Partly Cloudy


Fertilizer facts to chew on while deciding how much of it to use

By A Contributor

Contrast the photos of the U.S. Navy Seals killed in that helicopter they were riding in when it was shot down with the scenes of the rioting mobs in England…

Some of the older Brits are saying that those young people had no understanding or knowledge of their country’s history or its present; they lacked consciences; they lacked upbringing; they thought and think they are entitled to material goods upon demand, or worse, obviously, upon the taking of them.

The American fertilizer industry has finally capitulated to demands from the Scared Stiff Squad of safety police. The latter is the crowd that pats down grandma at the airport and forbids shampoo in bottles that can hold more than three ounces, yet the forward cabin contains quarts of flammable alcohol the airlines sell in flight to nervous passengers.

Everyone involved in regulating further ammonium nitrate agrees that the proposal now under the comment period will pass as it is.

It is touted as an effective compromise.

Users of ammonium nitrate will have to register with the federal government and pass a criminal record screening if they want to buy more than 25 pounds. Ammonium nitrate is used a great deal in numerous places where food and fiber are grown.

Often it is premixed with other fertilizers and then sold and applied by fertilizer companies. Sometimes, though, lone wolf specialty crops growers will use it to great advantage.

Vegetable growers like it, especially, because it won’t volatilize as easily as urea, and it makes itself readily available to hungry plants needing a quick boost in growth and leafing.

It can save crops riddled by hail. It can mean the difference between defeat and victory in having produce.

It also is routinely applied to wheat stands. It has a big 33 percent by weight content of nitrogen (NH-4N03), a most vital plant food.

Plants need the correct amounts of good food just like pet cats and dogs need food to thrive.

Most home gardeners today don’t feed their plants enough food. This is because in my opinion, it is politically incorrect to instruct the public about fertilizer use. Mainly it is depicted as bad - as in ammonium nitrate - unless it is weak manure or seaweed.

A form of ammonium nitrate is used, or was, in demolition work by highway and building construction forces. Therein is the rub.

Too many times various nitrogen compounds - example, dynamite - have been used to kill people, but nitrogen has saved more lives, exponentially, through its marvelous food-making abilities, than it ever took.

Today the high-ups from the U.S. Department of Agriculture like to talk about science-based decisions in food policy.

I’d like to hear one of them say: without good fertilization, crop space goes to waste because optimum production will not nearly be reached in such settings.

Limiting too strictly the use of the three major plant foods - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with other, less vital elements - will result in mass starvation across the globe.

Also, without adequate bridges, crossings and available and legal trucking, the food will (a) be grown, or (b) not make it to market and the stomachs

There are two or three scientific facts to chew on.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017