Amendment Principles

Soil amendments are materials that can be used to address underlying issues in agricultural systems. Soil amendments are often times naturally occurring minerals, and by adding then, growers can address limiting factors that inhibit crop growth.

Numerous types of materials can be used as soil amendments. Granitic and basaltic rock minerals are often prevalent in the local environment surrounding crop production areas, and these materials are a very underutilized resource in many situations. The BFA is currently working on a database that includes mineral levels and sources of locally occurring rock minerals in the northeastern US that can be used for systemic soil remineralization. These materials generally contain on the order of 25-45 minerals each and are available at quarries as "fines" or "float" for $4-8 per ton. Our general recommendation is that an application of up to 10 tons per acre of a material such as this would consist of a systemic remineralization.

Beyond addressing broad spectrum deficiencies there are the macro mineral materials like Greensand, Limestone, Rock Phosphate, Dolomite, K-Mag, Gypsum, Epsom Salts, Potassium Sulfate, and Elemental Sulfur. These rock minerals are very valuable for addressing system macro-mineral deficiencies in soils and should be applied based on soil test identified needs.

Trace Elements are a component of soil amendment that is poorly addressed by most growers and often times will yield significant results with apparently minor amendment additions. Materials like Solubor, Borax, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate are typical trace element products that can be applied at rates of 4-20 pounds per acre per year and will systemically address key limiting factors that exist in many agricultural soils.