Phosphorus content

Your article on more manure and less land [“Pollution control,” October 2002, page 74] is another unscientific article that does not answer the question of what truly causes algae to grow. Just because the soil is rich in phosphorus does not mean that the phosphorus will make the algae grow. Soil has a tremendous ability to absorb phosphorus. This means that it is not readily available for algae production. The greatest threat to lakes and rivers is phosphorus that is readily available or that is soluble. Examples of soluble phosphorus are water that comes from treatment plants, fertilizers that are dumped directly into water, and runoff from plants, especially grasses.

I am going to send you an outline of my daughter's experiment that shows that soil actually slows down the process of algae growth. This is valuable information and should be repeated as scientific work. It shows that it is the type of phosphorus that is a problem and not the amount (soluble phosphorus vs. soil-attached phosphorus).
Richard Wurtzberger
via e-mail

Editor's note: You are right in saying our pollution control article is unscientific. A proper scientific explanation of what causes algae growth in water would take an entire book. Unfortunately, we had two and a half pages, which was just barely enough to alert readers to the fact the EPA (based on its 30 years of scientific study) is going to severely limit what farmers can do with manure based on phosphorus content. Is the EPA wrong? We can't begin to say. What we do know is that EPA regs are going to change “business as usual” for farmers.

In the meantime, the best we can do is look at a few of the solutions farmers can turn to for controlling phosphorus content in manure. Our hope is that some of the information we provided will help farmers save money and stay in business in the face of yet another regulatory challenge.

Hydraulic valve kits

I have a Kelly 40, 3-pt. backhoe that I would like to convert into a closed center system. The kit I need is a BCV 165 High Pressure Carryover Kit for the Hydreco V33 series valve. Would you know of someone to contact?
Jerry D. Johnson
Bancroft, IA

Hydreco V33 valves are no longer being manufactured, but you can get parts for the kit from Perfection Hydraulics, 2220 Perfection Ct., Evansville, IN 47711, 800/624-4862, www.perfhyd.com.

Wagon parts

I need parts for an older Heider gravity box wagon. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Dan Bartlett
Solon, IA

For gearbox parts only, contact Scranton Mfg., Box 336, Scranton, IA 51462, 800/831-1856. We were unable to locate any companies that carry other parts for your Heider wagons.

How to reach us

Write to us at fin@primediabusiness.com; Farm Industry News, 7900 International Dr., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55425; or www.farmindustrynews.com (click on e-mail). We assume all letters to be for publication. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.