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Stumbled onto something with fertilizer


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#1 JD3430

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 06:51 AM

Over the winter (12/19), I fertilized many of my fields with spent mushroom compost (a mix of aged hay, topsoil, poultry litter and lime). Looks like a light fluffy topsoil. 

On 2 of the fields, the truckers delivered too much and I had to apply it at heavier rate than normal. I usually apply about 1/2”  thick. That’s enough to make the field look dusted in black, but not smothering the grass. However, on these 2 fields, it was more like 1”-1.5” thick. This heavier application covered the grass to the point of almost smothering it. Just the tips of the grass poking through. I was nervous it would cause dead spots. Was always told by the locals NOT to smother grass with it.
However, the grass rebounded stronger than ever! By April, there was no sign of bare spots. 
I set records on both fields, nearly doubling my previous best yields on one of the 2 fields and 50% more on the other. I can’t believe after 3-5 applications I have discovered this.
Wishing I had done this to increase yields on previous fields. 
I have to learn most everything by trial & error (mostly error). 


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#2 slowzuki

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 09:47 AM

How many tons per acre before/after?  Ever done a soil test on this ground?



#3 danwi

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 12:22 PM

The grass is dormant over winter shouldn't be any different then when it emerges from the ground in spring. I never do it enough my self but soil test should show a difference, But you have already found out yield was better. I guess if the price is right just spread more. Wouldn't be like commercial fertilizer where you are afraid of wasting money.  Other thing that maybe helping is you are getting some organic or microbial benefits.


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#4 r82230

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 04:07 PM

The grass is dormant over winter shouldn't be any different then when it emerges from the ground in spring.

 

This is my thought also, as long as it's not 5" or something.

 

Larry



#5 JD3430

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:24 PM

The grass is dormant over winter shouldn't be any different then when it emerges from the ground in spring. I never do it enough my self but soil test should show a difference, But you have already found out yield was better. I guess if the price is right just spread more. Wouldn't be like commercial fertilizer where you are afraid of wasting money.  Other thing that maybe helping is you are getting some organic or microbial benefits.

 

Price is definitely good-its free.  :)

It does have organic and microbial benefits. Ive watched them make it and lime is also in the mix, so Im getting lime, too. Not sure if the lime is still as effective as when it was originally added. 


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#6 JD3430

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 08:29 PM

How many tons per acre before/after?  Ever done a soil test on this ground?

 

Both fields about 12 acres. Each field got 10 large tri axle loads. Hard to say how much it weighs. Not as heavy as dirt, though. I think 15 tons per truck load. So 150 tons per 12 acres. If 12 acres is used it was applied at about 12-13 tons per acre. I used a large Hagedorn spreader and it seemed like a heaped full spreader did about 3/4 an acre. 



#7 danwi

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Posted 30 June 2020 - 10:15 PM

So your regular rate was around 4 ton per acre? Do your hayfields all get that much every year?



#8 JD3430

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 06:23 AM

So your regular rate was around 4 ton per acre? Do your hayfields all get that much every year?

I’ve done the fields 5 of the 7 years I’ve been haying them. 
Id say the “normal” rate was probably more like 5-7 tons per acre and I about doubled it to 12-13 this past winter on 2 small fields
It doubled my hay yields on the 2 fields where they delivered too much of it.

 

One other observation: I did all the fields a bit earlier this year. Usually I do them in February. This year in November/December.



#9 stack em up

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Posted 01 July 2020 - 09:41 PM

How’s much nutrient runoff do you suppose you had spreading on frozen ground?

#10 endrow

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 05:16 AM

How’s much nutrient runoff do you suppose you had spreading on frozen ground?

@1" or less  this is approved for winter spreading on grass hay fields. It stays put pretty good . 



#11 endrow

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 05:26 AM

These  type of composts are about 1-1-1. Probbably takes 75 ton per acre to replace commercial N. One needs to be careful applying year after year at high rates . SALT build up can get things out of wack   big time . Seen a neighboring farm with high salt levels , not good.. There is always the Olde- To Much of a Good Thing  . Id stick within the 1"or less


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#12 stack em up

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 05:32 AM

@1" or less  this is approved for winter spreading on grass hay fields. It stays put pretty good .


I suppose length of dormant grass also contributes to holding capacity.
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#13 JD3430

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 05:58 AM

It wasn’t spread on frozen ground.

 

There was no run off.

 

It happened on 2 smaller fields of the 15 or so fields I do. 

 

This is the first time I spread it >1” thick, due to over-delivery of the product and it averaged 1.5”. 
 

I don’t do it every year (5 of last 7 years)
 

My normal application is 1”

 

Although it doesn’t have the nitrogen of chemical fertilizers, it does have organic and microbial benefits chemical fertilizers do not have. 



#14 JD3430

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:02 AM

On line quick info brochure

http://www.mushroomc...hay-fields.html



#15 JD3430

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:09 AM

Salt info. Also has nitrogen, micro and macro nutrient info. 

 

 http://www.mushroomc...eme/NPK2(1).pdf



#16 stack em up

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:22 AM

There is actually N in organic matter. It’s a highly stable form so leaching is not an issue. What is interesting to me is that they show application rates in depth. Not pounds/tons per acre. Quite a few guys use poultry litter, have their spreader scales calibrated to the gnats ass for pounds per acre. Too much will burn the shit out of the crop. I see mushroom compost is pretty low in fertility, would take an insane amount to provide appropriate nutrients to a demanding crop. The OM is a nice benefit, wouldn’t take long to turn some ground into peat!

#17 JD3430

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:25 AM

Lbs/acre

 

 

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#18 slowzuki

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:39 AM

They likely don’t give lbs per acre due to weight being so variable on moisture content.
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#19 r82230

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:51 AM

Lbs/acre

 

Am I reading that correctly, 1" is applying over 800# of N and 900# of K?  And it's free?

 

And the second table is doubled but still 1" (typo?, should it be 2"?).

 

Larry



#20 swmnhay

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 07:35 AM

Doing the math 1” depth would equal 37.3 ton acre.

2” 74.6 ton per acre

Typically feedlot manure is spread at 10 ton per acre here




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