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Discussion Board - Re: Doubt organic yield?

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02-16-2012 08:02:12

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Hoosierhog, How do you fertilize your alfalfa? You make no mention of cattle that graze it or eat the hay. You only mention selling all your alfalfa. How do you replenish the potash and phophate it removes? It would be interesting to see some 5-6 year soil test results and the progression of the fertility levels since becoming "organic".

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02-16-2012 08:52:54

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 Re: Doubt organic yield? in reply to randallinMo, 02-16-2012 08:02:12  
My compost operation takes up 3 acres it gets spread on all fields 2 times a year. I also spay all pastures and fields with a compost tea even the yard. Right now we sell the execss hay to a organic dairy here locally. But we are going to be adding a goat dairy to our operation. We will sell cheeses. There are organic P K fertilizers but so far I haven't needed them. I will if I need to but my compost operation seems to be working.

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02-16-2012 09:32:14

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 Re: Doubt organic yield? in reply to Hoosierhog, 02-16-2012 08:52:54  
Very interesting! What do you compost and where do you get it? Do you have an idea of the nutrient analysis of the compost "as spread"? What rate do you apply the material?

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02-16-2012 13:16:42

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 Re: Doubt organic yield? in reply to randallinMo, 02-16-2012 09:32:14  
I compost every thing we bag the yard clippings we rake tree leaves and add them, goat bedding and waste hay(goats wast a lot, they eat the alfalfa leaf shatter and just pick at the stems). when I clean fence rows we chip all trees that will break down like pine, we use the ashes from our 2 wood stoves and the ashes from several neighbors stoves, in the fall i go around town and pick up all the bagged leaves that people set out for the city to pick up. I have 2 land scape companies that bring me all UNTREATED yard wastes. I will compost anything that i can get my hands on. My current system my manure is limited supply since my livestock spends as much time on pasture as possible so i save my manure for my corn fields but goat manure is a cold manure and does not need to be composted and its hard to collect so it goes to the main compost piles.I used to go on Craigslist and find adds for free horse manure and bring it in my the truck load but its not certain to be clean of antibiotics and not pre certified organic so now that we are in the process of organic certification I dont think i can continue to use it. i aplly about 3 tons to the acre of compost to all alfalfa fields and 5-6 tons to the acre of composted manure for my corn fields. her is some good info on organic fertalizers and compost

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jeremy in NE

02-16-2012 16:20:20

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 Re: Doubt organic yield? in reply to HoosierHog, 02-16-2012 13:16:42  
Do you turn the compost piles daily? The compost tea that you use, how do you make it?

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02-17-2012 05:07:42

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 Re: Doubt organic yield? in reply to jeremy in NE, 02-16-2012 16:20:20  
i turn the piles every other week or so
and i made my own compost tea processor but you can buy ready made ones i spent 700$ on mine and i can process 300gallons and i have a 1000 gallon storage tank. i use a 300gallon 3pt sprayer and i just put it in the liquid fert tanks on my planter i also add a fish emulsion fert when i use it in my planter. here are a couple links. if you want a more detailed explantion of how it works and how to build a compost tea processor just google it. that's how i got the info to build mine. also my system is not big enough i have to brew multiple times and fill my storage tank multiple times to spray every thing but it works.

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