Falls mill offering wood ash

Boise Cascade of International Falls is looking to bring wood ash from its paper mill into Rainy River District to spread on agricultural land.
The ash contains potassium and other nutrients and elements that can be beneficial to agriculture. It also contains an appreciable amount of liming material, which can be beneficial in raising soil pH.
This ash program has been going on in northern Minnesota for the last eight years, providing lime and fertilizer to more than 10,000 acres in a 70-mile radius of International Falls.
This past spring and summer, the ash was spread on roughly 400 acres in Rainy River District.
In order to receive wood ash, the farm site must demonstrate a need for lime and/or potash fertilizer, as well as meet Ministry of the Environment criteria.
Prior to receiving any wood ash for pH adjustment, the need for it must have been established using a suitable soil test.
Generally, this means a soil test taken within the past year which shows the soil is acidic and has a pH which is less than 6.5.
The soil test report must clearly identify which field(s) (Lot #, conc. #, and Part of Lot description) the sample(s) was (were) taken from.
If the ash is to be applied to land as a potash fertilizer, again the need for it must have been established using a recent soil test.
There is no exact minimum level, but a rule of thumb for showing the need for potash is a soil test of less than 150 parts per million (ppm) of potassium.
If the soil test indicates a farm site can benefit from the application of the ash, the results are forwarded to the MoE along with the property location/legal description.
The MoE ensures there is a nearby water course and begins the process of issuing a Certificate of Approval for the spreading of the ash.
A company from the U.S. brings the wood ash into the district, piles it on site, and then spreads it for the producer. Currently this is all done for free.
Wood ash is considered a non-agriculture source material under the Nutrient Management Act. As such, as of Dec. 31, 2008 a producer will need a Nutrient Management Plan in order to have it spread on agricultural land.
Here’s your chance to get a free, beneficial product if your soils qualify.
If you are interested in this program, contact me at the OMAFRA office in Emo (1-800-461-6132).
Dates to remember
•Nov. 6-9—Large animal clinic dates for Dr. Blair Simonson (call 274-7393 to book an appointment).

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