Monday, October 24, 2011


Dr. Joel Gruver of Western Illinois University oftens shares the slides he shows in class to us farmers. He has shared many lessons and today he shared his talk on calcium.

Calcium is the fifth most prevalant substance on earth. Soil contains it as well all living and once living things. As a farmer I think of lime when I think of calcium as agricultural ground limestone is the main way I feed my soils calcium.

C-O-H combinations are also prevalent on earth and Calcium, or Ca is often involved with those combinations. We wouldn't have strong bones or good crops without calcium nor many life functions.

Our soil contains large amounts of magnesium so we usually lime with calcitic limestone. Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur and more and more farmers are using gypsum to loosen their soil and provide calcium and sulfur to their crops and the microrganisms that feed them.

Three farmers are shown in the gypsum section and wouldn't you know, I know all three of them. The one picture in the show is even one I took that has made its rounds on the Internet since Allen Dean and I visited Keith in August, 2008. Keith ahs the highest calcium level deep in his soil of any farmer I have ever known.

In other news I see the McRib is back at McDonald's. That pork sandwich seems to appear whenever beef gets high in proportion to pork prices.

A farmer also asked about Farming and Booze today in the cafe. There is a good discussion going on about farming and alcohol.

In a non-related post, another farmer lost his life in a harvesting accident. He got caught in his running combine.

You can't be too careful out there and any impediment is going to make it worse.


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