Understanding Your Market Needs
Farms may struggle to achieve their crop-growing targets, due to the natural and artificial acidity of the soil found in many regions. To meet this challenge and achieve acceptable yields, farmers may sometimes use excessive quantities of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) fertilizers. This gradually leads to increasing soil acidification, with a negative impact on agricultural performance. To tackle these challenges, we have developed TerraCalco®.
WHY ARE SOILS BECOMING MORE ACIDIC?
- On top of soil’s natural acidity, the use of fertilizers tends to acidify soil.
- Intake of organic effluents containing ammoniacal nitrogen.
- Nitrate leaching.
- Biological activity and carbon mineralization.
- Acidification around the rhizosphere, especially for leguminous crops.
- Pollution due to acid rain (industry or power plants, cars, etc.) or acid water drainage.
- Loss of nitrates through volatilization.
IMPACT OF ACIDITY ON CROP PERFORMANCE
- Below pH 6.8-7.2 soil’s general conditions are unfavorable for most crops, resulting in lower yields than the field potential with healthy pH.
- At a pH lower than 5.5, aluminium and manganese iron and heavy metals release lead to toxicity.
- Nutrient assimilation by crops decreases with lower pH. At low pH, soil fertility is limited. At a pH of 5.5, only a third of the input is available for crops. Acidity can lead to a loss of 120 kg/ha of ammonium nitrate for a wheat crop that receives 170 units of nitrogen!
- Acidification causes leaching of calcium, which decreases the structural stability of soil.
- Decreased field moisture capacity of soil and increased impact of drought periods on crops.
- Lower plant diversity and lower production yield in pastures, resulting in lower quality and lower quantity feed for cattle.
Solutions to Meet Your Needs
TerraCalco® INCREASES THE ALKALINITY OF SOIL
A higher pH helps to:
- Increase the amount of organic and natural fertilizers available for fields, vegetables, vineyards, etc. thus leading to a better crop yield.
- Improve the soil structure, thus increasing the potential production.
CARMEUSE OFFERS THE RANGE OF TerraCalco® PRODUCTS FOR ENHANCING AND MAINTAINING SOIL IN GOOD CONDITION
Some regions have very acidic soils, which should be redressed in order to farm effectively. However, a maintenance amendment is generally required in most regions.
- The perfect pH for crops is between 6.8 and 7.2.
- The lower boundary is also called Objective pH, below which there is a risk of alumina toxicity (<5.5) and a high structural instability which can kill both spring and winter crops.
- Regular use of TerraCalco® allows maintenance of good field performance.
THE THREE MAIN EFFECTS OF USING TERRACALCO® ON SOIL
1. CHEMICAL EFFECT OF TerraCalco®: BALANCES SOIL ACIDITY
- TerraCalco® raises the pH to an optimal level, which has a positive effect on the amount of nitrogen released from the soil. It also protects plants, thus limiting their ability to absorb toxic elements and helping the uptake of nutritional elements in an optimal range.
- In acidic soil, plants more easily absorb toxic elements such as aluminium or cadmium, which limits yield potential and crop quality.
Optimized fertilizing elements
- Soil treated with basic amendments offers a larger reservoir for essential nutrients (e.g. calcium) for plants. However, if only NITROGEN fertilizers are applied, the soil acidification will increase and toxic elements will be absorbed by the plants.
Enhanced the organic matter in soil
- TerraCalco® enables better use of natural fertilizing elements in soil organic matter, which in turn allows less use of fertilizer.
2. TerraCalco® PROMOTES BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY
- At a low pH value, the metabolic processes of most microorganisms are stopped. Exceptionally, only fungi survive in acidic soil and many of them are pathogenic on crops.
- By eliminating acidity, the development of mycorrhiza bacteria is stimulated, which leads to a decrease in the number of fungi. Better crop health results from an optimum number of fungi in soil.
- Many bacterial strains produce hormones during metabolic processes that are homologous to plant growth hormones: this encourages better and faster root development.
- It is also known that a significant number of bacterial strains can fix nitrogen (some of them are free nitrogen fixers, while others are in a symbiotic relationship with the root). These processes significantly enrich the soil with nitrogen, in a form that is easily accessible for plants.
- High pH in soil provides better aeration and moisture conditions, which is good for active microbial life.
3. TerraCalco® PHYSICAL EFFECT: IMPROVES SOIL STRUCTURE
ADVANTAGES OF TERRACALCO®
- Improves soil structure.
- Optimizes the soil potential.
- Boosts the effect of fertilizers.
- Promotes biological activity.
- Increases the organic matter in soil.
- Protects plants.
TerraCalco® encourages better roots development, thanks to a less compacted soil.
All together, these three effects of TerraCalco® will increase potential crop production.
Greater production helps farmers to produce sustainably and to comply with the regulations on soil conservation.
More productive farmland, through the addition of amendments, maximizes cost-efficiency.
Other Agriculture applications
Farming today is a complex business with a variety of needs.