adding superphosphate to compost

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by andrew curr, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    iv seen several lokal farmers go gold turkey on p
    the usual result is less meat less wool lower fertility all not so good for profitability
    im trying to do it slowley as i suspect super could be a finite rescource
    using 1% super in cow poo as bill sugested could be a way forward i suspect the poo might make the super safer for the worms as well
     
  2. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Are there any farmers planning forage trees in their rotations? You're probably ahead of the mark here.

    How do you reckon sheep go browsing the protea family. Their proteoid roots are as close to a P pump as you might expect. There are other families that have the cluster root like Casaurina, with varying degrees of success https://www.plantphysiol.org/content/121/2/317.full.pdf

    They are known to turn off the proteoid function when the soils are high in phosphorus.

    Have you been able to cut down the super application after turning to holistic management? You need someone to rent the cottage and start up a free range chicken operation!
     
  3. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    most farmers here will only plant trees if its done for them , thus we have lots of landcare eucalipt strip deserts around
    should try some proteacea we need to embrace direct seeding ,i was really impressed with the direct seeding plantations at "Millpost" Bungendore

    shame really as it is quite a bit cooler in the shade of deciduos trees
    casurina leaumeaneii is the local variety
    a chook farmer would be great im sure they would be the perfect compliment im pretty unskilled with chooks but Micheal Sommerlad who consults to Mulloon ck is onley 15 km away as the crow flies my pioneer patches do have an abundance of snails at the moment
    from time to time i can get xfree range battery chooks for free
    I dont use as much super as i did once and the pastures are getting better
    Speaking of id better go and cut some trees off fences so i can get controll of my most powerful machine the flerd
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    There are natural sources of phosphorous, so I don't understand why anybody would go cold turkey on P. Granite sand, your own urine, and most cow manure these days also contains high levels of urine because they corral them up and it all happens in the same place.

    I only use chicken manure that's been composted for several months, and lots of deep mulch and compost that urine goes into, and I've never had a plant show any evidence of lack of phosphorous. When I haven't done enough of these layers in the greenhouse where I grow tomatoes, which can be rather heavy feeders since they are producing tomatoes for a good 6 months, I can get some purpling on the leaves, but I just add more compost, like a hand's depth and it all gets better.

    Growing naturally means using way more, deep layers of compost, mulch and green cover crops than get mentioned in most organic gardening books. It takes maintaining a hand's depth of dense mulch made from many things to provide everything the soil needs. You can never put too much mulch, because whatever is left over will cling to the brown carbons and stay put for the next roots that show up. Chop and Drop as they say :)
     
  5. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Good point sweetpea.

    Andrew, have you costed natural rock phosphate or guano? how do you think it would compare, in cost and application to super?
     
  6. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    I think using your own urine or even cow manure as a broadacre farmer could be rather challenging :grin:
     
  7. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    matto, I go get granite sand in my pickup truck. I doesn't cost much, and all I have to do is shovel. It's a 10-year source of phosphorous, but it takes about a year in a very compost-rich environment to be usable to tiny plant roots, so in the meantime urine is fine. I also like granite sand in my clay soil, it makes everything great. But I don't allow the clay to be exposed to the sun, ever.

    Urine is easy to use. I have several acres and I don't have any problem. I've mentioned before in these forums that using a large yogurt tub for women is easy, dispensing it into a large plastic milk jug with a screw-on top is easy. I can get almost a gallon a day if I'm not outside working and sweating. I save a ton of fresh water not flushing, it speeds up a compost pile because it also has nitrogen in it.

    It can go into the compost, or it can be diluted, just like a biodynamic preparation and watered into the soil. If it's raining I pour it straight into the soil around the fruit trees. The weeds go crazy so I try to make sure it doesn't stay on top by watering it in. I haven't had any issues with it being too alkaline. But my soil tends to be acidic, anyway. I've read that it's neutral for the most part, but it's worth checking in your own situation.
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    the granite (ademelite) sand here is very low in P
    the last time i checked the rock phosphate wwas a fair bit dearer and more expensive to spread
    if you could buy a shipload it is quite cheap But the drug dealers (chemical company monopoly) and coal exporters wont let anyone else use the ports
     
  9. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    This is the thing though isn't it - we can do these things on a few acres but how do you change the practice for a 60 acre paddock or several for that matter?
    As an example, a neighbour grows lucerne, clover for seed, oats for hay and canola amongst other things. My SO worked for them for a year. The amount of chemicals and super they use is phenomenal but so is their paycheck. These people are very well off and have been for decades under this regime. As far as they are concerned the farm is providing a very good income with the current practice - why change? They don't have an ecological concern in the world. Unless there is a monetary pay off an alternative way doesn't figure in the thinking. Unfortunately at the moment that is the reality for a majority of farmers (at least where I live). It can be very disheartening. :(
     
  10. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    You do so slowly by not putting all your eggs in 1 basket.

    As for why... ..I for one stopped eating that poisonous food, and it is poison. From the chemicals sprayed, to the chemicals put on the ground, and how much fuel was wasted bringing those materials in? What about shipped to the store you bought it from?

    I would suggest viewing, "'A Farm For the Future' - the full length film on peak oil, farming & permaculture" from the BBC made in 2009. Available on Youtube and other places.

    As I see it, people who spread chemicals for farming are hurting themselves, their family, their children's family for 7 generations, and everyone around them for 7 generations. You can see the death effects directly on a family of Chemical broad acre farmers in "Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution."
     
  11. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    If you are making lots of money using that stuff and you don't believe there is a problem with it then you have no motivation to change. This is the mindset that keeps the status quo that I see and engage with on a daily basis in our farming district and one that I suspect will not change for a long time to come.
     
  12. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    You wouldn't be too far from a basalt quarry... but then their is the problem of spreading again...

    You could have a festival at your joint every year, and supply the toilets!
     
  13. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Are they?

    Let's look at this another way. A broad acre, chemical using farmer generally uses 1 crop, maybe 2 if you are very lucky. Thus, all season the farmer hopes nothing goes wrong like extreme heat and so on as they destroy the soil beneath them making more and more chemicals needed. IE - Hyrdoponics in soil.

    Permaculturalist on the other hand has a diverse portfolio of available products, with every increasing soil fertility that eventually needs 0 input of chemicals. With multiple products and revenue sources, it has a much higher chance of profit potential while increasing the over all fertility of the property, increased water retention, increased water table, and more benefits.

    Chemical Ag had its day, and it is coming to a horrific close.
     
  14. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    now ya thinkin matto!
    i can supply 20000 watts and the alpine love tiger
     
  15. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    @pakanohida: on the contrary, the farmers here I am referring to, as mentioned in the example above, are growing a diverse range of crops, typically about four - six different crops. Here they often own multiple properties and/or lease further country. They will grow pasture for their cattle and sheep; canola, sorghum, oats, beans/peas, lucerne, grapes, all on the same or multiple blocks. They run centre pivots round the clock when necessary. They have been doing this the last 25 years, diversifying particularly the last 15 years.
    I agree they are hammering their country and probably need increasing inputs but at the moment they are still in the money. The kids go to private boarding school at $20000+p.a when they get to Year 8, they drive around in expensive vehicles, own the holiday beach house etc etc. The smaller farms have more or less gone, subsumed into these bigger operations. So far the raping and pillaging of the land has worked well for them around here from their economic perspective! Unless there is some sort of apocalyptic event this will continue in the near to medium term. I am just trying to reconcile myself to this reality. Sometimes it makes our efforts feel futile as much as we love and believe in what we do on our little non-commercial patch.
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Alpine love tiger? I've heard men referring to their ahem 'equipment' in many terms before but not that one Andrew! You could star in Viagra adverts.... Grr...
     
  17. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    4 to 6 crops is not diverse. I got more then that in varieties of pear, let alone apple.
     
  18. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    unfortunately im not the love tiger but lovely of you to fantasize so.
    anyhow! back to the topic what is the chemical reaction?
    where are you mouse?
    i REALLY like mattos idea a shit focused dance party
     
  19. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    @pakanohida: I think you are missing my point entirely. It is too simple and glib to say the current ag regime is finished. It is not. It is a booming business here in South East South Australia and many other parts of the world with people making a LOT of money. Big agribusiness here is expanding not contracting. We don't suffer drought here. We have 'unlimited' underground water. The soils might be relatively crap but as long as they can viably (in monetary terms) plow heaps of commercial fertiliser on then everything's all right Jack. I can't see anyone owning 2500+ acres cutting up their property into 40 acre lots to practice permaculture and diversify into a few apples and pears and chooks. People like you and me who appreciate a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle might think its a good idea but until severe ecological constraints change the farming practices around this neck of the woods, it is same old, same old for the foreseeable future. Show me a permaculture enterprise earning large six figure sums every year with a two man set-up and then I might be able to convince all the neighbours its a good thing. There's the rub. Everyone here wants to build wealth, not reduce consumption and live more simply and while those people are the majority we are pissing in the wind.
     
  20. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    No offense intended, but these are all excuses for doing the easy thing, and not the right thing.
     

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