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Kent's Korner

By Kent Durbin, President
TSM Services, Inc.

A lot has happened since the last TSM® Infarmation newsletter. We have had our 6 Winter Conferences, which include Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Cedar Falls, Iowa; Catlin, Illinois; State College, Pennsylvania; West Springfield, Massachusetts and Waterloo, New York.

They were all well attended.

Attending some of the conferences with us were Wayne Christensen, FRIT Industries; Pat Musser, Chem-A-Co; Skip Heasley, SIMS Ag Products; Mike Hall, Spectrum Analytical Lab and Bryan Swanson, Brandt Consolidated. We appreciate all of these people. Their companies are "Corporate Sponsors" for TSM Services, Inc. This means that they give a percentage of our business back for conference expenses.

We have a couple of new projects that we announced at these conferences:

  1. TSM® Manure Management spreadsheet. This spreadsheet lists all the fields (or areas) and indicates how much manure each area can handle within these guidelines:

    1. How many pounds of P205 over ideal do you want to go? "Balanced fertility" takes you to 200 pounds of P205 over ideal. Above this figure is the "Waste Disposal" program.

    2. What is the maximum Phosphorus test you want to consider? We usually set this at 300.

    3. What do you consider the maximum and minimum quantities to spread? Most set this at 1000 pounds or gallons per acre minimum spread and 8000 gallons or 20 tons per acre as maximum spread.

    4. If you have a given quantity of manure to spread, we can tell you what level you will be at if you spread all of the manure. It is important that the grower knows where he is on the Balanced Fertility vs Waste Disposal question.

  2. TSM® Balanced Fertility vs Waste Disposal bar chart. This chart will indicate where each field or sampling area is in relationship to balanced fertility.

Most, if not all, of the nutrient management programs approved by each of the states is a "Waste Disposal" program! This surprises most people. You would think that universities and/or governmental agencies would be very particular about how much of a nutrient you apply. It seems that they are only interested in this when a fertilizer dealer sells it! Why, I do not know. Why can a grower take the phosphorus test to 300 but a fertilizer dealer cannot sell you a phosphorus product when your phosphorus test is over 70? Make some logic out of this! Don't get me started on this.

Both of the above projects are a part of the nutrient management program we will be developing. I am working on another spreadsheet now which will indicate how much manure you will have during the year and how many nutrients this manure will provide.

If some of you want to try this spreadsheet, just give me a call or e-mail me kentd@tsmser.com a request.

My goal is to have a nutrient management program, which will encompass all the necessary requirements for each of the states. These reports will be included with your EDGE or HEAD START recommendations.

Our first load of composted chicken manure came in today (20 tons). We will be setting up an eleven-acre research facility for this product. We are also spreading an application on all of our other plots. Within a year or so, we will be able to tell you just what organic matter and organic nutrients are worth. You will want to be sure and plan a trip to Catlin to see these plots.

Recently, I have become aware of a company in Michigan who is making an attempt to sell a "look-a-like" product to our TSM® Pre-Mix (F). Before this current owner, this facility had tried under another owner to do the same. We put out side-by-side plots to show that we were superior and we were. This pretty much put it to rest.

Now it surfaces again under new ownership. Keep in mind that this company doesn't want TSM® to be successful. The product they are selling is greatly inferior to ours. Let me give you some ideas on this:

  1. They say it is higher in solubility. We took a sample and put both products (theirs and ours) in water. We then poured the contents through 2 Kleenexes and waited 3 minutes. Ours went through immediately. The surfactant that we use even disintegrated the Kleenexes from the weight of the sample. Theirs did not go through the Kleenexes at all. Perhaps the product they use for dust control (smelled like Kerosene) coated the Kleenexes and wouldn't allow anything to go through. Now which product is the most soluble? Their sample had a dark scum layer that floated on top.

    We also removed some sulfur from both products and put it in water. Within the first few hours, ours (Pastille sulfur) was already breaking down and theirs was not. Five days later, TSM®'s product (Pastille sulfur) is 80 percent broken down, and theirs is about 20 per cent broken down. Which product is more soluble?

    Don't use this product if you want the TSM® to do its best.

  2. They said that their product was safer to handle. When we were adding the water to the Kleenexes, we had to squeeze their product to get the water out of it. Whatever was in this product not only made our hands turn red, but later peeled some skin off. The employee liability here is tough. Have an employee get a piece of this in his eye and see what happens. TSM® takes great precaution to make our products safe for the handlers.

  3. If this were not enough, they also claim that our product has lots of heavy metals and theirs does not. To prove this, they took a magnet and passed it over our product and some material stuck to it. From this, they said they proved their claim.

Well, we decided to do the same with both products. When we passed the magnet over our product, sure enough, a lot of our product attached. It was not the heavy metals (the hazardous ones) that attached. When we did this same pass over their product, the same thing happened, the only thing left was the sulfur. Even though this is ridiculous, we could claim that there are more heavy metals (the hazardous ones) in their product. We are not claiming this because this claim is absurd.

You don't have to worry about getting the best products from TSM® but you will certainly have your problems if you try theirs. This is why we will not back our program using their product, you don't get the same results and it is very dangerous to your health. If you want to know who is making this product and what the name of the product is, just call me.

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