email: tfl3543@blackfoot.net

BEAR RIVER ZEOLITE CO., INC.
4005 East Glendale Road
Preston, ID 83263

tel: 406-827-3523
fax: 406-827-3543

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SOIL AMENDMENT

PRODUCT

  • Size: 8 x 40,14 x 40, -40 mesh

  • Potassium: 3.5% (plant available but not water soluble)

  • Calcium:1.6%  which is a pH buffer and plant nutrient

  • Sodium: <0.5% (none water soluble)

  • Hydrophilic


USES

BRZ™ has been used extensively for the development of golf course greens. It is an excellent soil amendment for sports fields, commons areas, parks, lawns, gardens, for any sandy soils, and for higher value crops such as vegetables, fruits, potatoes, alfalfa, etc.  

APPLICATION

For the construction of new golf course greens and tees, lawns, gardens, or for sandy soils replace 10 to 20 % of the sand with an equal volume of BRZ™. This should be applied in the top 2 to 4 inches. For top dressing, approximately 30 to 60 pounds should be applied per 1,000 square feet or 1,200 to 2,500 pounds per acre. To enhance aerification after plugging, apply 60 to 150 pounds per 1,000 square feet or 2,500 to 6,500 pounds per acre. For crops and grasses successful improvements have been realized with as little as 1 ton per acre. Generally, 2 to 10 tons per acre are applied depending on the composition of the soil being treated. BRZ™ can be spread by hand broadcasting, using a manure spreader, or by other devices. Although top dressing works, generally it is better to mix the BRZ™ in the top 2 to 4 inches with a roto-tiller, spike tooth harrow, or a disc harrow. Plowing BRZ™ in, places it deeper than necessary. For row crops such as corn or soybeans, BRZ™ can be applied with a side disc or by side banding. After application, the area must be irrigated, because fresh BRZ™ will absorb moisture from the surrounding soil and can result in dehydration of the plants or grasses.

BASIC PRINCIPLES

BRZ™ has two methods of holding fluids and plant nutrients. The first is by "absorption". It will absorb up to 55 % of its weight in water or other liquids. Water, ammonium (nitrogen), and other plant nutrients that are held in this position are loosely held and are water soluble. This is the first big advantage the zeolite offers a drought insurance program. In sandy soils where the water permeates through the growth zone to the aquifer, it will hold the water in the growth zone. The second method is absorption by cation exchange (measured as cation exchange capacity or “CEC”). BRZ™ holds cations such as ammonium (nitrogen), potassium, calcium, and other plant nutrients within the mineral lattice where it is not water- soluble. However, the cations and plant nutrients are plant accessible on a plant demand basis. The nitrogen in this position, for instance, will not burn the plant. This is the second big advantage. The zeolite will hold nitrogen fertilizers in the growth zone where they are plant accessible. Typically, 30 to 35 % of the conventional nitrogen fertilizers leach directly to the water table where they cause pollution of the aquifer.

 

BENEFITS

  • It reduces the amount of water needed for irrigation by up to 35%.

  • It holds the moisture in the growth zone.

  • It holds nitrogen in the growth zone. By virtue of its high CEC, it holds much of the nitrogen so that it is plant accessible but not water-soluble.

  • Since 30 to 35% of most nitrogen fertilizers leach through the growth zone and report to the aquifer, it reduces the nitrogen fertilizer requirement.

  • It will recharge itself with nitrogen from rainwater and subsequent fertilization application and will hold it in the growth zone.

  • It helps prevent compaction, increases infiltration, and helps the aeration of deep root systems due to its high surface area and porosity.

Compared to other domestic zeolites, BRZ™ has a higher CEC which allows the greater loading of plant nutrients such as nitrogen and micronutrients such as magnesium, sulfur, zinc, iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, copper, chlorine; contains approximately 3.5% potassium which is a plant nutrient; contains very low sodium which is toxic to plants; has very little clay; and has a clinoptilolite content of 80 to 90

  • BRZ™ is 100% natural and when composted with manure, it becomes a “natural fertilizer."

  • BRZ™ will hold nitrogen and will help prevent the pollution of the water table by nitrates and nitrites.

  • It is pale green in color unlike many zeolites that are white, and it visually blends into lawns, greens, and tees better than white material.

     

TEST RESULTS
Wallace Laboratories


Wallace Laboratories
365 Coral Circle
El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone (310) 615-0116 Fax (310) 640-6863
September 19, 2001
Re: Zeolite growth experiment

Nine treatments were studied with radishes. Gypsum was added to all zeolite treatments. Gypsum was applied to lower the alkalinity.

Treatment 1 was zeolite with gypsum. The growth of the radishes was poor. The leaves were yellow. The average dry weight per plant shoot was 24 milligrams.

Treatment 2 was zeolite plus 15% by volume peat moss. Peat moss contains micronutrients. It also would slightly dilute the zeolite and may increase the aeration of the media. The leaves were also yellow. The average dry weight per plant shoot was 29 milligrams. There was a slight increase in growth but probably not statistically significant.

Treatment 3 was zeolite, 15% by volume peat moss and 2 grams of hydroponic fertilizer. All nutrients were supplied in the ratios of plant requirement. Nitrogen was supplied in four forms. This treatment will remove nutrients deficiencies. The shoots were green. The yield was 143 milligram dry weight per plant. This was the second highest yield. Zeolite is supportive of good plant growth if supplemented with nutrients. Without the addition of nutrients, growth is poor as seen in treatments 1 and 2.

Treatment 4 was zeolite plus peat moss plus 1 gram of ureaform. Ureaform is a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. It releases nitrogen by microbial decomposition. The rate of release is fairly well correlated with temperature changes. The temperature range of the study was about 50 to 80 degrees F. (nighttime and daytime extremes). The growth was 68 milligrams dry weight per shoot. This is 2.3 times better than without nitrogen. It is 48% of the yield with all nutrients. More nutrients are needed than what is supplied by zeolite, peat moss and ureaform.
 
Treatment 5 was half zeolite, half number 16 sand, 15% by volume peat moss and 2 grams of the hydroponic fertilizer. Yield was 166 milligrams per shoot dry weight. This is 16% better than what it was without the sand. The increased yield is not due to nutritional differences but probably due to increased aeration.
 
Treatment 6 was similar to treatment 4 except that phosphorus was applied. The major nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen and phosphorus were applied. Zeolite is high in potassium. Micronutrients are expected to be supplied by the peat moss. Yield was 115 milligrams per shoot. This is 80% of the yield with the hydroponic fertilizer.

Treatment 7 was the same as treatment 6 except that peat moss was not applied. Yield was 59 milligrams. This is 51% of treatment 6. The inclusion of peat moss increases the yield 94%. On average, there is about 2 to 3 time higher absorption of micronutrients with the addition of peat moss.
 
Treatment 8 was number 16 sand, 15% by volume peat moss and the hydroponic fertilizers. Yield per plant was 50 milligrams. The University of California mix developed in the 1950s is sand/peat moss mixtures. Zeolite and peat moss increased the yield by 186% (2.86 times greater). Zeolite, number 16 sand and peat moss increased the yield by 232% (3.32 times greater). When nutrients are not limiting, zeolite is a better component for growth media than sand. The best appears to be both sand and zeolite.
 
Treatment 9 was a mix manufactured by one of the better local suppliers. Yield was 121 milligrams. Treatments 3 and 5 outperform their media.
 
The tissues were analyzed. They all had excess sulfur. Apparently, the media should have been leached after the addition of gypsum prior to the growth study. Zinc was excessive except in treatments 3, 5 and 9. The treatments with the higher growth rates diluted the zinc by increasing the biomass. Excess zinc is toxic may have limited the growth more than normal. Zeolite has high cation retention and may have retained zinc from the irrigation line that was galvanized. Potassium and calcium were well supplied. Sodium and chloride were excessive. Radishes are fairly tolerant of sodium and chloride.
 
Conclusions
 
This size zeolite is better than sand for the manufacturing of growth media. A slightly larger material may function better than the 14/40 mesh material. Aeration is too low with the current particle size unless sand is applied. A 14/20 may work better or a 12/20 may work well.
 
More leaching is needed to reduce excess salts. Gypsum will reduce the alkalinity but residual sulfate apparently needs to be leached.

 

BRZ™ IN A USGA GREENSMIX

Tests were conducted and reported on November 01, 2002 by Tifton Physical Soil Testing Laboratory of Tifton, Georgia for physical and particle analysis of a 90/10 sand/peat mix and a soil amendment mixed at 10%, 15%, 20%, by volume.

Tests were also conducted by NCDA for a soil chemical analysis on a soil from a newly planted nursery green which was built with 20% BRZ™ on half the green and a sand/soil/peat mix on the other half. Also measured was a soil sample from a green currently in play on the same course (G2 bent on 85:15 sand: peat mix).

As expected, the BRZ™ amended greensmix performed better on both the physical test and the chemical analysis than any of the other mixes; sand/peat, or sand/peat/soil.

Notes per Tifton Physical Test:

• Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity increased as much a 2” per hour.
• Capillary & Non-Cap pore space increased
• Water Retention at field capacity improved with BRZ™
• The greensmix improved as more BRZ™ was added.

Notes per NCDA chemical analysis:
• The Cation Exchange Capacity improved significantly with the BRZ™
• Soil available potassium levels were raised
• Calcium levels were elevated v. sand/peat but slightly less than mix “in play”

Observations:

Clearly, the physical and chemical performance of a greensmix is better with the addition of BRZ™, and the performance of the mix improved as higher volumes of BRZ™ were added. Consequently, the BRZ™ amended greensmix should be easier to maintain. Less irrigation water and fertility applications would be required, and possibly, less fungicide would be needed as a result. Less inputs would reduce labor, disrupt play less and lower costs to maintain the greens.

For the newly established green, 100% coverage of the surface occurred three weeks earlier and the health of the turf and root system was visually evident. Fluctuation in color, density and leaf textures have been much less on the BRZ™ ˝ of the new nursery green. Building a green with 5 to 10 percent BRZ™ would speed establishment, improve long-term performance, and save money.