Building Soil With Sea Minerals
Although Lynn Buhr has always had an interest in ranching and organic agriculture, it has not always been his career. In fact, he graduated from college with a degree in mechanical engineering and then spent 27 years as a chiropractor. However, Lynn is now living his dream as the proud owner of Rocky Springs Ranch.
Lynn and his wife Pat moved from Davenport, Iowa to Springdale, Ark., in 1972 to open a chiropractic office. Five years later, they moved to a 40-acre farm near Elm Springs, Ark. While raising two children, the couple eventually increased the size of their farm to 140 acres.
“We were always looking toward better quality – better living conditions for the animals and better soil conditions. So we’ve been interested in natural soil improvement, organic farming and grass-fed beef all along,” Lynn said.
They built up the soil over 25years with repeated applications of calcium phosphate colloidal clay, dolomite-free lime and small amounts of chicken, horse and cow manure.
“We started over there with red clay and rocks, but after those 25 years, we had 8 to 9 inches of black loam soil in most places,” Lynn said.
They sold the Elm Springs acreage three years ago and moved to their current home six miles east of Siloam Springs, Ark. The couple owns 12 Arabian horses and 160 commercial Black Angus cows that they keep on their 500 acres of pasture and grassland, plus 200 leased acres. Lynn said they are working hard to build up the soil on their new place.
“I have found that one of the major factors in replenishing the soil on our land at this time is the use of sea minerals,” Lynn said. “Five years ago, I started reading about the use of sea minerals to build the soil in Acres USA, a national organic farming publication. I then started reading more and more books about how sea minerals were a perfect fertility enhancer.”
Lynn experimented for a few years with the sea minerals and started to realize the impact they were making on his land. He said he first treated 50 acres of Bermuda grass with the sea minerals and saw a significant difference in the color and amount of the grass compared to the untreated area. By year two, he was sold.
“We had a 50 percent increase in hay produced on every field where the product was used,” Lynn said. “We were also surprised when the cattle would eat every bit of the bales from the treated fields before even touching the others.”
The Buhrs were so impressed with the sea minerals, they became a distributor for a company in January 2007 and later began selling their own product – Sea Minerals from Arkansas – in early fall 2007.
In addition to the positive impact sea minerals made on the land, Lynn said it was a less expensive alternative to commercial fertilizer. He is able to fertilize an acre for $3 per application with a maximum of five applications per year.
“Not only is it a cheaper method, but sea minerals have a lasting effect on the soil as compared to commercial fertilizer that is gone from the soil after one growing season,” he said. “These sea mineral nutrients stay in the soil from year to year and build and enhance the soil back to the way it was before this area was highly inhabited.”
Lynn said sea minerals also make great free-choice mineral for cattle. The cows will consume less than two pounds per month. It has been shown to decrease cell count in dairy cattle and plays a key role in producing better quality organic milk.
The Buhrs are busy setting up distributors in Missouri for their product and hope to do the same in Oklahoma and Arkansas after completing the states’ application processes.
“We see this material and its different applications making revolutionary changes in agriculture across the Midwest, and we’re going to be growing healthier foods because we don’t have to apply as many single-quantity chemicals to the soil.”