Kinsey System/Albrect system

Anwick

New Member
I don't know where to post this thread, so I will try it here. One of my good friends and neighbours went to a Kinsey meeting 3-4 years ago and he came back so excited he couldn't hardly talk. After 3-4 years of trying different things on fields, he really hasn't found anything that worked or paid for itself and he's a bit frustrated. He hasn't given up, but his interest is definitely waning. Has anyone else tried any Kinsey/Albrect system and had good success? I asked this on TFF a few years ago and got bombarded by Kinsey disciples that were selling the system, so no similar posts needed this time thanks.
 

marco

Member
I don't know where to post this thread, so I will try it here. One of my good friends and neighbours went to a Kinsey meeting 3-4 years ago and he came back so excited he couldn't hardly talk. After 3-4 years of trying different things on fields, he really hasn't found anything that worked or paid for itself and he's a bit frustrated. He hasn't given up, but his interest is definitely waning. Has anyone else tried any Kinsey/Albrect system and had good success? I asked this on TFF a few years ago and got bombarded by Kinsey disciples that were selling the system, so no similar posts needed this time thanks.
From a livestock perspective yes I've had very good success. We were low on mg in terms of base saturation. 3s and 4s. Ideal over 10. It's pretty much sorted our grass tetney problems.
We also put boron in some of our fert mixs as we were very low.

My advice is to stick to ca/mg and do the rest as normal till you get to where you need to be.

Whats his system of farming and whats the soil like? Have you an Albrecht sample we could look at?
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Although Kinsey theory is sound it’s just not practical or economic for broad acre cropping

I take more of a “get the basics right” like drainage, pH and macro nutrient / indices (in that order of importance). And then anything that still shows lacking I feed to the plant rather than trying to change soil
 

marco

Member
Although Kinsey theory is sound it’s just not practical or economic for broad acre cropping

I take more of a “get the basics right” like drainage, pH and macro nutrient / indices (in that order of importance). And then anything that still shows lacking I feed to the plant rather than trying to change soil
well as ca and mg both affect ph differently it makes sense to find out what is excessive/defficient. ca mg na and k can all affect ph. i.e if your lacking in mg on a % basis knowing to use dolomitic lime instead of calcium lime would be a wise way of using an albrecht test but adding little to your outgoings. putting on large amounts of p in a high calcium soil trying to get your "indices" up would also be an expensive way of doing things. getting your soil life up and going is going to be the main aim but if you can sort deficiencies for 25-30ton of the right lime it makes sense to use all the information you can get your hands on
 

Brisel

Member
Location
Dorset
I've been looking at this too, but am on high calcium soils so I don't see how I'll ever get anything near an ideal Ca:Mg ratio. 90% of the farm is chalk and flint, so lime salesmen don't earn much from me though I do use mag lime for the odd bit of clay cap where pH does need fixing. Plant tissue tests show Ca as ok & the regular use of kieserite is slowly lifting Mg indices though @Warnesworth doesn't think this is an efficient way of getting plant available Mg. Boron consistently shows up as deficient in plant tissue tests so I apply it to winter crops. I should probably do more testing in spring crops but with most spray passes I'm applying K, Cu, Mn or Mg so there's a limit to what I can add that is compatible with the herbicide/fungicide!
 

Renaultman

Member
Location
Darlington
I've been looking at this too, but am on high calcium soils so I don't see how I'll ever get anything near an ideal Ca:Mg ratio. 90% of the farm is chalk and flint, so lime salesmen don't earn much from me though I do use mag lime for the odd bit of clay cap where pH does need fixing. Plant tissue tests show Ca as ok & the regular use of kieserite is slowly lifting Mg indices though @Warnesworth doesn't think this is an efficient way of getting plant available Mg. Boron consistently shows up as deficient in plant tissue tests so I apply it to winter crops. I should probably do more testing in spring crops but with most spray passes I'm applying K, Cu, Mn or Mg so there's a limit to what I can add that is compatible with the herbicide/fungicide!
My land must be the chemical opposite of yours, also not making the lime man very rich.
To the OP got to agree with Clive, get drainage right, as much OM as you can source and find out whether you need a Ca or Mg based lime. The start on the micronutrients.
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
well as ca and mg both affect ph differently it makes sense to find out what is excessive/defficient. ca mg na and k can all affect ph. i.e if your lacking in mg on a % basis knowing to use dolomitic lime instead of calcium lime would be a wise way of using an albrecht test but adding little to your outgoings. putting on large amounts of p in a high calcium soil trying to get your "indices" up would also be an expensive way of doing things. getting your soil life up and going is going to be the main aim but if you can sort deficiencies for 25-30ton of the right lime it makes sense to use all the information you can get your hands on
I agree that the knowledge the test gives is very useful

But trying to correct things under his methods is just economically impractical imo unless your growing grapes for champagne or other such massive high output / ha crop
 
I don't know where to post this thread, so I will try it here. One of my good friends and neighbours went to a Kinsey meeting 3-4 years ago and he came back so excited he couldn't hardly talk. After 3-4 years of trying different things on fields, he really hasn't found anything that worked or paid for itself and he's a bit frustrated. He hasn't given up, but his interest is definitely waning. Has anyone else tried any Kinsey/Albrect system and had good success? I asked this on TFF a few years ago and got bombarded by Kinsey disciples that were selling the system, so no similar posts needed this time thanks.
Ill give you an alternative view.

Its rubbish.
 
Please tell us why. Too simple & theoretical?

View attachment 822668
Because soil balancing theory isnt scientifically repeatable acceptably at farm level. Who decides the right ratio to start with? The guy who did some stuff in plant pots in 1940? Its just preposterous

Its a wet dream for salesmen. And once enthusiasts have nailed their colours to the mast with it its hard to about turn. What I dont want to do is offend people who are into it though even though Im sure I will but I think its dodge

We have much to learn about soil and nutrient interactions but Ill bet my farm that Albrecht theory is not it
 
Location
Cheshire
Because soil balancing theory isnt scientifically repeatable. Who decides the right ratio? The guy who did some stuff in plant pots in 1940?

Its a wet dream for salesmen. And once enthusiasts have nailed their colours to the mast with it its hard to about turn. What I dont want to do is offend people who are into it though even though Im sure I will.

We have much to learn about soil and nutrient interactions but Ill bet my farm that Albrecht theory is not it
The guy sampled lots of soils and saw a consistent pattern amongst the best, how can that be controversial?

5% K in the CEC
5:1 Ca to Mg ions ratio.
Forget about pH, what’s not to love about that?
 
The guy sampled lots of soils and saw a consistent pattern amongst the best, how can that be controversial?

5% K in the CEC
5:1 Ca to Mg ions ratio.
Forget about pH, what’s not to love about that?
Total lack of scientific evidence of any benefit from any peer reviewed papers, the sampled soils might have performed well but if it isn't possible to replicate the ratios elsewhere it could be a coincidence or due to other (untested) factor.
 
The guy sampled lots of soils and saw a consistent pattern amongst the best, how can that be controversial?

5% K in the CEC
5:1 Ca to Mg ions ratio.
Forget about pH, what’s not to love about that?

He did a lot of his tests on Missouri soils. In plant pots.

For me. Its not enough to extrapolate from. Furthermore it doesnt stand to reason that the closer you get to 80/20 the "better" things get to say nothing of the unreliability of taking too much emphasis from a small sample of soil - test the same sample 6 times from 6 labs and you will get and different result if just doing normal npkmg and ph analysis
 

marco

Member
You don't become President of the Soil Science Society of America by being an idiot. and to say that he was just playing around with a few pots of soil in a lab is a lazy argument will.

if calcium loosens soil and magnesium tightens it there has to be a point give or take a few % where things are easier for plant life. now if your soil is biologically dead using the albrecht system isn't going to help much. the percentages change slightly depending on the tcec of your soil. if you keep sending your samples to the same lab that consistently use the same extraction processes you should be getting pretty consistent results. if you do an albrecht and then do a plant sap analysis and find the same nutrients to be lacking would you consider it to be a good guide?

when we sampled our farm we didn't say which fields were problamatic with livestock health problems, but on the results there was notes at the bottom of these fields with warnings (percentage of k higher than %mg) which ment the plant was taking up excess k and by grazing it so were the animals which led to tetany, and the recomendation to spread dolomitic lime on some and kierserite on other field.

now show me any other system in the world that can give a farmer that kind of advice?

maybe i see it more because i'm a livestock farmer as well. you mightn't see a yield loss of .2 or .3 a hectare in a grain crop but you sure as hell see ill thrive and sick animals.

if you stick to percentages it makes lots of sense, ratios change depending on cec so are harder to follow and the synic in me says it just so people need to be paid to explian said ratio.

70% ca and mg over 11% for the majority of soils. (lighter soils with cec/tec under 10 will need more mg.

here are some of his publications,

  • Variable Levels of Biological Activity in Sanborn Field After Fifty Years of Treatment, Soil Science, 1938
  • Animals Recognize Good Soil Treatment, Better Crops With Plant Food Magazine, 1940
  • Organic Matter - The Life of the Soil, Farmer's Week, Ohio State University, 1940
  • Good Horses Require Good Soils, Horse and Mule Association of America, 1940
  • Calcium-Potassium-Phosphorus Relation as a Possible Factor in Ecological Array of Plants, Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 1940
  • Making Organic Matter Effective in Soil, The Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association, 1940
  • Calcium as a Factor in Seed Germination, Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 1941
  • The Soil as a Farm Commodity or a Factory, Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, 1941
  • Soil Organic Matter and Ion Availability for Plants, Soil Science, 1941
  • Biological Assays of Soil Fertility, Soil Science Society of America, 1941
  • Potassium in the Soil Colloid Complex and Plant Nutrition, Soil Science, 1941
  • Feed Efficiency in Terms of Biological Assays of Soil Treatments, Soil Science Society of America, 1942
  • Health Depends on Soil, The Land, 1942
  • Soil Management By Nature or By Man?, Western Soils Co., 1942
  • Soil Fertility and the Human Species, American Chemical Society, Chemical and Engineering News, 1942
  • We Are What We Eat - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1943
  • Why Do Farmers Plow?, Better Crops With Plant Food Magazine, 1943
  • Magnesium Depletion in Relation to Some Cropping Systems and Soil Treatments, Soil Science, 1943
  • We Are What We Eat, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1943
  • Make the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence, The Business of Farming, 1943
  • Soil and Livestock, The Land, 1943
  • Fertilize the Soil Then the Crop, University of Missouri, 1943
  • Soil Fertility and National Nutrition, Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, 1944
  • Better Pastures Depend on Soil Fertility, The Fertilizer Review, 1944
  • Taking Our Soil for Granted, The Ranchman, 1944
  • Soil Fertility, Food Source, The Technology Review, 1944
  • Mobilizing the Fertilizer Resources of Our Nation's Soil, 28th Annual Convention of the National Crushed Stone Association, 1945
  • How Long Do the Effects from Fertilizer Last?, Better Crops With Plant Food Magazine, 1945
  • Food Quality from the Soil, Consumer's Research, Inc., 1945
  • Vegetable Crops in Relation to Soil Fertility, Food Research, 1945
  • Discrimination in Food Selection by Animals, The Scientific Monthly, 1945
  • Vegetable Crops in Relation to Soil Fertility-V. Calcium contents of Green Leafy Vegetable, Food Research, 1945
  • By Soil Treatments on Pastures, Guernsey Breeders' Journal, 1946
  • Extra Soil Fertility Lengthens Grazing Season!, Guernsey Breeders' Journal, 1946
  • Why Be a Friend of the Land?, Land Letter, 1946
  • The Soil as the Basis of Wildlife, Management University of Missouri, 1946
  • Soil and Livestock Work Together, 42nd Annual Meeting-American Meat Institute, 1947
  • Soil Fertility - The Basis of Agricultural Production, 4th Annual Meeting of the Western Colorado Horticultural Society, 1947
  • Soil Fertility and Animal Production, 58th Annual Meeting of the Indiana State Dairy Association, 1947
  • Our Teeth and our Soils, Annals of Dentistry, 1947
  • Hidden Hungers Point to Soil Fertility, Chilean Nitrate Educational Bureau, Inc., 1947
  • Use Extra Soil Fertility to Provide Protein, Guernsey Breeders' Journal, 1947
  • Better Soils Make Better Hogs, Hampshire Herdsman, 1947
  • Limestone—The Foremost of Natural Fertilizer, Pit and Quarry, 1947
  • Soil Fertility and Nutritive Value of Foods, Agricultural Leaders' Digest, 1948
  • Some Rates of Fertility Decline, Better Crops With Plant Food Magazine, 1948
  • There is No Substitute for Soil Fertility, Better Crops With Plant Food Magazine, 1948
  • Quality of Crops also Depends on Soil Fertility, Chilean Nitrate Educational Bureau, Inc., 1948
  • Potassium Helps Put More Nitrogen into Sweetclover, Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 1948
  • National Pattern of Tooth Troubles Points to Pattern of Soil Fertility, Journal of the Missouri State Dental Association, 1948
  • Climate, Soil, and Health. I. Climatic Soil Pattern and Food Composition, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, and Oral Pathology, 1948
  • Building Soils for Better Herds, Polled Hereford World, 1948
  • Diversity of Amino Acids in Legumes According to the Soil Fertility, Science, 1948
  • Carbohydrate-Protein Ratio of Peas in Relation to Fertilization with Potassium, Calcium, and Nitrogen, Soil Science of America Proceedings, 1948
  • Is the Cure in the Soil?, The Furrow, 1948
  • Soil and Protein, The Land, 1948
  • Our Soils Our Food and Ourselves, The Mennonite Community, 1948
  • Declining Soil Fertility - Its National and International Implications, 4th Annual Convention of National Agricultural Limestone Association, 1949
  • Nutrition Via Soil Fertility According to the Climatic Pattern, British Commonwealth Scientific Official Conference, 1949
  • Plant and Animal Nutrition in Relation to Soil and Climatic Factors, British Commonwealth Scientific Official Conference, 1949
  • Nitrogen for Proteins and Protection Against Disease, Chilean Nitrate Educational Bureau, Inc., 1949
  • Cows are Capable Soil Chemists, Guernsey Breeders' Journal, 1949
  • Diseases as Deficiencies Via the Soil, Iowa State College Veterinarian, 1950
  • Too Much Nitrogen or Not Enough Else?, National Live Stock Producer, 1950
  • Soil Fertility: Its Climatic Pattern, The Journal of Osteopathy, 1950
  • Weed Killers and Soil Fertility, The Rural New Yorker, 1950
  • Quality of Food Crops According to Soil Fertility, The Technology Review, 1945
  • Soil Fertility and Alfalfa Production, University of Missouri, 1950
  • Animals Recognize Good Soil Treatment, Better Crops with Plant Food Magazine, 1951
  • Reconstructing the Soils of the World to Meet Human Needs, Chemurgic Papers, 1951
  • Soil Fertility in Relation to Animal and Human Health, Milk Industry Foundation Convention Proceedings, 1951
  • War: Some Agricultural Implications, Organic Gardening, 1951
  • Soil Fertility and our National Future, Texas Research Foundation, 1951
  • Pattern of Caries in Relation to the Pattern of Soil Fertility in the United States, The Dental Journal of Australia, 1951
  • Soil Fertility Pattern: Its Suggestion about Deficiencies and Disease, The Journal of Osteopathy, 1951
  • Biosynthesis of Amino Acids According to Soil Fertility, University of Missouri, 1951
  • Protein Deficiencies Via Soil Deficiencies, University of Missouri, 1951
  • Managing Nitrogen to Increase Protein in Grains, Victory Farm Forum, 1951
  • Soil Organic Matter Emphasizes Itself, 1952
  • The Load on the Land, A Symposium, 1952
  • More and Better Proteins Make Better Food and Feed, Better Crops with Plant Food Magazine, 1952
  • Better Proteins Grow on Better Soils, Commercial Fertilizer, 1952
  • Pastures and Soils, Corn Belt Livestock Feeder, Inc., 1952
  • How Smart is a Cow?, Missouri Ruralist, 1952
  • Soil Fertility and Amino Acid Synthesis by Plants, National Institute of Sciences of India, 1952
  • The Value of Organic Matter, Rural New Yorker, 1952
  • Proteins and Reproduction, The Land, 1952
  • Soil Science Looks to the Cow, The Polled Hereford World Magazine, 1952
  • Soil Fertility - A Weapon Against Weeds, University of Missouri, 1952
  • Potassium Bearing Minerals as Soil Treatments, University of Missouri Bulletin, 1952
  • Soil Acidity as Calcium (Fertility) Deficiency, University of Missouri Bulletin, 1952
  • Our Soils and Our Health, Agricultural Leaders' Digest, 1953
  • Red Clover Suggests Shortage of Potash, Better Crops with Plant Food Magazine, 1953
  • Soil and Nutrition, California Fertilizer Association, 1953
  • Soil Fertility, The Power Control of Agricultural Creation, Missouri Farmers Association, 1953
  • Biosynthesis of Amino Acids According to Soil Fertility, Plant and Soil, 1953
  • Proteins are Becoming Scarcer, The Polled Hereford World Magazine, 1953
  • Human Ecology - The Soil Fertility Pattern Under it, University of Missouri, 1953
  • WGN Farm Hour Interview, WGN Radio, 1953
  • Nutrition and the Climatic Pattern of Soil Development, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1954
  • Let Rocks Their Silence Break, American Institute of Dental Medicine, 1954
  • Droughts - The Soil has Reasons for Them, Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1954
  • The Influence of Soil Mineral Elements on Animal Nutrition, Michigan State University, 1954
  • Lime the Soil to Feed Crops, Missouri Farm News Service, 1954
  • Soil Acidity (Low pH) spells Fertility Deficiencies, Pit and Quarry, 1954
  • Lime the Soil to Correct Its Major Fertility Deficiencies, Rock Products, 1954
  • Reconstructing Soils, The Challenger, 1954
  • Fertilizer's Services in Plant Nutrition, University of Missouri, 1954
  • Do We Overlook Protein Quality?, What's New in Crops & Soils, 1954
  • Thin Roots are Searching for, Thick Roots are Finding, Soil Fertility, 1955
  • Make Tax Allowance for Fertility Depletion, Agricultural Leaders' Digest, 1955
  • Trace Elements and Agricultural Production, American Academy of Nutrition, 1955
  • Should Farmers Receive Tax Allowance for Soil-Building?, Missouri Farm News Service, 1955
  • It's the Soil That Feeds Us, Natural Food Associates, 1955
  • Agricultural Limestone - For the Sake of More than Its Calcium, Pit and Quarry, 1955
  • Capital No Substitute for Soil Fertility, Rock Products, 1955
  • The Living Soil, The Golf Course Reporter, 1955
  • Chemicals for the Improvement of Soils, University of Missouri, 1955
  • Fertilizer for Higher Feed Value, University of Missouri, 1955
  • Proteins, The Struggle for Them by all Forms of Life, Premised on the Fertility of the Soil, University of Missouri, 1955
  • Physical, Chemical, and Biochemical Changes in the Soil Community, Wenner-Gren Foundation International Symposium, 1955
  • Why Your Cattle Break Through the Fence, Western Livestock Journal, 1955
  • Soils, Nutrition and Animal Health, Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, 1956
  • Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, University of Chicago Press, 1956
  • Trace Elements and the Production of Proteins, Original Manuscript, 1957
  • Soil Fertility and Biotic Geography, The Geographical Review, 1957
  • Soil Fertility and the Quality of Seeds, University of Missouri Bulletin, 1957
  • Balanced Soil Fertility, , American Agricultural Reports, 1958
  • Balanced Soil Fertility, Better Crops with Plant Food Magazine, 1958
  • Balanced Soil Fertility - Less Plant Pests and Disease, Better Crops with Plant Food Magazine, 1958
  • Balanced Soil Fertility - Less Plant Pests and Disease, Manuscript, 1958
  • Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Natural Food and Farming Digest, 1958
  • Some Significant Truths About the Good Earth, Natural Food Associates, 1958
  • Calcium - Boron Interaction, University of Missouri Bulletin, 1958
  • Nitrogen, Proteins and People, Agricultural Ammonia News, 1959
  • Nature Teaches Health via Nutrition, Guest Editorial, 1959
  • Water: An American Problem, National Council for Social Studies, 1959
  • Diagnoses or Post-Mortems?, Natural Food Associates, 1959
  • Soil and Health, Natural Food Associates, 1959
  • Human Health Closely Related to Soil Fertility, School and Community, 1959
  • Growing Our Protein Supplements, University of Missouri, 1959
  • The Biotic Pyramid, 1960
  • Soil Fertility in Relation to Animal Nutrition, Manuscript, 1960
  • Trace Elements, Allergies, and Soil Deficiencies, The Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1960
  • Man and His Habitat - Wastebasket of the Earth, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1961
  • Soils - Their Effects on the Nutritional Values of Foods, Consumer Bulletin, 1961
  • Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water, Manuscript, 1961
  • Introduction of "Soil, Food and Health", Manuscript, 1961
  • Fertile Soils Lessen Insect Injury, 1962
  • Organic Matter for Plant Nutrition, Clinical Psychology, 1962
  • Rocks, Dust and Life, Manuscript, 1962
  • Organic Matter Balances the Soil Fertility, Natural Food and Farming, 1962
  • The Healthy Hunzas, The Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1962
  • Soils Need "Living" Fertility!, Western Livestock Journal, 1962
  • Soil and Survival of the Fit, Manuscript, 1963
  • Only Balanced Diets for Plants, Via Soil, Can Grow Balanced Proteins, Mineralas, 1963
  • A Policy for Preventing Agricultural Suicide, Natural Food and Farming, 1963
  • Biosynthesis of Amino Acids According to Soil Fertility, Plant and Soil, 1963
  • Lime the Soil to Correct Its Major Fertility Deficiencies, Rock Products, 1963
  • Grow Self-Protection Via Soil as Nutrition, Clinical Psychology, 1964
  • Magnesium - Its Relation to Calcium in Body Tissues, Let's Live, 1965
  • Plant, Animal and Human Health Vary With Soil Fertility - Modern Nutrition, 1966
  • Magnesium in the Soils of the United States, Let's Live, 1966
  • The "Half-Lives" of Our Soils, Manuscript, 1966
  • Plant, Animal and Human Health Vary With Soil Fertility, Modern Nutrition, 1966
  • Magnesium Integrates With Calcium, Natural Food and Farming, 1967
  • Problems of Quality in the Productivity of Agricultural Land, Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1968
  • Soils and Chemistry, Manuscript, 1968
  • Trace Elements and Soil Organic Matter, Manuscript, 1968
  • Calcium Membranes in Plants, Animals and Man, The Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1968
  • Concerning the Influence of Calcium on the Physiological Function of Magnesium, Manuscript, 1970
 

Warnesworth

Member
Location
Chipping Norton
I think @marco's sentiments about Albrecht/Kinsey are not far off mine. I wouldn't consider myself a disciple but Albrecht does have a lot of relevance, especially where we are trying to seek marginal gains in soil management in CA systems.
As @marco says above calcium is the constructive element, while magnesium, potash and sodium are all working against you to a greater or lesser degree. Add in their relative effects on soil pH, the laws of the minimum and maximum, why some elements will block others, and you start to understand why some soils become incredibly difficult to manage and don't perform as they should. Then to keep the cost down we treat the symptom rather than the problem, which as @Clive points out treating the problem maybe prohibitively expensive.

That said, I am not into soil balancing per se but I do believe that we underestimate the incredible importance of calcium. I don't sell calcium before any clever dick suggest's I do. But I do see an awful lot of crushed rock sold as calcium that simply isn't fit for purpose (we test it ourselves to ensure this is fact) and so am not surprised when people say they added calcium and it didn't work. Also using soil pH to determine calcium applications is the most imprecise piece of science, (along with variable rate application's based on RB209 but that's another story). We also forget that salt based fertilisers are incredibly effective at stripping out active calcium from our soils.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Neil Kinsey and can say that I think that many of the soils in the States that he deals with are probably more 'broken' than ours.
Dr Tim Reinbott at the University of Misssouri is currently field testing Albrecht recommendations over multiple years. His work has found some surprising results...
 

marco

Member
I think @marco's sentiments about Albrecht/Kinsey are not far off mine. I wouldn't consider myself a disciple but Albrecht does have a lot of relevance, especially where we are trying to seek marginal gains in soil management in CA systems.
As @marco says above calcium is the constructive element, while magnesium, potash and sodium are all working against you to a greater or lesser degree. Add in their relative effects on soil pH, the laws of the minimum and maximum, why some elements will block others, and you start to understand why some soils become incredibly difficult to manage and don't perform as they should. Then to keep the cost down we treat the symptom rather than the problem, which as @Clive points out treating the problem maybe prohibitively expensive.

That said, I am not into soil balancing per se but I do believe that we underestimate the incredible importance of calcium. I don't sell calcium before any clever dick suggest's I do. But I do see an awful lot of crushed rock sold as calcium that simply isn't fit for purpose (we test it ourselves to ensure this is fact) and so am not surprised when people say they added calcium and it didn't work. Also using soil pH to determine calcium applications is the most imprecise piece of science, (along with variable rate application's based on RB209 but that's another story). We also forget that salt based fertilisers are incredibly effective at stripping out active calcium from our soils.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Neil Kinsey and can say that I think that many of the soils in the States that he deals with are probably more 'broken' than ours.
Dr Tim Reinbott at the University of Misssouri is currently field testing Albrecht recommendations over multiple years. His work has found some surprising results...
have you any links to his work?
 
I think @marco's sentiments about Albrecht/Kinsey are not far off mine. I wouldn't consider myself a disciple but Albrecht does have a lot of relevance, especially where we are trying to seek marginal gains in soil management in CA systems.
As @marco says above calcium is the constructive element, while magnesium, potash and sodium are all working against you to a greater or lesser degree. Add in their relative effects on soil pH, the laws of the minimum and maximum, why some elements will block others, and you start to understand why some soils become incredibly difficult to manage and don't perform as they should. Then to keep the cost down we treat the symptom rather than the problem, which as @Clive points out treating the problem maybe prohibitively expensive.

That said, I am not into soil balancing per se but I do believe that we underestimate the incredible importance of calcium. I don't sell calcium before any clever dick suggest's I do. But I do see an awful lot of crushed rock sold as calcium that simply isn't fit for purpose (we test it ourselves to ensure this is fact) and so am norprised when people say they added calcium and it didn't work. Also using soil pH to determine calcium applications is the most imprecise piece of science, (along with variable rate application's based on RB209 but that's another story). We also forget that salt based fertilisers are incredibly effective at stripping out active calcium from our soils.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Neil Kinsey and can say that I think that many of the soils in the States that he deals with are probably more 'broken' than ours.
Dr Tim Reinbott at the University of Misssouri is currently field testing Albrecht recommendations over multiple years. His work has found some surprising results...
I don't quite have the same view of Calcium as you - its not a romantic element to me in the way that some of the Albrecht stuff views it (maybe not so much the man himself but he's not here anymore) .

I wouldn't use soil pH to determine calcium applications though - I use soil pH to measure percentage hydrogen. Its the carbonate in lime that is the pH corrector not the calcium. Obviously there can be a sensible need to use maglime or calime to correct pH but that isn't really an albrect thing that just depends if your soil is very high Ca or Mg in the first place.

As for fertilisers being high salt I'm not so sure thats true - they're all pretty soluble
 

Warnesworth

Member
Location
Chipping Norton
As for fertilisers being high salt I'm not so sure thats true - they're all pretty soluble
Most fertilisers are water soluble and most fertilisers are chemically salts such as potassium chloride, magnesium sulphate etc etc. Once the salt has disassociated in water (split) the anion combines with another cation, most commonly calcium. So in the case of potassium chloride you end up with calcium chloride, with the potassium ion left behind as the plant food. The new salt calcium chloride is also water soluble and tends to leach through the soil profile with drainage. Hence the loss of calcium.
 

Warnesworth

Member
Location
Chipping Norton
I wouldn't use soil pH to determine calcium applications though - I use soil pH to measure percentage hydrogen. Its the carbonate in lime that is the pH corrector not the calcium.
Quite correct. If you want to correct acid pH (i.e neutralise the Hydrogen ions on the soil colloid) you need carbonate. The cheapest form being calcitic or dolomitic lime. But if the lime still resembles road grit when spread it isn't going to react and neutralise anything.
But high levels of magnesium, potash or sodium can keep the soil pH high but you have no calcium. Calcium is an essential plant mineral and one which a lot of studies show is essential for the uptake of many other minerals, therefore if you are short of calcium you will be depriving your crop of other essential minerals too.
 

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