By Jon C. Frank
In agriculture we must use geology to enhance biology. If we do this successfully plants will capture more solar energy and convert it into superior nutrition for people, higher performance animal feeds, and an increase in cash crop yields.
Geological resources are like tools in a mechanics tool box. A mechanic needs quite a few tools to get the job done. So do farmers. I believe Planters II should be one of the tools in your toolbox. The rest of this article explains why. But first let’s answer the foundational question:
What is Planters II?
Planters II is a very unique geological deposit in Colorado that is defined as a “...highly metamorphosed fresh water evaporate of the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian geological transition period.” In plain English that means that a long, long time ago, back when coal was being formed, a mineral-rich fresh water was evaporated leaving behind its minerals. These minerals were subjected to some kind of a geological pressure cooker that changed them into their present form, which happens to be a gray powder that has been granulated. So why do I like it?
1) Planters II Stimulates Microbes
Planters II contains ranges from 5-9% sulfur in the sulfate form. Sulfates stimulate microbes while elemental sulfur depresses microbial activity. Planters II also contains cobalt and molybdenum; 2 very significant microbial stimulators.
2) Planters II Increases Plant Roots
Roots are a very important part of the plant. They are also very reflective of the environment they are in. There is one mineral that influences roots more than any other…and that is calcium. More specifically, available calcium. There is a nearly direct correlation between available calcium and the proliferation of roots. Low calcium soils have very poor root systems, high calcium soils have roots galore. The goal is to see plants with a profusion of ultra-fine root hairs.
The more the better. Why? Because roots are microbial feeding stations. The more plants feed the microbes, the more minerals the microbes digest and return back to the plants. This is a virtuous cycle—but it starts with available calcium. And Planters II contains 5-14% calcium.
3) Planters II Improves the Antenna Function of Plants
Like all other physical objects, plants have a certain amount of electromagnetism. When this is increased, even by just a little, it improves the ability of the plant to pick up atmospheric energy and minerals. We all know plant roots take nutrients into the plant. But the same thing can also occur in the leaves. Leaves have the ability to take nutrients out of the air and assimilate them into the plant. This only happens when the plant is well supplied with 2 minerals: calcium and silicon. And both of these are supplied by Planters II. It contains 5% silicon.
A visual observation to gauge the antenna function of plants is to assess leaf hairs. These hairs are rich in silicon and indicate a plant with high electromagnetism and antenna function.
4) Planters II Contains a Full Range of Trace Minerals
This includes boron, iron, molybdenum, chromium, vanadium, cobalt, copper, zinc, and many more. Because Planters II is such a unique rock powder (see Benefit #7) these nutrients are quickly used by the plant. Trace minerals are catalysts of enzymatic reactions in plants. Everything a plant does occurs through a process of complex enzymatic pathways.
These reactions all start with a simple on switch, i.e. a catalyst. What are these catalysts? Trace minerals. A tiny key can turn on a big engine that does a lot of work. But no work gets done if the engine isn’t turned on. Because of a shortage of trace minerals, many “plant engines” aren’t turned on. This means lower yield and less insect and disease resistance.
5) Planters II Improves Plant Health
This is the outcome of a lot of other things working right. And it starts with minerals.
- When plants are healthy, they don’t need pesticides and fungicides
- When plants are healthy, they yield more
- When plants are healthy, food, feed, and forages have greater quality
Ultimately you will be more profitable.
6) Planters II contains Silicon…Some of it Immediately Soluble
We have all heard of companion planting, right? One species planted with one or more other species. The synergy of multiple species gives a greater outcome than the single species alone. This is the premise behind permaculture. Here is an example: Plant some mulberry trees in a chicken run. The mulberry tree gives food and shade that benefits the chickens and reduces feed costs. In return the chickens provide fertilizer to the mulberry trees.
Why not do the same thing with fertilizers? Use 2 or more fertilizers simultaneously that improves the efficiency of both. Here is what I propose: Combine Planters II with Soft Rock Phosphate. Soluble silicon from Planters II has a big benefit to Soft Rock Phosphate. It helps release fixed phosphates and assists with phosphorous uptake into the plant. This benefit of silicon speeding up phosphorous availability has been documented by Russian scientists.
This silicon/phosphorous synergy gives Soft Rock Phosphate a much quicker return on investment when both are used together. For this process to work, silicon must be soluble—not tied up in a silicate molecule.
7) Planters II has Instant Solubility
Not 100% of the product but somewhere between 20-30% of the product is soluble. When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it. So, I did an experiment. I put a 1 to 20 ratio of Planters II in highly purified laboratory water that has zero dissolved solids and zero conductivity. I put this on a magnetic stirrer for 1 hour. Then I poured the mix through a glass filter that took out all the remaining particles. The liquid that was filtered out was completely clear but urine colored. When I probed it with a conductivity meter it was very high indicating soluble nutrients that could conduct electricity. This definitely shows solubility. Instant solubility is what makes all the other benefits work…and it makes Planters II different from all other rock powders.
According to the owners, the remaining 70% of the nutrients become available within the 1st year.
I have no proof but I wonder if Planters II contains fulvic acid. I know fulvic acid has a yellowish tinge and that is the same color I saw in my lab experiment. Since Planters II is an evaporate from fresh water it is possible. Fulvic acid is a carbon complex of trace minerals. It functions as both an electrolyte in soil and a biostimulant to plants and soil microbes. Whether it contains fulvic acid or not, one thing is certain: Planters II works fast.
- In Furrow - 100 lbs. per Acre
- Soil Band - 200 lbs. per Acre
- Broadcast – 300 lbs. per Acre
To increase the release of phosphorous mix equal amounts of Planters II with Soft Rock Phosphate and apply together.
As a recap here are the 7 benefits of Planters II:
- Stimulates Microbes
- Increases Roots
- Improves the Antenna Function of Plants
- Contains a Full Range of Trace Minerals
- Improves Plant Health
- Soluble Silicon Releases Insoluble Phosphorous
- 20-30% Instant Solubility
Thank you for reading…I hope it has given you food for thought,