The Andersons OMRI-Listed Pelletized Soil Amendments
Posted June 21, 2019 by Dani Kusner
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to explore the OMRI-listed products The Andersons has available out of its new warehouse location in Waterloo, Indiana. This week we’ll discuss our soil amendments with dispersing granule (DG) technology.
When it comes to organic dispersing granules, The Andersons has been a leader in the industry for years. The “DG” behind The Andersons’ brand name means the products have been created using our patented DG technology. Through this process, natural mined rock materials are ground down to fine particles. These particles are then combined back together into a granule with a binder. The result is a fertilizer granule that, when it comes in contact with water, begins to disperse and break down back into the fine particles. This process allows nutrients to be immediately available during the season, rather than waiting for a raw mined rock material to break down over many years.
NutraSoft® OP is a pelletized gypsum from The Andersons with 21% calcium and 16% sulfur. The OP designation means this DG product is OMRI-listed opposed to The Andersons NutraSoft DG, which is sold into conventional markets. The OP granules are held together with a water-soluble binder allowing the product to disperse back into powder when contacted with water (rain, irrigation, dew) after it is applied. These uniform pelletized gypsum granules are user-friendly and can be applied easily in a variety of ways, from broadcast to precision placement.
NutraSoft OP will loosen hard-packed and heavy clay soils, allowing for better root growth and water penetration and retention. It is an effective conditioner for soils with high sodium content, as it will remove harmful salts that prevent seed germination and are damaging to plant growth.
A favored application method of NutraSoft OP by organic farmers is over-top the row during planting, such as through a mechanism like the old insecticide boxes. With this application, growers have witnessed a slight decrease in the weed germination timing window, due to the calcium and sulfur dispersing in the row. Studies by various fertilizer manufacturers have claimed that if a soil has a high amount of water-soluble available calcium, such as over 300 ppm as measured by a water-soluble soil report, that there is more control of weed germination in organic production systems.
NutraLime® OP pelletized limestone from The Andersons provides quick soil acidity adjustment and elemental calcium and magnesium for producing top yields in production agriculture. Again, the OP designation means this DG product is OMRI-listed opposed to The Andersons NutraLime DG, which is used in conventional markets. The OP granules are held together with a water-soluble binder allowing the product to disperse back into powder when contacted with water (rain, irrigation, dew) after it is applied. This allows the product to begin modifying the soil pH levels within two weeks. NutraLime OP is available in two versions, a pelletized high calcium lime (30% calcium and 4% magnesium) and a pelletized dolomitic lime (20-21% calcium and 9-12% magnesium).
The Andersons is a proponent of balancing calcium to magnesium, particularly within organic systems. Most successful organic farmers monitor their calcium to magnesium ratios and make in-season applications of either NutraSoft OP or NutraLime OP at planting or side-dress. If you need to make large shifts in your soil pH, it is still best to plan a fall/winter application of ag-grade lime or gypsum to break down and adjust pH levels over multiple years.
As always, the organic or transitioning farmer takes responsibility to seek approval for all organic inputs with his or her certifier, prior to use. For additional information regarding our product selection, please call 419-891-2785, or visit https://andersonsplantnutrient.com/agriculture/products/organics or https://andersonsfood.com/growers.
NutraSoft and NutraLime are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc.