Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grumpy Gypsum

Grumpy goes with tired so I am grumpy, too. I was yesterday. I have no good reason to be but I am.

Some people never get grumpy, or at least they don't show it if they do. I get grumpy. Do you?

I probably expect too much and when it doesn't happen, grumpiness sets in. The best laid plans of mice and men, you know, well it never happened this year farming wise. We missed the planting window due to rain and now it is so hot that it is tough on the little seedlings.

A dear friend asked me about gypsum so let's take the letters out of grumpy that make gypsum. He found an affordable source of gypsum and I encouraged him to spread some. He thinks it will help his clay soils and I agree. Dr. Norton gives 30 reasons why we should spread gypsum and many websites have copied his notes.

I told him there are 2-3 parts of calcium per part of sulfur in gypsum. The higher the calcium the better it is for soil but to me it's all good. Gypsum helps air and water movement in soil so much that it alone can really improve soil texture and air content so you get healthier crops.

It is not a substitute for drainage tile but it can still increase air and water movement in soil 300% depending on soil type. Most people don't understand it so many people put it down but it is an excellent soil amendment that goes back to ancient times and was used by Ben Franklin to paint it's letters on the hills of Philadelphia about the time our country was founded.

I wish all my fields had gypsum and some poultry manure on it. It would be a world better today in our baked out soil situation but I will have to work on that.

I will work on the grumpiness and help my friend improve his soil with gypsum. Here is a picture of a handful of gypsum, looks like it is lower in calcium from the picture as it is not white. High calcium gypsum will be whiter, especially the synthetic gypsum or syn gyp that is produced as a by product of power plant scrubber stack coal burning.

I am struggling with pictures and this Google browser. I can't post replies to your great comments on recent blogs. Thanks Budde and all for the comments, they really help my blog and I would normally add a comment to yours but haven't been able to do it since the last reload of software a few weeks ago.



  1. I get grumpy too, maybe most of the time. Seems like everything I do on the farm this spring should have been done yesterday and that makes me feel inadequate. Even though I know its mostly the weather's fault.
    Having the same problem here with comments too so I have to post under "name url" or "anonymous". Not sure what google accounts problem is.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Ralph.

    I think I am in the same situation. You can just tell this isn't going to be a good year even though we have record prices. Local bid is $7.04 for new corn.

  3. The New Holland salesman told me there is a hay shortage but I have not seen it yet. Fellow just called me today who wants me to do his 30 acres. He doesn't have room in his barn for another year's worth of hay. I don't know what to make of it all. Just one foot in front of the other I suppose. The fellow I planted corn 2 weeks ago when I couldn't get on our fields said I seemed grumpy. I just told a disgruntled chicken feed customer that since he was paying half of what the feed store charged he should not expect a perfect mix every time. So, yes I suppose folks are just a bit on edge!
    On the positive side the New Holland 900 silage chopper I bought on craigslist for $900 may be a bit rusty but has chopped some 800 tons so far with virtually no problems so I have no complaints.
    Comments seem to work with firefox.

  4. Given what you and your neighbors have been through since Easter, being a little grumpy is excusable. Just don't take it out on LuAnn.

    Ron Swanson

  5. I made my gratitude list and by noon the grumpiness was pretty well gone. Well gone by dinner time with a nice filet mignon, baked potato and salad. How many people on this earth had that to eat? GRATITUDE!

    Thanks Ron and I would be pretty grumpy to take it out on my best friend, the only person in the world I trust (almost) everything with!

    Thanks to people like you and Budde too who took time to call and write me when I was really lost!

  6. I'm hungry... Now i'll be thinking about a steak dinner all day while I'm chopping silage, with nothing to eat but old snickers bars. Speaking of which, did you know there is a little door in the A/C blower area on a White 2-135 where you can stash snickers bars? Pretty neat, don't need a new Challenger to have my own tractor refridgerator. Now I'm happy-but still hungry.

  7. I'm grumpy most of the time. Got the mother in law living here. And tonight it will be hamburgers. Firefox here also. I uncheck the "stay signed in" box. Seems to make commenting easier and I don't get the invalid sign-in notice.

  8. Ha, I forgot about hiding Snicker's bars in the 2-125 Budde! Hamburgers sound good but the last time my mother in law here was the only time because of the distance and travel. Wouldn't you know that was an ice storm that took the electric out but it eventually came back on but county water went offline for the entire week's visit! Ever try to flush a toilet with no running water? Of course there is no outside John here either and if there was you wouldn't have needed a woodstove in it to do your business!

    I don't trust myself so there is the only lacking in trust in others, even LuAnn. I am much better off if I just turn things over to God and them and keep my nose out of making important decisions. Yes Mam usually turns out better than my way!