A number of ancient civilizations apparently developed very good farming procedures even though they are not directly recorded in history. The use of animal manure, or green manuring with legumes, testing the soil acidity and the value of composting and seed selection.
In 1840 Justus von Liebig published his book on "Organic Chemistry in Its Application to Agriculture and Physiology." Liebig described the chemicals required by the plants, thus setting the stage for the chemical fertilizer industry. Liebig has been called the Father of Modern Soil Science. He gave us two profound statements that are as true today as they were back in 1840.
A STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
"Perfect agriculture is the foundation of all trade and
industry--it is the foundation of riches of nations. But a rational system of agriculture
cannot be formed without the application of scientific principles, for such a system must
be based on an exact acquaintance with the means of vegetable nutrition. This knowledge we
must obtain through chemistry."
AN AGRICULTURAL LAW, "THE LAW OF THE MINIMUM:
"If one of the nutritive elements is deficient or lacking, plant growth will be poor even when all other elements are abundant. If the deficient element is supplied, growth will be increased up to the point where the supply of that element is no longer the limiting factor."
Justus von Liebig (1803 - 1878)
Soils and Soil Contents
Planets develop soils because of natural forces that break up the solidified crust material. Interstellar radiation provides some of the energy for these processes. The whole process is accelerated on planets and moons that have fluid on their surfaces. Weather and ocean currents, resulting from convection in the fluids, exert powerful forces of freezing and thawing along with the moving matter to pulverize the surface structure.
The living organisms found in our soils on earth have played an important part in the development, providing both the chemical composition of the soil and the physical makeup.
Healthy soils are alive with life forms and their remains. There must be an abundant supply of oxygen available for the organisms present. A typical soil supporting a rich vegetative growth and serving as a host for insects, worms, and microbes is full of pores. This pore space should be at least 50% with 25% occupied by air and the other 25% occupied by water.
The ability of soil to hold air depends on soil particle size and how well the particles pack and cling together in forming a solid mass. These particle size groups are called "separates" and vary from clays, which are the finest, through silt and sand, to gravel. The particle size of clay is 0.005 mm or less. The small particles in a clay deposit can pack close together thus eliminating essentially all of the air. This virtually eliminates the ability of the soil to support any life.
Air in the soil has a different composition than the air above. Normal air contains about 21% oxygen and 0.03% carbon dioxide, while the air in the soil may have an oxygen content as low as 15% and the percentage of carbon dioxide may be as high as 5% or more. This is a result of the organic matter being partially oxidized in the closed space because the carbon in the organic material uses the oxygen to form carbon dioxide. This causes ground water flowing through to become acidic and causes sour soils or acidic soils.
Water can be absorbed in the structure of the particulate material, it can be absorbed onto the surface of the soil particles, and it can occupy the pore space. If you take the driest soil you can find and heat it in a test tube you will be amazed at the amount of moisture released. Nine elements make up the bulk of the Earths soils; they are oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and hydrogen. Note that in this group oxygen is the only strongly electronegative element. As a result, oxygen forms strongly polar bonds or ionic bonds with each of these elements. Since water is a polar molecule, there is a strong interaction between water molecules and most of the bonded atoms in the soil, especially oxygen.
The percolation of a soil depends on the soil particle size and on the chemical composition of the soil material. Soils become acidic, or sour, not only because of the oxidation of the organic matter but also because of selective leaching by the passing ground water. Salts of the alkali and alkaline earth metals are more soluble than the salts of the Group III and transition metals.
Leaching is not altogether bad because unwanted elements are removed by this natural process. It is in this manner that ReclaMax 1 is most beneficial to your soils. In high sodic type soils, this leaching of the alkaline salts is greatly enhanced with the use of ReclaMax 1 because of the strong anionic charge of the polymers which attracts the cationic charge of the alkaline salts and pulls them deeply into the sub layers of the soil profile thus removing them from the root growth areas as the polymers wick their way down.
ReclaMax 1 is a combination of a polymaleic anhydride terpolymer and a sulfonated maleic anhydride co-polymer that contain an even balance of hydrophilic (water loving) and hydrophobic (water hating) molecules. This is very important to the operation of the molecule as the "water loving" part of the formula is attracting and holding on to as much water as it can. Meanwhile the "water hating" part is trying to get away from the water driving it deeper into the soil profile with the help of gravity, and also providing capillary horizontal pore space.
ReclaMax 1 has a molecular weight of over 12,000 and is an organic based product. The polymer works in the following manner; the product is mixed in a ratio of 70 parts water to one part of ReclaMax 1 and is sprayed evenly onto the ground to be remediated at a rate of 1 1/4 gallons per acre and repeated 10 to 15 days later. This is the most effective way to apply the product as it will open the pore space in the soil 12 to 18 inches after the first application, thus allowing the second application to penetrate much deeper. It is important that after the application you apply an additional 1/4" to 1/2" of water.
It is easy to visually see the effectiveness of the product by taking a 3/8" rebar about 4 foot long and welding a small "T" handle on the top. This should be pushed into the area to be treated in a pattern that can be repeated and the depth of insertion recorded. After the ReclaMax 1 has been on for 10 to 15 days repeat this same test to evaluate your progress. This dosage has been effective in most applications, however, if there are unusual conditions the dosage may need to be altered.
In very tight soils you will see pore space return to your reclaimed soil opening up to both oxygen and water. This will encourage all biological activity to begin to flourish which is the next step in the remediation program. Sodic type soils along with salt brines or high concentrations of metal salts are all moved quickly down the polymer chain as it expands downward through the soil profile.
ReclaMax 1 was designed to hold soil nutrients (most all of which have a cationic charge) in a position that is easily accessed by plant roots. Fertilizers are utilized at an increased rate because of not loosing nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium which are extremely soluble and often follow the water face out of range to the plant roots. We also see phosphate carried down into the soil 8 or 9 inches deep. The other advantage of more efficient use of the water is an important consideration in remediating this type of land in remote areas.
As an adjunct to this product we have developed another product called ReclaMax 2 which offers several advantages to the reclamation process. ReclaMax 2 has the advantage of containing a complete package of all the nutrients, growth regulators, vitamins, minerals and a mutated nitrifying bacteria and a phosphate reducing bacteria which provides an immediate jump start to the growth of all new vegetation.
ReclaMax2 is a unique blend of specialized polymers, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids. It includes a range of beneficial microorganisms to aid in nutrient conversion and the conversion of organic matter.
ReclaMax 2 accelerates germination and the overall growth of the plants because of this very complete nutrient package. It is an all natural formulation. ReclaMax 1 and ReclaMax 2 offers a complete package that has proven its effectiveness in reclaiming land through remediation at an affordable price.