When Ronald Reagan was running for his first term in office, he was trying to identify the issue that was most important to that particular election, but that his opponents did not want to discuss. It was at that time he uttered the now famous words, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That shifted the focus from the less important things that his opponents were trying to stress to the one thing that was most important to the voters in that campaign.
In the business of manufacturing organic fertilizers we see some similarities. Many of our competitors stress all kinds of features and benefits that are merely side dressing. They completely ignore the real issue: the amino acid content of an organic fertilizer. Why? Because they know their products are lacking in that category. The focus needs to be shifted back to where it should be by telling them, “It’s the amino acids, dummy”.
When an organic fertilizer is applied to the soil it is a food source for the microbes. Initially there is very little in a pure organic fertilizer that can be directly used by the plants. The energy source for these microbes is carbon and carbon is contained in amino acids. The microbes consume this energy and use it to build their populations to higher levels. They have life cycles of about twenty minutes, so they are constantly dying off and releasing nutrients in the forms that can be used by plants. It is obvious then that the fertilizer that contains the highest level of amino acids is the one that will ultimately provide the most nutrition for the plant.
What you are really purchasing when buying an organic fertilizer is a pile of amino acids, not an NPK source. When you purchases a product that has a high percentage of amino acids, you are getting a bigger pile of amino acids for your money. If you purchases a ton of a typical manure based product that contains between 5% and 10% amino acids, you will getting between 100 and 200 pounds of amino acids for your money. If, on the other hand, you purchase a ton of Nature Safe 10-2-8, which contains 60.28% amino acids, you will be getting over 1,200 pounds of amino acids for your money.
When viewed in those terms, it is relatively easy to see where you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
The traditional way of comparing fertilizers is to look at the cost per pound of nitrogen that is being applied. A better comparison would be the number of pounds of amino acids that are being applied for every pound of nitrogen. That is usually calculated on the basis of pounds per thousand square feet. The following chart shows the number of pounds of amino acids that are being applied per 1,000 square feet when each fertilizer is applied at the rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
The amount of amino acids that are being provided is only part of the story. The other important consideration is the availability or the digestibility of the amino acids provided. The amino acids in Nature Safe are pet food grade amino acids that are all produced in our own plants. This allows Nature Safe to carefully control the way its proteins are produced to insure consistency and that they are very digestible by soil microbes. Other companies do not produce their own ingredients, so they do not have the kind of control that guarantees both digestibility and consistency.