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Organics: September Organic Update

Posted by Sierra Dice, Organic Agronomy Consultant on September 09, 2022

Happy September! I have passed several soybean fields starting to change which means harvest is only a few weeks away. As we wrap up the 2022 growing season, it is time to start planning for a successful 2023 year.

As soil test results are received, pay attention to what your potential lime needs may be based off your pH. The chart below demonstrates how pH can influence nutrient uptake versus tie-up. This chart is helpful to keep nearby to reference throughout the year.

In a recent article drafted by agronomist Jessica Link, she outlines that lime delivers calcium and/or magnesium to the soil and raises pH. Nitrogen fertilizers acidify soil (lower pH), and if pH is low, lime will need to be applied. The issue with many ag limestone products is that they take time (usually two years) to significantly raise a pH deficiency into an optimal range. Adjustment of soil pH in-season is possible when using a pelletized limestone product from The Andersons. If soils are limed regularly, this will counteract the acidifying effect of nitrogen applications, and pH should never get too low.

If you need lime, The Andersons provides OMRI-Listed pelletized lime products, including NutraLime® Hi-Cal and Hi-Mag products that can be broadcasted or used in a strip-till system with ease.

Moving onto gypsum, in the same article, Jessica outlines that gypsum contains calcium and sulfur and is pH neutral. Gypsum also offers many benefits for improving soil structure in tight, compact, or high-clay soils. The sulfur in gypsum attaches to magnesium cations that strongly bind soil particles closely together. The sulfur then flushes magnesium through the soil profile, helping to loosen the soil. Over time, soil pore space is increased, allowing for greater water and air infiltration within the soil profile.

The Andersons produces two OMRI-Listed pelletized gypsum products, NutraSoft® OP and Black Gypsum DG®. NutraSoft OP benefits soil structure by helping loosen heavy clay soils, promote seed emergence, decrease soil salinity, and provide sulfur to plants. Black Gypsum DG is like NutraSoft OP but includes humic acid with each prill. By adding humic, we provide soil microbes with a carbon food source, increasing soil health. Humic acids also have a high cation exchange capacity (CEC), which increases the soil's ability to hold nutrients in the root zone. Both gypsum products can be broadcasted or used in a strip-till applicator.

If you have questions on your soil tests or any of our OMRI-Listed soil amendment products, please reach out to your trusted advisor from The Andersons or myself, and we would be more than happy to help.

Sierra Dice is an agronomy consultant and organic account representative for The Andersons Retail Farm Centers. A graduate of Purdue University, Sierra studied agribusiness and agronomy. She has worked in ag retail for 10 years and has responsibility for organic product sales with The Andersons in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. If you have questions related to organics, Sierra can be reached at

© 2022 The Andersons, Inc. All Rights Reserved. NutraLime, NutraSoft, and Black Gypsum are registered trademarks of The Andersons, Inc.

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