Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 8: Other Fertilizers

This is an anhydrous ammonia tank.  As temperatures drop this fall, you will see more and more of these out and about as those farmer's without access to manure fertilize their fields for next year.  Anhydrous is a pressurized liquid form of nitrogen that is the most common nitrogen fertilizer used by farmers.  As it is under extreme pressure, it is also dangerous, so make sure to be careful when following one of these on the road.

Since the application of lime takes big equipment, most farmers hire it done by the local cooperative.  Here, the spreading machine waits for the truck to bring a load of lime that will dump into the bottom of the conveyor, which will be used to load the spreader.
I also had the ability to show you how farmers fertilize their fields using a dry product.  In this case, the local cooperative was preparing to haul lime onto the field across from our house.  "Lime" is simply a form of limestone that we apply to fields to increase the pH.  We test soils every 4 years, and test for several things, including pH, Phosphorous and Potassium levels.  We use the results to add products as necessary to provide optimal growing conditions for our crops.

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