Chilean Nitrate is an organic-approved substance. It's restricted to 20% of the total nitrogen use, but it still can be used in organics. The unique thing about Chilean nitrate is that it is the only organic nitrate source available. And so if there's a need for nitrates which promote growth, this is a great product to put in it.
It works for corn say, and would be used in conjunction with 5-1-1 fish. 5-1-1 fish would give a long term release of nitrogen, but the Chilean nitrate would be quick early growth just to get it started really fast.
This also works really good on various kinds of greens, say if you're growing leafy greens. The only thing is you have to make sure that there's not an excessive amount of sodium already in the soil, because this does have a higher sodium content, somewhere around 19% or 20% sodium.
This product works particularly well for crops that have a higher sodium requirement, things like asparagus and celery really need a lot of organic sodium. So this would be a great product to use for those crops even if they're not organic. It's quite water soluble and there's a little bit of boron added and some other trace minerals in with this product. So it does provide a little bit of boron.
Overall an excellent product due to the fact that the nitrates are in there. This product is an oxidizer, meaning it will supply oxygen.
The rating on it is a hazardous rating for shipping just because of the oxidizer effect. But it is an OMRI listed product only up to 20% of the total nitrogen requirement.
Sodium nitrate is the standard from which all the salt index is computed. Sodium nitrate is at 100 on the salt index, it's a fairly salty material in comparison to a lot of other fertilizers, even other fertilizers aren't as high. Some fertilizers are even higher than this on the salt index, but this is the 100 mark.
Sodium nitrate when it's mixed in with other liquids is basically a neutral on a pH, it really doesn't push the solution one way or another. It works really good to dissolve some with liquid fish and then spray that out on the soil. It's an ideal corn program.
Sodium nitrate can be purchased in bulk tote bags. It can also be purchased in 50-lb. bags stacked up on a pallet. The tote bags are actually metric ton tote bags. So it would be 2,204 lbs. of net product on a pallet. You can fit 20 metric ton bags in a dry van and maybe we can fit 21 on a flat bed. The pallets are stacked up and they can take an equivalent amount of weight on them as well. It doesn't come in bulk hopper bottom.
At this point Chilean nitrate 16-0-0 is kind of a pricey product. It's quite expensive this year. It's derived from a company in Chile called SQM and they're the only supplier of this product in the world.
An interesting tidbit of history is that years ago this product was going into Germany and from that they were making dynamite and bombs. America put a blockade on that back then. Needless to say German scientists figured out how to make dynamite another way. Just history FYI.
Chilean nitrate comes from the caliche deposits in the Atacama region of northern Chile where there has been almost no rainfall to leech the nutrients. How they originally got there is still subject to debate by geologists.
For more information on this, read:
Geology and Origin of the Chilean Nitrate Deposits by George E. Ericksen