What’s That in the Field?

ValleyBiz Story | Mysterious white mounds were noticed yesterday in Cody Hart’s field east of Swan River. These mounds are not winter making an early and sudden appearance, but a soil enhancement technique that makes use of an industrial by-product.

Click any picture for a larger version.

The substance being applied to the field is wood ash.

Here is a summary of the Louisiana Pacific project submitted by Derek Boychuk of LP |
“The project began about 6 years ago in conjunction with MB Agriculture and MB Conservation.

The ash was and is being used for
soil pH remediation. Currently, the ash can only be spread on land with a pH of 6.5 or lower. At first, the project began in the Keld area near Dauphin, just because they had an abundance of land that had this type of soil, however, through the years we found that we had some soils throughout the Valley that had similar low pH, however not as much in abundance.

The ash has no additives to it. What you see is the same ash you would see when you burnt aspen in your wood fire places. The ash consists of many nutrients that you would find that the farmers add year after year when they fertilize their crops, so adding it to the soil was simply the right thing to do.

Other provinces and States have been utilizing the ash this way for many years, and in some cases, the farmers are paying for it. As for spreading it in the Valley, this is the fourth year for the project. We currently have a select few farmers that utilize it, only because these farmers have stepped up with soil sample documentation to show us that their lands qualify for it. We are allowed to spread at a rate of up to a maximum of 9 tonnes an acre, but after seeing the benefit, the farmers have asked us to cut that rate in half, just so we can cover more acres. We are currently spreading at a rate of 4-5 tonnes an acre, and to date the farmers have been very happy.

We ask if any farmers would like to be added to the program, that they contact us with soil samples to show us their pH, and we would love to add them. The program itself has been a huge success and the benefits can be seen. If anyone has any questions as to its success, I advise them to contact a few farmers that have used it. To date they have been very happy.

If anyone wishes to be added to the program, or have more questions, please feel free to contact Derek Boychuk at 525-2479, ext 125. I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.”