All of us grow up learning that all life starts from a simple, tiny seed. We watch that seed mature, a miracle of life, and we ask ourselves where does that life come from? The answer: life starts in the soil. Our soil is teeming with life. It is rich, healthy and fertile. Unfortunately, we have a habit of working against that life. We have a habit of taking that life, the nutrients, and not returning them to the soil. We have a habit of working against nature and "the plan". That is unacceptable!
The answer comes down to nutrients and soil life. With every crop, we mine essential life giving nutrients from the soil. For example, a corn crop removes 200 lbs of minerals not including NPK from your soil every year. These nutrients are essential to crop development both in quality and quantity. In exchange for these lost nutrients, we find ourselves pouring on more and more chemical fertilizers to make up for the loss. Many times, chemicals are hazardous to the life in the soil, not to mention our own health! Yes our yields may go up, but are we helping ourselves in the long-run? Absolutely not! Lets put a stop to that cycle, and start a program that builds life and nutrients in your soil, your crop and your life. Our program is a simple four letter word L I F E . We promote life in all dimensions .
For over 60 years, U.S. Soil has promoted programs that help build life in the soil. We have seen companies and ideas come and go, but one thing remains the same: farmers and ranchers all have the desire to build a simple, sustainable, yet profitable program. The Planters II Agricultural Program is not a step by step recipe for everyone to follow. It is a series of sensible measures one can take as they rebuild their soil while increasing yields. The program is not for every situtation, and it is best to talk with your local dealer in setting up a program that works for you.
Did you know there are over 100 pairwise combinations of nutrient ratios? One nutrient cannot work without the other, and not only that the ratios have to be kept in a certain range. It is very easy to look at a soil test and say, "I need X mineral". It is not easy to keep your ratios in balance, and as such people fall into the problem of trying to prescription a crop into balance. That is not only far more complicated that it needs to be, but over the years we have yet to see a prescription program that wasn't doomed to fail. We believe that the simple approach is the best approach. One shouldn't have to be a mathematician to farm! The following are steps on keeping it simple:
For a sustainable program to work, we must first rebuild the foundation that is your soil. Very similar to the story of a man building his house on a rock, you must build your crop on a healthy, living mineral foundation. Now, some companies may tell you that this 'rebuilding phase' should come at a cost without an immediate return. We don't believe that. For a farmer or rancher to rebuild their soil, they must also receive immediate results and benefits. That is why it is important to use a mineral that is pH tolerant, bioactive and plant available.
To rebuild life in your soil, you need a mineral based fertilizer that follows all three of those rules. Planters II Fertilizer is that product. During the first phase, we recommend applying roughly 250lbs / acre to rebuild a mineral buffer in the soil until that buffer is built then cut back to a sustaining rate. What you are looking for is to build a buffer of plant available minerals in the soil. After which point, your dealer will work with you. In many cases, a good program will eventually drop to only a minimal amount of minerals per year.
Minerals increase the efficiency of your crop. As such, if you have a good program, you can easily decrease your NPK requirements. We recommend reducing NPK 1/3 to 1/2 the first year. Not only will this lower your overall costs, but it will eliminate major "life killers" from your current program. A good program that promotes life can eventually eliminate the need for yearly uses of NPK- producing organic certified crops with minimal hassle.
For the past 60 years, we have promoted crop rotations. This, along with additional strong management programs such as minimal tilling, can greatly increase crop performance while reducing crop headaches. Naturally, pests gravitate towards crops that aren't rotated, not to mention you are losing passive benefits provided by a solid crop rotation program. Additionally, we support minimal tilling as the top layer of life is only 6 inches deep in your soil. It is important to rotate, and your Dealer can work with you on developing a strong rotation that is both profitable and ecological.