Plants absorb molecules by endocytosis. It is time for everyone in
agriculture to wake up and see what the real truth is. There was a time
when endocytosis was a new discovery, with only a few scientists utilizing
their electron mics to show this, but now you can find literally THOUSANDS
of reports on endocytosis in plants, yes, in plants, in addition to the
many more thousands of reports on endocytosis in other living entities.
Also, calcium's importance is not concerning pH, but the actual tissue need
by plants of this mineral. Albrecht was a strong advocate of the need for
calcium, and altho his followers avidly quote almost all he said, and he
based his writings on his extremely carefully acquired data from careful
experiments, they still are stuck with the cation CEC stuff. He had to
segregate individual ions to prove his point about the need and use of each
mineral, but his followers have extrapolated, extended that to mean all
fertilizing has to be properly based on CEC.
They all forget that he stated that "nutrients to not have to be SOLUBLE to
be AVAILABLE ". That was a very penetrating comment, esp. since at his
time the electron mic photos were not extant. Had he seen those, I feel
sure he would have corrected the huge trend today to continue basing ideas
on CEC. His followers are not able to see how brilliant he was to
recognize, without photographic proof, that plants could absorb items not
is soluble (ionic) form.
Albrecht was very insistent on the need for calcium because of what calcium
does, as a mineral, not as a part of CEC.
Current science literature is loaded with fairly new info on the many
ways calcium is utilized by plants. For him to say it was the "prince of
nutrients" was very smart of him, and now the current literature proves him
right. Now there are whole books written about the important calcium uses.
He should have lived to our time to see that. He was right, academia was
Bluestem Associates wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Mar 1999 19:56:55 +0000, Steve Diver wrote:
> >> Thirty-seven years of data collected from a plot at the University
> >> of Wisconsin-Madison's Arlington agricultural research station is
> >> yielding alarming results: acidification from excess fertilizer is
> >> wearing out the soil.
> >A couple of points come to mind:
> >1. Why did the researchers suggest that natural sources of
> >nitrogen such as legumes (clovers, vetches, cover crops)
> >cause as much acidification as chemical nitrogen sources
> >(ammonium nitrate, anhydrous ammonia, etc.)???
> >2. The report also noted the importance of calcium, magnesium,
> >and potassium; cation exhange capacity; and liming.
> >This brings to mind the notion that eco-farming advisors who've
> >been emphasizing base saturation and high calcium lime all these
> >years may have clued into an important principle of good soil
> >management way ahead of their time.
> I have not read the original paper yet, so what I say should be seen
> more as an observation triggered by the comments than as a dierct
> response to them.
> It seems at least reasonably logical that natural sources of nitrogen
> will have somewhat the same effect as chemical analogues, especially in
> high rainfall areas when nitrification rates are high. All nitrates are
> soluble --- at least I can't remember a single metal that would
> precipitate nitrate out of a solution --- so high nitrate situations
> will result in calcium leaching, given enough water.
> Removing calcium from a soil has some fairly unfortunate effects on its
> structure, usually reflected as a greater susceptibility to compaction.
> Compaction robs yields, and as yields disappoint, what is the response
> of most farmers (and Extension folks) ? --- more nitrogen --- which
> strips more calcium, and off we go. I think this is one of the
> least-appreciated vicious cycles in all agriculture, and there's no
> compelling agronomic reason why it can't happen with leguminous
> nitrogen or manure nitrogen, especially if the nitrogen is being
> cranked up to push the yields. [editorial comment: just what we need,
> eh? more #2 yellow corn ...]
> The "destruction of CEC" part of that article is intriguing. One
> possibility might actually be only indirectly related to nitrogen. The
> tendency in Wisconsin has been to keep soils absolutely awash in
> soluble potash, while largely ignoring calcium. Apart from potatoes and
> a couple of other horticultural crops, calcium is added to the soil
> only to the extent that it is incidental to liming intended to adjust
> pH. In high nitrate soil environments much of the exchangeable calcium
> will be stripped off colloids, but that (in itself) shouldn't damage
> the exchange site.
> Here's where the potassium may come into play. Those potassium ions can
> sneak between the layers on the clay particles and (especially with
> certain types of clay), pull the two clay layers together around the
> ion, and lock the whole thing up. Those exchange sites will be
> effectively lost to the soil from then on. So I'm speculating that the
> nitrogen (by stripping calcium) *enables* potash to tighten up the
> edges of certain clays, making their exchange sites unavailable for
> future use.
> The effect may be particularly pronounced in conventional agriculture,
> owing to that system's marked tendency to sacrifice organic matter for
> short term yields (which may also feed into this whole loop by
> increasing the compaction effect). Typical organic matter has a CEC of
> about 200 meq/100g, or roughly ten times that in a clay loam.
> Consequently, 2% OM in a soil is responsible for about 4 meq of CEC. On
> the good organic farms there is enough OM in the soil that the portion
> of CEC attributable to the clay fraction is of reduced functional
> Most university researchers try to hold equal all factors except those
> under study. In the case of the UW work it leads me to suspect that in
> the "organic" systems potash levels were kept just as high as on the
> conventional side. If potash is actually a significant part of the
> problem it would be quite likely that organic sources of nitrogen would
> have something of the same effect as the "chemical" sources.
> I'd have to read the details of experimental design and see the data
> before I went any farther down this path, but I don't think it's an
> outrageous stretch to suggest that calcium and potash management may
> have at least as much to do with the observed phenomena as the nitrogen
> Bart Hall
> Lawrence, Kansas
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