The numbers prove it.
Our extended evaluation of Spanish River Carbonatite™ has shown
that all of the theories are correct. Remineralizing your soil
is an incredibly effective way to boost its health and productivity.
Over the past two crop seasons SRC has been applied over ten thousand
acres of Ontario 's prime agricultural land and wherever vegetable,
grain, or forage crops were tested yield, protein, and mineral levels
were significantly increased and in controlled tests outperformed chemical
fertilizers. In fruit and berry crops the Brix readings (refractometer
testing mineral/sugar levels), were the highest achieved by the farmers.
Individual farmers reported improved germination and their best produce.
On golf courses, parks, playing fields and subdivision lawns where
visual results are the measure SRC was clearly distinguished and the
operators impressed. SRC applications had the earliest green lawns
that persisted until covered by snow. The majority of farmers also
reported a rapid visual response along with improved tilth. The years
2000 and 2001 crop seasons were among the driest and wettest recorded
in SW Ontario . In a specific test to correct high aluminium levels
in produce, the levels were reduced by 78%. As well as mitigating harmful
metal uptake in plants caused by acid rain on impacted soils, our carbonatite
is converting acid rain to available nitrogen, sulphur and carbon dioxide
before it can leach through to the sub-soils.
Our research had indicated that reactive calcium was the major soil
deficiency and that Spanish River Carbonatite contained the most reactive
limestone available to farmers in North America and we expected positive
results. However, the biotite and apatite were equally reactive, supplying
the plant adequate potassium and phosphorous within the crop season.
The carbonatite's extremely reactive calcium or some of its many trace
elements may be having a catalytic effect or enhanced microbial activity
is making otherwise inert phosphorous or potassium secondary minerals
in the soil plant available. In any event with organic farmers reliance
on nitrogen sourced from cover crops, crop rotations, compost and enhanced
microbial activity in their soils, SRC can be a complete fertilizer
for the organic farmer or at low rates probably determined by acid
rain considerations is the single best product for maintaining mineral
We may never know why the Spanish River Carbonatite is exceptionally
reactive. In its fortuitous mineral complexity and genesis we can recognize
factors known or hypothesized to influence rock weathering to soil.
These include its nano-crystalline structure unique to its genesis,
the acceleration of calcium's mineral regulatory role in the soil,
enhanced microbial environment and activity and possible complex catalytic
effects of its multitude of trace elements and rare earths. All these
and probably unknown other factors combined to favourably impact on
the physical, chemical and biological rate of mineral weathering in
the soils. The astonishing universal response in Ontario soils over
thousands of acres, with the soil environment in each location being
complex and different, documents the complexity of the SRC and the
myriad of complex reactions engendered in the soil systems.
The majority of our extended farm evaluation trials,
which number more than one hundred, have been on chemically and physically
impacted soils on conventional farms, where they have been astoundingly
effective. Our products and programs have out-performed conventional
chemical fertilizers and indications are that they are reversing the
progressive soil destruction of chemical farming. It has been reported
(Barak, University of Wisconsin) that soils have aged 5000 years after
30 years use of soluble chemical fertilizers. With the addition of
our high-nitrogen, reactive peat, Spanish River Carbonatite can be
a safe complete fertilizer for conventional farms and with a program
based on advanced mineralogical/biological science can progress to
long-term soil restoration and re-mineralizing widely regarded as North
America's most critical and substantial problem.
The response to the inevitable question as to 'why does
it work' we reduce to careful examination of the key variable "reactivity".
SRC works in biological time rather than geological time. The major
difference between elemental metals and industrial minerals is that
industrial minerals may be infinitely variable and the characteristics
of a specific industrial mineral may be the basis for its unique effectiveness.
The difference in effectiveness between different calcium carbonates
used in scrubbers to clean up toxic gases and metals can be 1000 times.
The high price of various micas (including biotite), may based on unique
refractory or cation exchange capacity characteristics. Flake size,
made Madagascar graphite the premium product in the industry. Bentonite's
expansion sealing properties are unique among clays. Spanish River
Carbonatite is the most reactive natural mineral when applied to soils
and may fortuitously be one of a kind.
Why has it not been found before? Geoscientists virtually
abandoned soil science with the almost total focus on chemical farming
over the past 40 years. Not only has agriculture been deprived of major
advances in geosciences, but, no prospector or geologist was looking
for natural agricultural minerals. Obviously the magnitude of the soils'
and plants' response to SRC follows progressive physical, chemical
and microbial soil abuse over 40 years. There are no longer virgin
soils and the Province's soil studies must be updated regionally to
account for the various degrees and kinds of degradation. T he original
studies are of use in highlighting deficiencies, now primarily reactive
calcium and organic matter, and providing restoration targets. Until
now there has been no soil lab in Canada to support sound mineralogical/microbial
farm practices for organic farmers. Our systematic soil sampling, mineral
auditing, soil and tissue sampling and analysis combined with the world-class,
geosciences analytical and research labs in Sudbury and Elliot Lake
is an unique service for organic farmers in North America .
On virtually all, conventional farms we have sampled and on many organic
operations, organic matter is as equally neglected and as critically
deficient as reactive calcium. To provide a complete line of fertilizer
and soil amendment products to both organic and conventional farms
and large-scale horticultural applications we have been sourcing and
testing non-sphagnum peat in our test gardens and small greenhouse
for the past three years. Capitalizing on the obvious synergy of combining
the most reactive minerals with the most reactive and nutrient rich
peat was only delayed until we were less overwhelmed with our carbonatite
business. However, by this past fall we were shipping bulk peat for
direct farm application, for composting with manure and for mixing
with commercial composts both improving nutrient content and in some
cases making it possible to meet extremely stringent environmental
and waste management requirements.
While peat is abundant in Northern Ontario little is produced relative
to the major scale of the Province's agricultural industry and the
world-class size of Northern Ontario 's unexploited peat resources.
And what is produced is largely based on sphagnum moss peat for high-end
applications in landscaping, horticulture, greenhouses, parks & gardens
and recreational gardening. Our testing to date has focussed on various
non-sphagnum peat sources, which have distinct advantages over sphagnum
in organic agricultural applications. The deficiencies we note in sphagnum
peat generally require the use of chemical nutrients. Whichever peat,
there is generally little questioning that virtually all pathogen and
weed-free peat is an exceptional, multi-faceted, environmentally positive
soil amendment and fertilizer, but, little work has been done to justify
peat's use or make it economically available to farms on a broad basis
in Ontario agriculture.
However, the explosive growth of organic and ecological agriculture
and related markets will inevitably highlight the application of bulk
peat and reactive mineralized peat products for organic soils in the
Province. Demonstrating the remarkable effectiveness of reactive natural
minerals combined with peat and major scale market for these products
will overcome peat's current high cost of transportation. Like our Spanish
River Carbonatite, peat will also develop large-scale applications in
conventional chemical agriculture as the industry strives to ameliorate
the progressive deterioration of their soils and to become more environmentally
responsible on the farm. Peat is perhaps more complex than carbonatite
and exploration and development will produce uniquely reactive and nutrient
rich peat. Peat requires the same scientific support as our minerals.
We expect to sell three times as much peat and other soil amendments
as we do carbonatite.