How to Improve Topsoil
and Planters 2 granules
trace minerals for fertilizer, feed & food
ELX and Planters II are a "high test" rock dust—a premium product with superior character—mined and marketed by U.S. Soils of Salida, Colorado from a unique mineral deposit.
The U.S. Soils deposit was discovered 50 years ago by an old entrepreneur in Salida, Colorado, who dug up this peculiar deposit and, out of curiosity, put it on his garden and threw some in with his pigs. He had no formal education, but was very bright and observed that the pigs ate the rocks and the garden tasted better. He had no real idea why this was, but realized good things happen when he used this rock. He began to blast and dig it to use himself, gave some to neighbors, and began to transport it around in a pickup to sell.
There's tremendous controversy among geologists as to what this deposit is. Some feel 50 million years ago there was water where the deposit is now. It's doubtful it was a lake, because it's not large enough and doesn't spread out flat, but is a tubular deposit. It may have been a fresh water hot spring in a pre-historic sea, because it's not at all salty, and has little or no sodium or organic matter. The closest term for this rock is "gypsiferous shale", since it contains pyrites and gypsum.
This man had a nephew—Joe E. Lionel—who he raised as a son and is now sole owner of U.S. Soils. It's been solely owned from the beginning; never gone public. They bought a fertilizer plant in Kansas City no longer in use and moved it to Salida. It was always an agricultural business; it's been up and down, but it's been a multi-million dollar company in the past.
The company was run by one family for 40 years, then, for various reasons, the company was leased with an option to buy to other people. But it didn't work, so Joe E. Lionel took the company back and began to rebuild sales. U.S. Soils strongly believes in direct sales through distributors in the field.
A strong point about U.S. Soils dust is it's one of the oldest ones—one of the earliest—so it has a history of thousands of farmers using it successfully. U.S. Soils has reams of statistics to show it works to improve soil, plant and animal nutrition and health. It's been successfully used a long time with definite proof and satisfied customers.
U.S. Soils distributes two products to farmers: ELX for livestock feed; and Planters II for soil amendment, both the same price for a fifty pound bag.
ELX is a dark grey powder added to livestock feed, or "free choiced" (let cattle eat it alone) as a mineral supplement. Due to depletion of soil elements, most feeds lack minerals and animals need a mineral supplement. ELX is used with all livestock: sheep, cattle, hogs, pigs, chickens—even fish ponds—it's thrown in the pond to add minerals to the water. With chickens, for example, ELX decreases 'cracks'—eggs have fewer cracks.
It's used in Wisconsin and Minnesota dairy herds, and greatly increases herd health. Improved animal health has been verified time after time in herd after herd. Also, it increases butterfat and total production of the animal, too.
In Kansas people use it to raise cattle. They noticed, for example, where Planters is used on wheat, cows head for that field as fast as they can. In Minnesota they put cattle in a field after corn harvest, and they know the field with Planters because almost invariably cattle are in the field with Planters. Animals seem to know, just like they go to salt licks for minerals. Animals need exactly the same elements plants do; so do we.
When Joe Lionel and his uncle bought the fertilizer mill, they started to pelletize dust in a big cylinder to sell as soil amendment: Planters II. Pulverized dust is put in a rotating cylinder, then liquid added to make little pellets. Years ago wood base lignum was used; now plain beet sugar is used.
Dust is difficult to use. It's very fine and will blow, so it's hard to evenly distribute. But pelletized, it goes through spreaders like used for seeds or regular farm fertilizer spreaders. This gives a much more uniform spread and is easier to handle.
Farmers put nitrogen, phosphorus and potash (N-P-K) into our agricultural soils, but don't put back trace elements, such as manganese, boron, and so on.
This is where U.S. Soils unique sediment comes in. This rock had extensive trace mineral analyses and is known to have 35 elements—everything from nitrogen to zinc. That's parts per ten million on some, but most are larger. Plants need specifically 20 elements. U.S. Soils guarantees its sediment contains at least eight in measurable quantities—very high for products of this nature; all eight are needed by plants.
Beyond shadow of doubt, tests show Planters' elements are available to plants. An Arizona college hydroponics experiment to compare plants grown with Planters versus without shows Planters is available and increases production.
U.S. Soils Vice President Dr. Herb Owen emphasizes the increase in microbial action realized with Planters. In field tests, Planters—without a pesticide program—showed 3.5 times more microbes in soil than where chemical fertilizer and pesticides were used. If microbes in soil increase, availablity of all the nutrients in soil will also increase.
Herb will bet money any two bales of hay—whether mixed alfalfa and grass, grass, or straight alfalfa—raised on Planters will equal the nutrition of three ordinary bales. There's a tremendous 24% protein increase, for example. In Louisiana, protein in grass hay was 1.5% higher—9-9.25% versus 7-7.5%—and yield increased one-third. Data from Minnesota shows not only protein going up, but also all the minerals—more potassium, more calcium, etc. In carrots, an 11% sugar increase with Planters is common.
A Wisconsin dairy farmer used to plow his fields and seagulls came to eat the worms. He went on chemicals and, over a period of years, noticed seagulls weren't there anymore. He found he didn't have any worms in the soil. He went off chemicals and began to use Planters, and noticed within three years seagulls were back, so worms were back.
It's been used in orchards a great deal. One farm near Yakima, Washington's Columbia River gorge had apple trees that weren't producing at all. They put on Planters, and the first year had a 40,000 bushel crop rather than 30,000—a tremendous response. Another farm used Planters, organic fertilizers and no pesticides to produce good fruit crops: apples, cherries, peaches—the whole business.
It takes little ELX to get results compared to what is advocated for remineralization. With rockdust that's not ground so fine, application is 5-10 tons/acre. But with Planters II small particle size and high solubility, only 150 lbs/acre will suffice.
U.S. Soils recommends 250 pounds/acre for three to five years, depending on how badly depleted soil is and in need of trace minerals. After that, 100 pounds per acre or even less will work to maintain element levels after they're built up again. As little as 150 lbs/acre is used in forestry, but U.S. Soils recently entered this new area, so there's no firm recommendations yet.
Planters costs less than chemical fertilizer. A Kansas wheat farm yielded 57 bushels/acre with Planters, versus the county average of 35. Planters cost $25/acre (with no chemicals), for an $88 increased net profit/acre—that's not hayseed. At a different place, it cost $50/acre for Planters to yield 82 tons of hay, whereas chemicals cost $75/acre for an 82 ton yield.
The Earth Renewal and Restoration Alliance — www.ancientforests.us — www.carbon-negative.us — www.nutrient-dense.info — 2/14/2009