Nonconventional Soil Additives
Part 1, Section 2: Soil Fertility Management
Soil Fertility Management
NONCONVENTIONAL SOIL ADDITIVES
Current nonconventional soil additives cannot substitute for proven practices and products used in a good soil management program. General groups of these products are described in Table 1.2-18
|Product group||Method of application||Reported action|
|Growth stimulants or regulators||Seed, soil, or plant||Promote growth, improve nutrient water uptake, or solubilize soil nutrients|
|Biological additives||Soil||Enhance soil microbial activity|
|Low-rate nutrient additions||seed or plant||More efficient nutrient use|
|Organic amendments||Soil||Provide nutrients; improve soil “tilth”|
|Mineral amendments||Soil||Substitute for lime or fertilizers|
|Soil conditioners||Soil||Improve soil drainage, soil physical properties, or nutrient release|
Before purchasing or using a nonconventional soil additive, investigate the claims made about the product and the manufacturer. All of these products must be registered for sale in Pennsylvania through the Bureau of Plant Industry, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg. Check with your county extension office or the Bureau of Plant Industry to be sure that the product has been registered. Be wary of products that are sold through high-pressure sales techniques, which rely heavily on testimonial support, or that have "secret" ingredients or no details describing the methods of product performance.
If you do decide to use one of these products, be sure to include several check strips with no treatment and several check strips with your normal production practices, in addition to the area treated with the product, so that you can compare plant growth and yield.