Skip to Content

Author Archives: Darren Hayes

  1. How Seaweed Extract Is Used in Horticulture and Agriculture Products

    Leave a Comment

    Recently, seaweed extract has been increasingly embraced as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative or addition to chemical fertilizers. This substance is derived from various seaweed species. It is also a natural and can be an organic source (if harvested from organic sectors) of essential minerals, vitamins, and trace elements that foster healthy plant development and enrich soil quality.

    In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about seaweed extract in the horticulture and agriculture industries.

    Seaweed Extract in Agriculture and Horticulture Products

    Seaweed and kelp extracts are widely recognized and utilized in horticulture and agriculture. They are frequently applied to vegetables, fruit, turf, trees, ornamentals, and flower crops to fortify frost resistance and facilitate seed germination.

    Most seaweed extracts employed in agriculture come from brown algae, especially Ascophyllum nodosum, which is abundant in the intertidal region of the Northern Hemisphere. Brown seaweeds contain substances that aid in boosting plant resistance to different environmental pressures, such as drought, salt, and extreme temperatures.

    The Alkaline Extraction

    Alkaline extraction is a popular technique used to extract seaweed extract from Ascophyllum nodosum. This method utilizes Potassium carbonate (K2CO3)or Potassium hydroxide (KOH) to break down the cell walls of the seaweed and release the beneficial bioactive compounds.

    Removing any debris or impurities is the first stage in the extraction procedure. The seaweed is then heated to a precise pH level and temperature and mixed with an alkaline solution. After extraction, the mixture is neutralized with an acid to prevent an alkaline reaction. Lastly, the residual particles are filtered out of the solution.

    Seaweed Extract Products

    Most products are offered in both organic-use (OMRI) and non-organic variations. OMRI-listed seaweed extracts undergo a stringent certification process to meet the required standards. Moreover, the raw materials utilized in producing organic use seaweed extracts must be natural, and the extraction process must be free of synthetic chemicals and other harmful substances.

    On the other hand, products that do not have an organic label may incorporate synthetic chemicals, preservatives, or additives. These products are still widely used, however, they are incompatible with organic farming or gardening practices.

    The products are normally available in liquid and soluble powder forms. The liquid form is popular due to its versatility and ease of use. It can be sprayed straight onto the plant or mixed with irrigation water. Meanwhile, soluble powder products are designed to dissolve in water for easier application. They are suitable for large-scale farming or gardening operations.

    Types of Application Method

    Seaweed extract products can be applied to plants and crops through various methods, such as irrigation or foliar. Irrigation refers to blending seaweed extract with water and administering it to the soil or root zone through irrigation systems. This approach enables the plants to consume the advantageous components via their roots, which can foster robust root development.

    Foliar application is a spraying method of applying seaweed extract directly to the plant’s leaves. The plant absorbs the beneficial compounds through the leaves, improving the plant’s ability to withstand stress. This technique is commonly used to prevent diseases and insect infestations or to address nutrient deficiencies.

    Partner With North American Kelp for High-Quality Seaweed Extracts

    North American Kelp is a trustworthy supplier of seaweed extracts that are sustainably sourced and responsibly produced! Our products provide a rich and natural source of essential minerals and vitamins that benefit plants and animals. If you would like to learn more about our products, please visit our page.

    Contact us today to partner with us!

  2. Kelp Meals for Animals and Plants

    Leave a Comment

    Kelp fertilizer or kelp meal is derived from kelp seaweeds, large brown seaweeds found in shallow coastal waters. While it is true that all seaweed products are valuable in providing macro and micronutrients, kelp appears to offer even more benefits than others.

    Kelp contains more than 50 vitamins and minerals, such as iodine, amino acids, thiamin, and vitamins A, C, and B12. These organic fertilizers have recently grown in popularity in households and businesses because they have been proven to improve soil fertility and plant growth.

    In this article, we will take a closer look at the effects and benefits of kelp meals as organic fertilizer and animal feed supplements and how to use them effectively.

    Kelp Meals As A Soil Conditioner

    Kelp meal is an excellent addition to the garden that you can use on various crops. It provides plants with valuable micronutrients and vitamins. It also enhances soil structure, lessens drought stress, and improves plant tolerance to frost and insect pests.

    Benefits of Kelp Meals for Plants

    Here are some additional advantages of using kelp meals as a soil conditioner:

    • They are suitable for crops with high potassium, like soybean, strawberry, tomatoes, lettuce, and potatoes.
    • They enhance plant root mass, which helps in creating a solid structure for nutrient and water absorption from the soil.
    • They are ideal for chemical-free planting and farming because they are natural.
    • They have high levels of iodine, which helps repel insects, bugs, and pests.
    • They enhance the efficiency of any soil or potting mix, allowing you to get the most out of a small amount of space.

    How To Use Kelp Meal As A Soil Conditioner

    Kelp meal is available at garden centers and online markets. The easiest method is spreading it around the base of the plants, crops, shrubs, and flowers you want to grow and harvest. It can also be used as a plant potting medium or mixed directly into the soil.

    Here are other kelp meal tips for your specific application:

    • Squashes: Sprinkle a small quantity early in the growing season and on the base of the plants to help deter squash bags. You may repeat this process every ten days to keep pests away.
    • Garlic: Soak in kelp meal tea for one to two hours before planting. You can easily make tea by combining ¼ cup of kelp meal and one gallon of water. Let it steep for one to three days and stir daily.
    • Stressed and dehydrated plants and crops: Use liquid kelp over dry kelp meal for faster absorption and reaction.
    • Plants and crops frequently exposed to extreme temperatures: Use liquid kelp as a foliar spray.
    • Vegetable gardens and flowerbeds: Apply one to two pounds of kelp meal per 100 square feet and mix it into the top three inches of soil.

    Kelp Meals As Animal Feed Supplements

    Kelp meals meet the trace element demands of animals typically lacking in mineral mixes, land-grown feeds, and pastures due to erosion and leaching. Moreover, research findings indicate that farmers and breeders rely on them to ensure the health and productivity of their animals.

    Benefits of Kelp Meals for Animals

    There are substantial advantages to using kelp meals as animal feed supplements for chickens, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and other poultry creatures:

    • They enhance animal feed utilization.
    • They reduce or eliminate breeding problems for pigs and cows.
    • They are helpful in animal metabolism because they contain high levels of iodine.
    • They boost overall gains, such as milk production in cows, egg production in chickens, and weight in pigs, cattle, and horses.
    • They minimize internal parasites in pigs.

    How To Use Kelp Meal As Feed Supplement

    Here are some suggested feeding rates for animals. These generally range within one to two percent of the feed ration:

    • Horses: ½ oz. per day
    • Dairy cows and cattle: 2-4 oz. per day
    • Goats: 2% of the food ration
    • Chickens: 1% of the total feed pre-mixed
    • Sheep: 2% of the food ration
    • Turkeys: 1-2% of the total feed pre-mixed
    • Dogs (standard size): 1 teaspoon per day
    • Cats: ¼ teaspoon per day

    Quality Kelp Meals From North American Kelp

    For over 50 years, North American Kelp has been your trusted provider of responsibly and sustainably sourced kelp products. Our products are single-ingredient, renewable sources of minerals and vitamins for your animals and plants. We use a delicate drying process to preserve the seaweed’s nutrients, color, and a savory flavor, leading to an appetizing supplement that livestock and pets enjoy.

    Our skilled and committed team is ready to help you meet your needs! Contact us today for more information or inquiries about our kelp products.

  3. Uses Of Kelp As A Soil Conditioner

    Leave a Comment

    Soil conditioners improve soil quality by boosting nutrient levels, increasing water absorption, and improving aeration. The most common conditioners include compost, animal manure, vermiculite, peat, and more. While all types universally amplify the health of your soil in one way or another, their benefits and qualities differ.

    If you’re looking for a slow-release soil conditioner for your commercial horticulture or agriculture production or manufacturing operation, kelp meal is an excellent option. This soil-building seaweed product feeds and stimulates beneficial microorganisms and improves soil quality, texture, and water and nutrient-holding capacity.

    In this article, we will walk you through the uses and benefits of kelp meal as a soil conditioner.

    What Is Kelp?

    Kelp is a large brown seaweed that grows in cool, shallow waters near the coast.  The variety Ascophyllum nodosum grows primarily off the coast of Maine, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, and Norway. The nutrient dense ocean provides a great environment for the seaweed to grow and flourish.

    Kelp meal, is made from dried and ground seaweed which can then be used in agriculture to improve soil fertility and promote plant growth. Kelp meals typically have a low NPK, or nitrate-phosphate-potassium ratio, and are predominantly used as a trace mineral source. Also, they provide beneficial micronutrients, and vitamins that aid in increasing yields, improving soil conditions, reducing drought stress, and increasing frost tolerance.

    What Are the Uses and Benefits of Kelp in Soil Conditioning?

    The cell structure of kelp aids in the filtering of seawater for rich nutrients. This continuous filtration process allows kelp to grow rapidly, sometimes reaching three ft. (91 cm.) per day. Moreover, kelp is considered a renewable and abundant resource due to its rapid growth rate.

    Here are the advantages of using kelp seaweed as soil conditioners:

    Improves Soil Microbial Activity

    Kelp is high in protein, iodine, and other minerals beneficial to the soil. With its variety of nutrients, this fertilizer choice energizes and feeds Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR). Thus, it can help germinate seeds faster, promote rooting, and produce larger flowers and buds. [Our kelp meal isn’t a registered fertilizer and doesn’t have a NPK claim, so we can’t call it a fertilizer]

    Enhances Water Holding Capacity

    Carrageenan, or the polysaccharide giving kelps their “gelling effect,” aids in water retention, allowing the soil to remain hydrated for an extended period.

    Provides Natural Ingredients and Nutrients

    Kelp has the advantage of being a completely natural, product that contains over 70 vitamins and minerals. You can apply kelp meal in any soil and not worry about toxic substances and other waste byproducts.

    SeaLife Kelp Meals for Soils From North American Kelp

    SeaLife Kelp Meals for Soils is a graded kelp meal soil conditioner that uses the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum. We collect the seaweed off the coast of Maine’s and dry it at a low temperature to maintain its beneficial nutrients, trace elements, amino acids, and carbohydrates.

    North American Kelp has been your dependable source of responsibly and sustainably sourced kelp products for over 50 years! Our experience makes us a leader in the seaweed industry. Let us help you integrate kelp meal into your soil conditioner regimen or products.

    Contact us today to learn more about kelp and the products we offer!

  4. How To Use Kelp for Animal Supplements

    Leave a Comment

    With its high nutritional value, kelp is considered one of the most sought-after superfoods for human and animal diets. It carries various micronutrients, making it an all-natural feed supplement. The environment where kelp grows also provides it with over 100 bioavailable vitamins and minerals.

    In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of kelp and how to effectively include kelp as part of an animal’s diet.

    The Nutritional Benefits of Kelp

    Kelp absorbs minerals and micronutrients from the sea, making it among the most nutrient-dense foods available. It is an excellent source of more than 60 different minerals and contains 21 amino acids and 12 vitamins easily absorbed by the body. Some nutrients packed in kelp include copper, calcium, carotenoids, dietary sodium, fiber, folate, flavonoids, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and zinc.

    Kelp’s trace minerals are beneficial in promoting good health and immune functions. They also help reduce the risk of nutritional disorders like milk fever and grass tetany, reduces ruminal methane production, and balances a diet of dried feed and roughage.

    Animals That Benefit From Kelp

    Animals like cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats benefit from kelp in numerous ways. This supplement improves feed utilization, serves as an excellent source of iodine, improves milk production, and supports weight gain. It also helps reduce breeding problems, internal parasites, white muscle disease, and wool shedding.

    For dairy cows, kelp helps increase the iodine content and milk butterfat levels with fewer fluctuations. It also decreases the chance of mastitis, milk fever, and breeding problems.

    Chickens also benefit from kelp; the supplement increases egg production, and strengthens the eggs’ shells. Finally, kelp promotes flexibility and improves the sheen of the skin and coat of dogs, cats, horses, and the like.

    Portion Recommendation When Using Kelp as an Animal Supplement

    Because of kelp’s leathery texture, it is not easy for animals to eat. So, to easily add this plant to their diet, it is dried and turned into pellets or grains. During the process, low heating temperatures are maintained to preserve the nutrients.

    Here are recommended feeding ratios for livestock and pets:

    • Dairy and beef cattle: 2 to 4 oz. per day
    • Calves: 1 to 2 oz. per day
    • Range cattle: Free choice at two parts meal to one part salt mix
    • Horses, sheep, and goats: ¼ to ½ oz. per day
    • Swine: Free choice or 50 lbs. to 2000 lbs. of complete ration
    • Chickens: 1% of total feed pre-mixed
    • Turkeys: 1 to 2% of total feed pre-mixed
    • Dogs: ¼ teaspoon per 25 lbs. body weight
    • Cats: 1 pinch or 1/16 teaspoon per day

    Kelp Feed Supplements From North American Kelp

    North American Kelp is your reliable source of kelp feed supplements for your pets and livestock. Our Sealife™ kelp meal is made from 100% wild-harvested seaweed from the Maine coast and is suited for year-round supplementation. It is high in iodine to help foster a healthy immune system for animals and help boost the iodine content in their milk. Plus, Sealife™ is rich in vitamins, calcium, and magnesium to help balance crucial electrolytes and reduce risks of milk fever and grass tetany.

    If you’re looking for an excellent natural feed supplement for your animals, North American Kelp is the partner you need! Contact us today for more information about our kelp products!