Can agrominerals give you faster, healthier plant growth?
They can be low-cost, nutrient-rich, and 100% natural.
So are agrominerals the future of soil fertility?


 

K E Y   I S S U E S
A   S O U R C E   O F


C E R T I F I E D
R E G I S T E R E D
F R E E   O F

Getting back to the roots of agriculture

There are some exciting new developments growing in the field of agriculture.  The practice of feeding your plants soluble nutrients is starting to change.

In North America, the use of soluble NPK fertilizers is on the decline, as a result of environmental concerns, soil degradation and excessive soil nutrients, especially phosphorous.

The leading edge is moving towards a systems approach – looking at the way minerals, soil, plants and microbes all interact to maximize your yields, nutrient content and plant health.

In nature, nutrients originate from the geology of your land.  It's the microbial interactions with rock minerals that provide soluble nutrients to your plants.   But in many agricultural lands, the elements and catalysts that these interactions need may be in very short supply.

 

Macronutrients
calcium
carbon
hydrogen
magnesium
nitrogen
oxygen
phosphorus
potassium
sulphur

Micronutrients
boron
chloride
cobalt
copper
iron
molybdenum
manganese
nickel
silicon
sodium
zinc

 

Conventional plant nutrients

So one of the keys to making your soil system work productively is to give it a wide spectrum of nutrients and catalysts.  And to provide those elements in a way that is non-toxic to your soil microbiology.

The systems approach to agriculture supports the complexity of your soil ecology.  It does this by remineralizing your soil with a full spectrum of trace elements, micronutrients and rare earths...

...and by making the transition from soluble nutrients to reactive minerals.

With the help of dozens of farmers and horticulturists, we've done an extended evaluation of this approach, by remineralizing over 30,000 acres of land.  And we've had some amazing results.


To feed your plants, feed your soil

In all of the soil tests that we've done on agricultural lands, we've found that many of them were even short of some macronutrients.  This severely affects the health and nutrient content of foods or forage crops that are grown there.

For example, calcium is cited more often than any other mineral as a cause of plant diseases, low nutrient quality and poor storability.  It's the mineral that plants use most, by weight, of any element – yet it's often treated as a secondary nutrient.

Agriculture is an acidifying process, and subsoil compaction, nitrogen fertilizer and acid rain have resulted in calcium depletion in many topsoils.  So it's vital that you make sure that your plants are getting enough of it.  And calcium is just one of the many elements that your soil needs to stay healthy and fertile.

So how can you replenish your soil with a wide spectrum of elements, in a reactive mineral form, without spending a fortune?

Using agrominerals.

It's what nature has been doing for millions of years.  And it's probably the least expensive technique you can use to manage your soil fertility.

It works by building your soil complexity.  The more biodiverse your soil is, the better it can maintain the requirements for strong plant growth, and the more it supports biological interactions with your soil minerals. 

It's these interactions that result in

  • particle aggregation,
  • water retention,
  • nitrogen fixation,
  • nutrient supply,
  • formation of essential soil clays,
  • organic matter...

...in short, all of the factors that make for ideal growing conditions.  And agrominerals have many other benefits as well.


Nutrients on demand

There are all kinds of complex interactions in your soil, a few of which are just starting to be understood.  But one thing is clear:  having a healthy soil ecology is the ideal way to feed your plants with nutrients on demand.

Agrominerals are insoluble until they get eaten by the microbes in your soil.  This means that adding agrominerals creates a self-regulating system that gives your plants the nutrients they need, when they need them.

As micro-organisms weather your rocks to form soil, minerals become available to your plants.  And the plants actually feed the microbes that supply their roots with dissolved minerals – just as our own digestive systems use beneficial bacteria to help break down our food.

This is the symbiosis that's been working in nature for as long as plants have existed on the planet.  There's no over-supply, no toxicity, and no agricultural runoff...

...and there's a lot less expense.

The agrominerals that aren't used will stay in your soil until they're needed by the system.  So a single application of agrominerals can keep providing nutrients for years.

Within only a few months, most soils can be brought back to biological health.  Just feeding your micro-organisms is enough – they will do everything that's needed to get the process going.  And once you start using agrominerals, you won't need to use any soluble fertilizers ever again.

Now consider that remineralizing your soil will probably cost less than a single application of fertilizer...

...and it's starting to look pretty good, don't you think?


The ABC's of NPK

The mainstays of soluble fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – that's what NPK numbers like 10 - 20 - 10 refer to.  And there's no question that these three basic elements are vitally important to your plants.  So can agrominerals deliver them as well?

Yes and no.

There are three minerals that are excellent sources of almost all the nutrients that your soil needs, including phosphorus and potassium.

And in combination with the right organic matter, these conditioners will give your soil a complete spectrum of nutrients, including nitrogen.  They'll provide abundant NPK, and they'll give you all the benefits of ecological complexity as well.

Depending on your soil, these are the three minerals you're most likely to need:

  1. Apatite.  Commonly called rock phosphate, apatite is a great source of phosphorus.  It has a similar chemical structure to our bones and teeth, but in soil it can be much more reactive than bonemeal.  Apatite looks a lot like limestone, and its molecular composition is a phosphate of calcium with fluorine, (CaF)Ca4(PO4)3.

  2. Biotite.  This mineral belongs to the mica family, contains 12% potassium, and often carries many trace elements as well.  In your soil, biotite weathers to vermiculite, which in itself is a superb soil conditioner.  Chemically, biotite is a hydrous potassium aluminium silicate, K(Mg,Fe)3(Al,Fe)Si3O10(OH,F)2.

  3. Calcite.  Replenishing the calcium content of your soil can greatly improve your plants' nutrient value, storability and frost resistance.  Calcite also neutralizes pH, prevents clay aging, eliminates toxicity problems, and improves soil tilth, among other benefits.  Calcite is a form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3.

Each of the ABC agrominerals is low-cost, easy to apply, and is completely non-toxic to your soil's microbes.  And together, they make an amazing soil conditioner that can give you healthy growth like nothing you've ever seen before.

Within two months of remineralizing your soil, it will have a blooming micro-ecosystem, and a nutrient reservoir that can completely eliminate the need for soluble NPK fertilizers.

The key is finding the right type of minerals and organic matter, so that they can most easily be absorbed by your soil system.


Agromineral reactivity

Put some agrominerals into your soil, and they'll still be sitting there in a few centuries.  They just can't be digested by the soil micro-organisms.

Other agrominerals get eaten up almost instantly.  So what sets them apart?

They differ in reactivity.

The more reactive an agromineral is, the more easily it can be used by your soil's ecosystem, and the more nutrients it can provide to your plants.  There are a number of factors that affect mineral reactivity:

  • Mineral genesis – the process that forms a rock, and its mineral constituents, have a direct bearing on how quickly it will weather and give up its essential nutrients.
  • Mineralogy and crystal habit – the physical properties of a rock, including crystal structure, hardness, cleavage, fracturing diagnostics, gravity, and trace catalytic elements.
  • Microbial influences – microorganisms, directly or indirectly, will cause mineral weathering that is tens or hundreds of times faster than the mineral can dissolve on its own.

Consider calcium again.  Dolomite lime is high in calcium, but its reactivity is very low – in fact, it's practically inert.  If you add it to your earth, it might help the soil structure a little, but it won't give any nutrients to your soil.

High-calcium limestone is more reactive than dolomite, and when powdered to micron size it can make a decent soil conditioner.  But a micron-sized rock is still the size of a house to most microbes, so their ability to break it down is somewhat limited.  And powdering the rock makes it more expensive.

The most reactive form of mineral calcium that we know of is the calcite found in Spanish River Carbonatite.™  It has a nanocrystalline structure, so the particles are roughly a thousandth of the size of micron powdered limestone.  It gets taken up by soil ecosystems faster than any other calcite we've tested — it's like pet food for your microbes.

But calcium isn't the only element in remineralizing your earth...


The truth about phosphorus

Most soils, especially if they've had fertilizer added to them in the past, are loaded with phosphorus.  It just isn't available to your plants unless you have a healthy soil ecology.

On average, if you were to add super-phosphate to your soil, only about 10% of the phosphorus would be taken up by your plants.  The rest gets locked up in an insoluble form, or leached into the groundwater.

And did you know that most phosphate fertilizer starts off as apatite?  It gets treated with sulphuric acid to make phosphoric acid, which is water-soluble.  But it's pretty toxic to your soil micro-organisms, not to mention that it adds to the problems of soil acidification and agricultural runoff.

On the other hand, if you support your soil ecology with agrominerals, your microbes will be able to liberate the phosphorus that is already there, locked up in the ground.

And adding apatite will also give your soil an excellent source of on-demand phosphorus, that's totally non-toxic to your micro-organisms and doesn't wash away in the rain.

But there is one thing to watch out for in rock phosphates – toxic elements.  Many rock phosphates available on the market today include significant levels of heavy metals and radioactive isotopes, including cadmium, thorium and uranium.

Spanish River Carbonatite™ is rich in apatite and free of any heavy metals or radioactivity.  And it supports your soil ecology to release the insoluble phosphorus that's already there.  It's the best and most economical way to balance your soil nutrients!

And there are also other factors that affect your soil's fertility...


The age of your clay

Young soils are generally much more productive than old soils.  If you look at volcanic regions, where the soil is practically brand-new, they have some of the most lush growth on the planet.  And the young glacial soils in Canada are recognized as some of the most fertile soils in existence.

One of the main reasons soils age is that the clay loses its cation exchange capacity (CEC).  This means that the clay can't interact as well with the nutrient molecules within your soil, so it has less ability to transport food, and the soil becomes less fertile.

If your mineral nutrients are out of balance, it can speed up the aging process of your clay.  Having old, weathered clay soil as well as mineral deficiencies will make your plants even more dependent on inputs.  And it can result in aluminum toxicity, in which aluminum ions have a higher affinity for the remaining cation exchange sites, and get taken up into your plants.

But the aging process can be reversed, and your soil's CEC raised back to productive levels.  The first step is to remineralize your soil, which will help free up the cation exchange sites.  You can also add high-CEC clay minerals and organic matter, both of which will increase its nutrient capacity.

For example, if you have a weathered soil, it is probably composed of a kaolinite clay, which has a CEC of about 10 meq/100g.  Adding biotite to your soil not only provides potassium on demand, but it also produces a mineral clay with a CEC of 180 meq/100g. 

The only economical source of clean biotite in North America is in Spanish River Carbonatite.™  It's a much better natural source of potassium and high-CEC clay than greensand.  Plus it's more reactive, and makes a better soil conditioner as well.

And there's still a lot more to the Spanish River Carbonatite™ story...


A unique natural rock

When we first went looking for agricultural minerals, the carbonatite family piqued our interest.  Carbonatites are alkaline igneous rocks that form from molten magma or volcanic lava, and they're typically very rich in minerals, especially calcium.

Unfortunately from an agricultural point of view, most carbonatites also contain a lot of heavy metals and radioactive elements.

So we went looking for a source that was free of toxicity and radioactivity, was highly reactive, and had a good variety of nutrient minerals.  We got everything we were looking for and much more.

It turns out that, of all the igneous rocks on the planet, only about 0.1% of them are alkaline.  And only 0.001% of alkaline rocks are carbonatites.  In fact, there are only 330 known occurrences of carbonatite in the world...

...and only one of them is free of radioactivity and heavy metals.

It's just beside the Spanish River, near Sudbury, Ontario.


The perfect soil conditioner

The Spanish River Carbonatite™ deposit is almost miraculous – it seems to have been made for adding to soil.  It is the most effective agromineral, by far, of any that we've tested.

It has a perfect blend of clean, highly-reactive minerals for soil remediation, including the ABC minerals:  apatite, biotite and calcite.  And it contains over 80 trace elements and micronutrients – everything needed for life!

It's also nanocrystalline, and separates naturally into sand-sized particles without any crushing.  This makes it very easy to apply, and it stays free-flowing and non-clumping even if it gets wet.

The mixture of minerals varies in different parts of the Spanish River Carbonatite™ deposit, so we create a blend with an average composition of:

  • 68% igneous calcite – a unique form of calcium carbonate, which is more reactive than any other form of agricultural lime.  It buffers acid soils and is an outstanding source of calcium.
  • 10% apatite – a clean rock phosphate that provides calcium and phosphorous on demand.
  • 15% biotite mica – an excellent source of potassium, and the parent mineral of vermiculite, which in itself is an important high-CEC clay mineral and soil amendment, widely used in horticulture.
  • 7% accessory minerals and trace elements, such as magnetite and pyroxene, and rich in lime, iron, silica and magnesia.

And it works!

In case you're wondering if this is all just theory...

...it's not.

So far, over 13,000 metric tonnes of Spanish River Carbonatite™ have been applied to more than 30,000 acres of farmland.

And the results are absolutely phenomenal.


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