Weeds Make Themselves Scarce When Calcium Enters The Picture

Applying calcium to balance soil nutrient levels and manage weeds allows no-tillers to reduce herbicide rates, cut fertilizer costs and increase profitability.

Got weeds? Calcium may be part of the solution as it has been for Oldham, S.D., no-tiller Ron Kaufman.

“As we’ve started bringing calcium levels up in our fields, lambsquarters has almost completely disappeared,” says Kaufman, who has been using calcium for about 7 years as part of the biological farming protocols set by Verity Farms.

Based in Maurice, Iowa, Verity Farms works with farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and, most recently, Georgia to produce crops that, in turn, are used to raise Verity Premium Natural Beef and Pork.

Kaufman worked with biological farming advisors from Verity Farms on calcium applications. He applied liquid calcium to plots, experimenting with rates and considering recommendations to become comfortable with what soils need to efficiently produce corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa.

“When I first started with liquid calcium, I had a lot of lambsquarters,” he says. “One time through the field with the planter, I turned the calcium off to see what would happen.”

The result was a line of lambsquarters leading right up to where the calcium application started again.

“There were some lambsquarters plants in the side with calcium, but you could pull a 2-foot plant with two fingers. There wasn’t any root system,” Kaufman recalls.

Soil Health Indicators

Weeds are not only problems to be dealt with, but also indicators of issues in soil balance, according to the book, “What Weeds Are Telling Us,” by Jay McCaman, a biological-farming consultant.

“The true answer to weed…

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