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#110242 03/04/08 12:48 PM
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I am getting ready to buy my water soluble fertilizer for this year and was wondering if anyone knows of a less expensive way to fertilize or a source for less expensive fertilizer? Last year I spent $1800 for 55 bags (25 lb bags) of 10-52-4 water soluble. It was good fertilizer and worked well, but just wondering if there is a better (cheaper) way to go about it?


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My cost per bag was about the same as yours Bill. It will cost more this year due to the cost of raw materials. I use both water soluble and bagged (regular) 0-46-0. The bagged goes on platforms (can't contact the pond bottom). The bagged is lees expensive but not as strong or easy to use. This is a formula I have worked out for our ponds based on years of experience with their water quality and after soil and water testing. As a result I use only about 10% of the recommended rate of water soluble and mostly for starting the bloom and for a quick shot in arm if the bloom dies off to much. My estimate is I cut my cost by about 30% over just water soluble.

Last edited by ewest; 03/04/08 03:08 PM.















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Could you explain a little more about the use of regular fertilizer? How deep do you put the platforms? Could you make the platforms out of pallets with a covering on them like the stuff you use in gardens to keep out the weeds? I have a 20 acre lake and I am curious as to how much regular fertilzer I would use and how often I would add more on the platforms. Sorry about all the questions, but I'm just trying to save a buck where I can.


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Glad to. Pallets covered in tin or vinyl would work. Mine are on poles in deep water and set about 3 feet under full pool. I use 1 per 5 acres depending on shape of pond and wave and wind action. Here is a picture of one I built lately on a long under water point. Note the rim to keep the fert from washing out onto the soil. Here is a chart/info on how to and fert. conversion . See link to MSU Pond Mgt. at pg 17-19.

http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1428.pdf



6 X 4 concrete and post fert platform on point 3 ft underwater at full pool



Last edited by ewest; 03/04/08 08:59 PM.















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I haven't fertilized in years. However, the last couple of times, I went to a farm fertilizer dealer and bought liquid fertilizer and sprayed it on. It was much less expensive and not as labor intensive. I don't recall the mix %, probably triple 13, but it worked as well as the bagged specialized stuff. Right now, pelletized farm stuff is $400 per ton.


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Thanks for the help everyone. My plan will be to build platforms with pallets. I will attach 4x4 posts underneath to keep the platforms off of the bottom and cover the pallets with vinyl. I plan to put out 4 platforms and use one 50 lb bag of 0-46-0 fertilizer for each platform. According to my area, I would need to apply at a rate of 8 lbs per acre, so with 20 acres, I would be using a little more than required for each application. I will use water soluble fertilizer to jump start the process and as needed as a booster. Does this sound like a good plan?

My main purpose for fertilizing is to feed my threadfin shad.

Bill


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I know it has probably been discussed numerous times, but is there a recommended temperature (water) where one should initiate the 1st fertilization to promote plankton bloom but not feed the weeds? I have heard 60 and 65 to start and 70 to stop with monthly addition or as needed to keep bloom going. Is this information correct?


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Below is the standard advice. While good I don't follow it exactly based on experience.

Because we have an ongoing year to year fertilizer program you can't know the exact fertility level of the pond when cold temps stop the bloom for winter. There is residual fertility remaining the next spring. So I wait to see how the pond responds to natural warming and residual fertility before I start. Then I start slowly adding fertilizer at low rates until the bloom starts. When it starts to go from green to brown I add small amounts of fertilizer to try to keep both a phyto and zooplankton bloom ongoing. I usually try to keep our visibilities between 18 and 36in. For those who have not done this before be careful as you can easily over fertilize. Often it is not the lack of fertilizer that is suppressing the bloom but may be temp or light conditions or rain etc. When the limiting conditions are removed the bloom can take off and get out of control if it is overly fertile.



http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1428.pdf pg 18



When To Apply Fertilizer

Begin fertilization in late winter

or early spring, but definitely by

the time water temperatures have

stabilized at 60 F or higher. Usually

this temperature occurs

around March 15 in south Mississippi

and April 1 in central and

north Mississippi. Early fertilization

will shade the pond bottom

and help control filamentous

algae, a common problem in Mississippi

ponds in spring.

Make the first three applications

of fertilizer two weeks

apart; then apply whenever you

can see your hand clearly with

your arm under water at elbow

depth. By fertilizing only when

water is clear at18 to 24 inches,

you will fertilize the pond at approximate

3- to 5-week intervals

from spring through September.
















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FYI I just bought 16 tons I had to pay $7,680 more than last year. Yes it is going up and I'm told this price is now price in month even higher. Not sure yet what we will set price at but this is a 10-52-4. If interested let us know. I like the method mentioned. Everyone is diff. the water soulble fertilizer is far easier to apply than either granulr or liquid and preffered by my clients that have limited time for pond mgmt. I can see how this mehtod could safe quite a bit of money.


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I have spent most of today trying to secure fertilizer; liquid or powder, with little success. Everyone tells e there will be a shortage of phosphate based fertilizer this year. i know that several phosphate mines and plants have closed in middle Florida over the past 3 years due to cost of new environmental regulations by Florida IDEM, as well as the low profit in the product. The increase if fertilizer use from ethanol production demands has now driven demand up, and large bulk customers are getting preferred treatment. i was told today by Texas Liquid fertilizer that I would have to commit to bulk delivery to even get on the order list. it looks like small consumers may get squeezed out on this deal.

If you plan on adding fertilizer this year, it looks like you better secure a source soon, and order early. You may need to use what you can find as well, since super phosphate is no longer being imported and triple phosphate is going for nearly double price as last year.

I did find 25 gallons of 11-37-0 liquid for $18.00/2.5 gallon jug. I pick it up tommorow.


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Mike I have not heard this. The MAP comes from Isaraeil and other over seas markets and the price is crazy high but I do not no of shortage unless folks just do not keep it in supply due to hgh cost.

It was difficult business decison on my part to commit $35,000 but did it. If ever in GA come on by we got plenty but find it hard to believe a fish dealer in TX cna not hook you up. Thanks for that price though b/c it helps me with comparision sheet I have on liquid vs. water soluble.

QUick math shows ours sold at $38/25 lbs with 6 lb/app/ac rate vs. liquid at 2 gal/app rate is $9.12/ac/app. vs. $14.40 ac/app. for your liquid and water soulbe is much easier to use and nearly impossible to misapply unlike liquid if not diluted.


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When I went to pick up the liquid, I noticed they also had 10 bags of water soluble. These were 25# bags of 11/61/0 (I thnk I remember that right. I do know the phosphate number as 61) This sold for $28.95/bag. I did a quick calculationm in my mind and figured that at 1 gallon per acre liquid at $19/2.5 gallon vs. $29 for 25# @ 6#/acre application rate, gave me about the same cost per acre. Granted the water soluble was higher PO4 content, but the application poundage would be 60%, so the cost per lb. of PO4 added would be around the same.

We applied by diluting 4:1 and pumping into the prop wash while driving around the lake in a pattern, being careful to criss cross and overlap pumping a small stream to get equal coverage, I think we got it done okay in about 3 hours for 28 acres.

The conversation I had about the shortage of phosphate was with Texas Liquid Fertilizer. I think what he was trying to imply was that there is a shortage, but it will mostly impact the small user since most distributors will be tking care of the large customers. High demand from increased corn production combined with closueres of some of the Florida mines and phosphate fertilizer plants due to environmental issues has created a shortage at least in the near term.


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Mike I do not feel you can calaculte on just the Po4. Base it what works per acre. I think 4-8 lbs/acre of good high phos. water soluble fertilizer works as does 2 gals/acre liquid. So I compare the 6 lbs to 2 gals. ANother way would be to compare the 4lbs to the 1 gal this minimum rec. for each. This would mean $4.14 ws vs. $7.64 liquid per application. This is a great price on the water soulble btw. All ponds are diff. and some might work better with liquid others granular other water soluble. The liquid to me works very well but only when diulted 5 to 1 then slowly added to prop wash. I do not doubt anyone will argue which is easier to apply 4lbs of water soluble you can throw out or 1 gal (10 lbs.) you have to dilute ,etc. Can you tell which one I like and invest in? \:\)


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One matter of note. Of the people I have talked to with actual experience (limited area central Southern US) who have used water soluble fertilizer none have had to use the recommended rate to achieve a good bloom. Average is about 50% of the rate suggested and I have never used more than 30% of that rate.
















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 Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1
I haven't fertilized in years. However, the last couple of times, I went to a farm fertilizer dealer and bought liquid fertilizer and sprayed it on. It was much less expensive and not as labor intensive. I don't recall the mix %, probably triple 13, but it worked as well as the bagged specialized stuff. Right now, pelletized farm stuff is $400 per ton.


I wanted to ask about that. Bagged, granular fertilizer in triple 13 is readily available here at farm supply places, etc. It is cheaper than the specialized stuff, which I would have to order. Is there any reason it would not work?

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See the link below pg 17 Type of Fert to use. The missing nutrient in ponds is usually P not N or K . The bag #s are by # in order of each of N, P ,and K . 13-13-13 is equal parts of each while 0-46-0 (a common pond fert) is all P. In a normal pond lacking P you will spend more using 13-13-13 than 0-46-0 (even though the later costs more) to get the same results. There is 3 times the needed nutrient P in the later so you would have to use 3X the amount of 13-13-13 to get the same results. In addition you may over nitrate the pond with to much nitrogen.

That does not mean 13-13-13 will not work - it may do ok. It would not be my choice.

http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1428.pdf


Last edited by ewest; 05/14/08 01:18 PM.
















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