Nitrogen – Only about 30% is utilized by the plants.*
If Ammonium Nitrate NH4NO3 (34-0-0) costs $750 per ton with 250 pounds applied, the apparent cost per acre is $93.75.
Since only 34% (680#) is Ammonium Nitrate, 66% (1320#) is “filler”, i.e. water.
If 66% is filler, the 34% (680#) Ammonium Nitrate has cost you $1.10 per pound
If 70% is lost to the atmosphere or to leaching and you only utilize 75 lbs: the real cost is $2500 per ton.
Or, $312.50 per acre.
19-19-19 (Triple-19) costs $19.50/50#bag (1/2012 price). 19% Nitrogen @ $39/cwt. = $2.05/lb.
Apparent cost: $156/acre ($2.74/lb). At the application rate of 400#/acre- 76# Nitrogen is actually applied and only about 30% or 22.8# is utilized. Actual cost: $520/acre ($9.13/lb. utilized).
COST OF FILLER: 43% @ $156/ac. = $67.08/acre or
Phosphate- P2O5. Only about 12% is utilized by the plants annually.*
If Phosphate (0-46-0) costs $280 per ton (2009); 46% of 2000# = 920# @ $280 = .30/lb. (Apparent cost is
$30/ac.) Only 46% (920#) is Phosphate, 54% (1080#) is “filler”, i.e. sand, corn cobs, sludge, etc.
If 12% is utilized by plants in any crop-year, the real cost is $2.53 per pound x 100#/ac = $5072.46/ton.
Or, $253.62 per acre.
Potassium- “Purdue agricultural economists expect to see prices for potash at or more than $900 per ton, anhydrous ammonia around $1,000 per ton and monoamonnium phosphate and diamonnium phosphate at $1,100 or more.” Source: Purdue University News; Sept. 23, 2008
“The nutrients in the soil move…under laws controlling their specific behaviors. They move quit independently of the movement of water and of the laws controlling water dynamics. Surely we cannot hold to the old idea that the plant is getting its nutrients in simple water solutions passing through and depositing them from the transpiration stream. We must understand the clay of the soil and its chemico-dynamics by which this soil separate helps or hinders the nutrition of our crops.”
“The acid clay can readily be restocked with nutrients. In doing this, the nutrients must replace the hydrogen or the acid. Nitrogen put into the soil as ammonia is taken on by the clays. In being so taken, it displaces some of the acidity there. Potassium, as a fertilizer, behaves similarly.” Dr. William A. Albrecht, PhD. Page 251 The Albrecht Papers Vol. 1.
One ton of well made compost equals 7 tons of raw manure.*
Four to six tons per acre of compost is recommended by UGA.
Properly applied and supplemented, ONLY ONE-CUBIC YARD per acre of completely finished COMPOST (no anaerobic organisms and no manure or offensive odors remain) is necessary to accomplish desired goals. Even less is necessary when the compost is applied using our Hydroseeder program.
Compost/Humus: A substitute for Factory Fertilizer.*
1- Improved Aeration
2- Less compaction
3- Moisture retention
4- Nutrient storage
5- Stimulates growth
6- Increases organisms that fix Nitrogen (120#/ac) and Sugar
7- Increases sugar concentration- Less wilting.
8- No threat of Grass Tetany.
9- No threat of nutrient bonding, as with P2O5 (Zinc, Fe, Mn)
10- No algae-bloom.
11- No unwanted “fillers”.
*Source: An Acres USA Primer, pg. 221-2