage or no-tillage? That is, since DD (depending on the flavour) only works the top inch or so, can one add less sulphur, not incorporate it and then have a better balanced top few inches? (I guess this isn't the case.)

    I was rather sad to read the book, get quite excited about fixing our soils, only then to read the above post and realise that correcting a Ca:Mn imbalance on our chalky boulder clay might be hopeless. :cry:

    As usual, thanks in advance for your help and wisdom.

  2. #2
    Jim Bullock
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Feldspar...
    Like you I I have read Kinsey's book (three times now... not being able to take it all in.. first/second time... )
    We have tried any number of solutions to our soil problems...but I am afraid you cannot escape the fact that the most important element is organic matter...so we have been incorporating/retaining all crop residues on as much of our land as possible for the last decade and where we have been successful crop establishment and crop management is very much easier...and yields are on the up..
    Autumn 2012 might just be a bit of a challenge...if it does not stop raining..

  3. #3
    Mayo
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    I've read it extensively, unfortunately there does not seem to be a 'farmer' version or step by step method about. No doubt some consultants use the word Albrecht and it opens the doors to many troves of money.

    As a rule, the more clay and organic matter your soil has, the more cation exchange it will carry and the better it will retain fertility. Without cation exchange in a soil, plant life cannot flourish as the nutrients in the soil do not remain.

  4. #4
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Mayo View Post
    I've read it extensively, unfortunately there does not seem to be a 'farmer' version or step by step method about. No doubt some consultants use the word Albrecht and it opens the doors to many troves of money.

    As a rule, the more clay and organic matter your soil has, the more cation exchange it will carry and the better it will retain fertility. Without cation exchange in a soil, plant life cannot flourish as the nutrients in the soil do not remain.
    My understanding was that the higher the CEC the more negatively charged cation sites there are which means that more of the anions (is this what you mean by fertility?) that are required for crop growth, such as Calcium, can be accommodated. In other words, the more clay there is the more elements that the crop requires to grow can be held by the soil. This does not mean that the more clay you have the more fertile the soil is, as a soil with a high clay content can have nutrient imbalances; in the example I quoted the soil had a high CEC but too much Ca and too little Mg.

    More organic matter, having a make-up similar to an ideal soil, is always good (maybe there is some limit but it is irrelevant). That's what I took in anyway!

  5. #5
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bullock View Post
    Feldspar...
    Like you I I have read Kinsey's book (three times now... not being able to take it all in.. first/second time... )
    We have tried any number of solutions to our soil problems...but I am afraid you cannot escape the fact that the most important element is organic matter...so we have been incorporating/retaining all crop residues on as much of our land as possible for the last decade and where we have been successful crop establishment and crop management is very much easier...and yields are on the up..
    Autumn 2012 might just be a bit of a challenge...if it does not stop raining..
    I agree that more organic matter is a good thing, I wonder, however, if you had a soil with a very low CEC with a major (as in of major importance) nutrient imbalance whether it could be argued that organic matter is not the most important thing. The reason being that imbalances in a low CEC soil are relatively easy to correct. Furthermore, whilst the appearance of nutrient imbalances are buffered to a greater extent the more organic matter the soil contains, if there is a permanent imbalance then might it not be more important (i.e. most likely to most affect yield) to rectify this before concentrating on organic matter building (of course the two can be done at once!)? That is, organic matter cures a lot of ills but not all of them in that it cannot by itself provide all of the crop's needs.

  6. #6
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    I fink:

    Till you start getting the really simple basic proven soil management techniques right then what is the point on going haywire on Albrecht stuff?

    If you first get a system where you can correct your worst nutrient imbalances (P,K Ca/Mg) either through a bit of soil mapping and by using artificials where needed to get everything to a decent level, then start concentrating on building soil organic matter/humus which you will never do with tillage implements. As OM increases/ soil quality improves it will change the soil nutrient status as it is basically better able to hold on and cycle elements.

    And then tissue test to see how things are getting on.

  7. #7
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    I agree that more organic matter is a good thing, I wonder, however, if you had a soil with a very low CEC with a major (as in of major importance) nutrient imbalance whether it could be argued that organic matter is not the most important thing. The reason being that imbalances in a low CEC soil are relatively easy to correct. Furthermore, whilst the appearance of nutrient imbalances are buffered to a greater extent the more organic matter the soil contains, if there is a permanent imbalance then might it not be more important (i.e. most likely to most affect yield) to rectify this before concentrating on organic matter building (of course the two can be done at once!)? That is, organic matter cures a lot of ills but not all of them in that it cannot by itself provide all of the crop's needs.
    If your CEC is very low then surely you will have a harder time holding on to some of your nutrients? What are the nutrients in question you are short of - you have a choice of only about 4 macronutrients so whichever way you approach the issue you may have to import something in order to kickstart the system.

    Mr Kinsey could have done with a damn good editor for his book.

  8. #8
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    I fink:

    Till you start getting the really simple basic proven soil management techniques right then what is the point on going haywire on Albrecht stuff?

    If you first get a system where you can correct your worst nutrient imbalances (P,K Ca/Mg) either through a bit of soil mapping and by using artificials where needed to get everything to a decent level, then start concentrating on building soil organic matter/humus which you will never do with tillage implements. As OM increases/ soil quality improves it will change the soil nutrient status as it is basically better able to hold on and cycle elements.

    And then tissue test to see how things are getting on.
    What do you mean by 'simple basic proven soil management techniques' and by 'Albrecht stuff'?

    I was looking to employ, as I would understand it, 'Albrecht stuff' to firstly inform the correction of the major nutrient imbalances which might facilitate the 'getting right' of these 'basic proven soil management techniques'. For example, if one wanted to switch to no-till to improve the OM% of one's soil, this would be made easier by first addressing the Ca:Mg ratio because, for example once more, if the latter was in excess no-till would struggle, one might loose heart due to crop failures, and the aim of OM boosting would be abandoned.

    The relationship between OM% and fertility is akin to the chicken and the egg problem, I realise, but the conclusion I drew from the book was that, in relation to my personal situation, that it might be worth addressing this 'Albrecht stuff' before, to use S. Chiles' analogy, jumping off the hamster wheel and half-drowning in a waterlogged and imbalanced soil prompting a retreat to the plough-shed with accompanying mutterings about the evils of no-till.

    But of course all the above may well be hopeless, as was the main concern of my original post, if our soils are comparable to those exemplified in Fred's eloquent post, in which case the 'using of artificials' to get things right in the soil would be financially unjustifiable.

  9. #9
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    If your CEC is very low then surely you will have a harder time holding on to some of your nutrients? What are the nutrients in question you are short of - you have a choice of only about 4 macronutrients so whichever way you approach the issue you may have to import something in order to kickstart the system.

    Mr Kinsey could have done with a damn good editor for his book.
    That was my point, sort out nutrient imbalances which kick-start the system, namely the system that allows OM building.

  10. #10
    Willscale
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    That was my point, sort out nutrient imbalances which kick-start the system, namely the system that allows OM building.
    What does your soil test read? Which element do you think could potentially cause you trouble - it seems to be you feel your Ca/Mg balance is not great, you feel your soils are heavy but your pH reads ok? can you scan the soil test sheet?

    Tillage will break up natural aggregates and push smaller soil particles together tighter and this can exacerbate the problem of compaction, lack of air, lack of biological exchange and poorer water infiltration.

    The traditional solution may be to till again to get some air into it and break up these clods but 1. how long will this effect last (weeks rather than months in my view) and 2. you would be using the same tool to solve the problem that created it?

    Don't get me wrong there may be occasions where tillage is the right thing to do from the point of getting your crop in the ground but equally I always think in no till you have to try and think of the next two crops as well. Tillage begets tillage in my opinion because it doesn't give the other parts of the equation to develop ie soil fauna, organic matter which happen not to operate on one day in September when the seed is planted.

    I think if you are interested in no till/ direct drill then it is usually worth phasing it in a bit as the learning curve is steep. This may mean a few years subsoiling and very shallow tillage in problem areas until you get your confidence up, choose your best fields and if you make a mistake don't be afraid to say you messed up, plough a field and just try and do better the next year, the chances of getting badly wrong diminish with experience. What drill do you use?


  11. #11
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Willscale View Post
    What does your soil test read? Which element do you think could potentially cause you trouble - it seems to be you feel your Ca/Mg balance is not great, you feel your soils are heavy but your pH reads ok? can you scan the soil test sheet?

    Tillage will break up natural aggregates and push smaller soil particles together tighter and this can exacerbate the problem of compaction, lack of air, lack of biological exchange and poorer water infiltration.

    The traditional solution may be to till again to get some air into it and break up these clods but 1. how long will this effect last (weeks rather than months in my view) and 2. you would be using the same tool to solve the problem that created it?

    Don't get me wrong there may be occasions where tillage is the right thing to do from the point of getting your crop in the ground but equally I always think in no till you have to try and think of the next two crops as well. Tillage begets tillage in my opinion because it doesn't give the other parts of the equation to develop ie soil fauna, organic matter which happen not to operate on one day in September when the seed is planted.

    I think if you are interested in no till/ direct drill then it is usually worth phasing it in a bit as the learning curve is steep. This may mean a few years subsoiling and very shallow tillage in problem areas until you get your confidence up, choose your best fields and if you make a mistake don't be afraid to say you messed up, plough a field and just try and do better the next year, the chances of getting badly wrong diminish with experience. What drill do you use?

    I agree with all that you have said in the above and thanks for your thoughts but what I'm really interested in are the questions that I posed in the original post. The question of the relative importance of organic matter was a digression (my fault).

    I obviously was not clear enough in my original post. I have no soil tests at the current time; my questions were academic and hypothetical and based on the example given by Fred.

    I'm still hoping someone might be able answer some or any (even one!) of the questions I had in the first post.

  12. #12
    mbsrhol
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Although I hope to have some soil testing done it is likely that the results will be similar to the results that are exemplified in the above post.

    My questions stem from the second section that is highlighted in bold:

    1. Given the soil above and given also that a DD system (true no-till or strip - take your pick) is in place, do you think a reduction of the calcium levels would bring agronomic benefits and, if so, what are they?

    2. In the above post it is suggested that a Ca reduction would give a negative effect on workability. Why? I got the impression that it was only if Ca was reduced well below 68% that soil stability became an issue.

    3. Based upon current market prices (of sulphur and grain) does anyone care to give a back of the envelope calculation as to whether you think an attempt at correction in the exemplified case would be of value?

    4. Kinsey doesn't talk very much about the correction of elemental deficiencies in a direct drilling system (hardly at all in fact). He does talk about the need to mix whatever corrective substance is being applied throughout the top x number of inches for optimum effect (I'll try and find the page number shortly). I wonder, then, if the correction methods needed in the above case would work in a DD system?

    5. Do you agree that sulphur is the solution in the example given? If so, what form of sulphur?

    6. If adding things like sulphur does work in a DD system does the required dose change depending on whether one practices conventional tillage or no-tillage? That is, since DD (depending on the flavour) only works the top inch or so, can one add less sulphur, not incorporate it and then have a better balanced top few inches? (I guess this isn't the case.)

    I was rather sad to read the book, get quite excited about fixing our soils, only then to read the above post and realise that correcting a Ca:Mn imbalance on our chalky boulder clay might be hopeless. :cry:

    As usual, thanks in advance for your help and wisdom.

    1. Make P more available and possibly some other nutrients.

    2. I think your assumption is valid.

    3. You could make more use of AS fertilisers, I dont think I would try harder than that to remove Ca.

    4. Let the worms do it.

    5. AS

    6. Possibly

    Chalky boulder clay I anticipate is an easier starting point than high Mg clay?

  13. #13
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    ^ Thank you.

  14. #14
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    untill you do some tests you realy are only guessing

    i would test frist then review the out come i have looked over some of kinseys books and to be fair they are hard work to read

    there is a lot of the socalled ratios but the tests will show up whats realy lacking

    if low in Mg and wanting to lower the Ca use Magnesium Sulphate not AS you can run the risk of the AS stripping more Mg out

  15. #15
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Good post by mbsrhol. I'm a long way from an expert on this so won't answer directly. However, I would suggest you invite Ian Robertson from Glenside over for a couple of hours' consultancy (http://www.glensidefarming.co.uk/glenside/index.html). He's an Albrecht specialist and an advocate of direct drilling too and has some very interesting views. The soil in your OP sound not dissimilar to the ones round here - high in Ca, low in Mg and yet heavy and difficult to work.

    If you do this, let us know what he says please

  16. #16
    mbsrhol
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    I did some testing with Lancrop and they came back fairly good, the highlight was CEC was the same on my sandy loam and heavy clay loam? Zinc was low on heavy ground and ok on sand?

  17. #17
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    Good post by mbsrhol. I'm a long way from an expert on this so won't answer directly. However, I would suggest you invite Ian Robertson from Glenside over for a couple of hours' consultancy (http://www.glensidefarming.co.uk/glenside/index.html). He's an Albrecht specialist and an advocate of direct drilling too and has some very interesting views. The soil in your OP sound not dissimilar to the ones round here - high in Ca, low in Mg and yet heavy and difficult to work.

    If you do this, let us know what he says please
    Might well do!

  18. #18
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by mbsrhol View Post

    Chalky boulder clay I anticipate is an easier starting point than high Mg clay?
    Why do you say that? Is it because high Mg soils are wetter / tighter or because Ca2+ is a more mobile ion through the soil than Mg2+ (can't remember if it is) or because high Mg requires more N-fertiliser input?

  19. #19
    JD_Kid
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    we are low Ca high Mg here add salt to the prob and all of a sudden it's bricks sinks compacts etc etc etc

    used to have higher Ca limestone soils know with one i would sooner have

  20. #20
    slejpner
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Why do you say that? Is it because high Mg soils are wetter / tighter or because Ca2+ is a more mobile ion through the soil than Mg2+ (can't remember if it is) or because high Mg requires more N-fertiliser input?
    Because of the wetter / tighter issues high Mg soils would be harder to DD than high Ca soils.

    The issue of high Mg soils needing more N would hold regardless of establishment system

  21. #21
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    The Ruminant, reading the rest of the thread (http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/sho...t=51188&page=2) in which you discussed your Glenside results and their first recommendation to you, what was the eventual action you took (to lower your Calcium whilst not raising the Magnesium levels)?

  22. #22
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by slejpner View Post
    The issue of high Mg soils needing more N would hold regardless of establishment system
    Yes, you're quite right. Stupid statement by me.

    I also found this which I should have found in my earlier searches:
    http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=63298

    Bit about the K displacement test was a useful nugget which will hopefully prove useful!

  23. #23
    The ruminant
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    The Ruminant, reading the rest of the thread (http://farmingforum.co.uk/forums/sho...t=51188&page=2) in which you discussed your Glenside results and their first recommendation to you, what was the eventual action you took (to lower your Calcium whilst not raising the Magnesium levels)?
    We applied kieserite which provides both MgO and SO4. Glenside were confident that this would correct the imbalance between too much Ca compared to Mg without affecting workability. (He did explain why at the time, but I'm afraid I've forgotten the detail. All I can remember is that Ian puts things in simple terms and it all made sense from a layman-scientific point of view).

  24. #24
    Kentish_Andy
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by The ruminant View Post
    We applied kieserite which provides both MgO and SO4. Glenside were confident that this would correct the imbalance between too much Ca compared to Mg without affecting workability. (He did explain why at the time, but I'm afraid I've forgotten the detail. All I can remember is that Ian puts things in simple terms and it all made sense from a layman-scientific point of view).
    I am becoming sceptical on applying kieserite. From what I understand if you have a ca:mg ratio of say 80:10. The test says 10% base saturation of Mg but the true amount of Mg (background pressure) is worked out by 80% -68 (ideal level of Ca) giving you 12. Then adding the original 10% to give you an actual 22% of Mg which is very high (All in "Hands on Agronomy"). So applying kieserite is adding even more Mg to a soil that has plenty. Which is why we are going down the route of applying sulphur and OM to slowly balance our soils. I think Kieserite is dangerous and you could end with a wet sticky mess. I am happy to be proved wrong but this is my understanding. I think a high Mg soil is easier to deal with.

  25. #25
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish_Andy View Post
    I am becoming sceptical on applying kieserite. From what I understand if you have a ca:mg ratio of say 80:10. The test says 10% base saturation of Mg but the true amount of Mg (background pressure) is worked out by 80% -68 (ideal level of Ca) giving you 12. Then adding the original 10% to give you an actual 22% of Mg which is very high (All in "Hands on Agronomy"). So applying kieserite is adding even more Mg to a soil that has plenty. Which is why we are going down the route of applying sulphur and OM to slowly balance our soils. I think Kieserite is dangerous and you could end with a wet sticky mess. I am happy to be proved wrong but this is my understanding. I think a high Mg soil is easier to deal with.
    Was the rule that if the Mg% + Ca% > 80% then trying to reduce Ca (or Mg) by adding an Mg-based compound (or Ca compound) will simply change the problem but not solve it? Applying Kieserite does seem to fall foul of that rule so I'd be interested to hear the reasoning, The Ruminant, if you happen to remember it.

  26. #26
    dominat
    Guest

    Smile Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    If you haven't had the soil tests done yet, why not kill two birds with one stone - get the samples, post them to Kinsey in the States, and get the answer from the horses mouth. That's what I did

  27. #27
    Feldspar
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by dominat View Post
    If you haven't had the soil tests done yet, why not kill two birds with one stone - get the samples, post them to Kinsey in the States, and get the answer from the horses mouth. That's what I did
    Who did you get to do your take your samples? Given the stress placed upon quality soil sampling, and given my own inexperience, I wouldn't be very happy doing it myself.

    If you don't mind me asking what was the cost of doing what you did (PM if you like)?

  28. #28
    mbsrhol
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    Who did you get to do your take your samples? Given the stress placed upon quality soil sampling, and given my own inexperience, I wouldn't be very happy doing it myself.

    If you don't mind me asking what was the cost of doing what you did (PM if you like)?

    Due to the cost of the tests can you trust anyone else to do them? You know the lie of your land, no sampling near limestone tracks, old muck heaps low lying areas, eroded areas?

  29. #29
    fred
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    I have read these threads, and kept quiet , read the first few lines of the reply to my original email , stop trying to find an ideal it doesn't exist,

    Work with what you have trying to balance soils to a formula, is IMO, an expensive hobby only those with massive returns from growing veg can possibly achieve,

    I have spent hours , read thousands of text, crunched numbers, cross compared soil tests , etc,

    We are not paid for quality, only quantity, save your self hours of time , add phosphite seed dressing to seed, apply phosphite as an early foliar, add k at stem extension as potassium sulphate, add mn and mg foliarly at all fungicide timings,

    Add boron to osr, leaf test will always show deficiency , probably because the boron is being used,

    There are too many companies flogging snake oil, find one you trust and stick with it, beware,

    Nutritional products are NOT regulated , they could be flogging you absolute rubbish, ask your self how do they actually make money,

    Finally as I said before don't get too het up about minutiae details, it's not worth it on a combinable crops rotation.

  30. #30
    slejpner
    Guest

    Re: Correcting nutrient deficiencies la Kinsey in a DD system

    good post fred

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