Ag Marketplace

What In The World Is Diatomaceous Earth?

And, What Can It Do For The Livestock Producer? Farmer? Animal Owner?
By Janet "J.D." Sands

Millions of years ago, in all the waters of the earth, mircoscopic one-celled plants called diatoms took the minerals from the waters and created protective shells for themselves. Diatoms once lived in quantities far beyond the minds ability to conceive, and as they died their shells drifted to the bottom of the sea beds. In this manner, vast deposits of diatom shells were laid down. Through the history of man's existence, a wide variety of valuable uses have been found for what has come to be called "diatomaceous earth." There are now more than 1,500 ways in which man benefits from this incredible material left by diatoms, Silicon Dioxide, along with a smattering of trace minerals.

Acording to Perma-Guard's Wally Thorpe, there are many varieties of diatoms, and the preponderance of the type of diatom in any given deposit will give that deposit certain characteristics greatly differing to other deposits. Perma-Guard, Inc, is an Albequerque, New Mexico, based company specializing in producing agricultural and livestock-related products, all utilizing diatomaceous earth.

Thorpe also tells us there are two primary types of diatomaceous earth deposits. Since three-fourths of the earth is covered with oceans, most deposits are of the salt water type. There are deposits which also occur in fresh water lakes and within this second type of deposit, the purity is exceptional. In fact, says Thorpe, who utilizes only fresh water deposits in his products, "It is so pure that the Food and Drug Administration has given it a "food-grade" designation.

The governments of the United States and Canada recognize that fossil shell flour is safe to use in animal foods in an amount not to exceed 2 percent by weight of the total feed ration. When added at this percentage, fossil shell flour prevents "clumping" of feed particles by keeping them separate, so there is improved flowability, mixability and handling of the animal feed. This in turn, creates two big advantages to the animals who consume fossil shell flour at the recommended feed ration. First, acting as an anti-caking agent to prevent "clumping" of feed particles, the surface area of feed exposed to the digestive processes - both bacterial and enzymatic - is increased and therefore more feed isactually digested and utilized. Secondly, fossil shell flour contains a small amount of 14 trace minerals.

Simply understanding what diatomaceous earth (DE) is wouldn't mean very much to any of us, however, without the awareness of what pure diatomaceous earth products can do for us as livestock and animal breeders, feed crop producers, farmers, ranchers - even as pet and home owners. There is evidence, for example, that ancient Chinese added DE to their animal feeds 5,000 years ago, and verious countries in Europe have been using DE as an animal food additive for some time now. The Perma-Guard company, with the help of Arizona State University, obtained a patent on adding DE to animal feeds in the United States in the early 1960's. Since that time, thousands of animal owners and livestock breeders have discovered that adding fossil shell flour to their animals' rations has produced a number of incredible benefits.

In upcoming issues of the Rocky Mountain Livestock Journal, we'll be looking at several incredible stories and testimonials of livestock breeders and animal owners who talk about the beneficts theey have experienced by adding fossil shell flour to their animal's feed. But fossil shell flour is just one aspect of Perma-Guards ag products.

Perma-Guard insecticides have passed exaustive tests, many of them under the scrutiny of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Kansas State University, and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Over the years these products have scored dramatic successes in protecting stored grain and seed, growing crops, homes and industrial plants from insect infestations, without the addition of any chlorinated phosphates, systemic poisons or chemical compounds commonly found in almost all commercial insecticides. With environmental and food proptection issues a concern top all of us, the Perma-Guard company has become a revolution in the insecticide field.

While other insecticides kill chemically, and insects, most usually over time develop an immunity to the chemicals, Perma-Guard insecticides kill bugs physically and insects have not yet been developed immunity to a physical action. Perma-Guard insecticides are certain death to insects because they kill by actually puncturing the insect's exoskeleton, disrupting its soft waxy shell structure, chewing up its digestive organs and causing death in a short time by dehydration. In addition to the action of the diatomaceous earth on bugs and insects, which is certainly non-toxic to humans and animals, some Perma-Guard insecticides also contain Pyrethrum, a vegetable, digestible extract from a variety of Chrysanthemum flower. that is deadly poison to insects and other forms of cold blooded life, but virtualy non-toxic to warm-blooded life.

Another ingredient used in Perma-Guard's household insecticide and pet powder (an effective flea/tick/mite application for animals, from pets to buffalo to ratites) is Piperonyl Butoxide, which was first discovered in Sassafras plants. Although an insecticide in its own right, Piperonyl Butoxide's greatest value is that it multiplies the action of Pyrethrum by a power of ten! Due to their ingredients, Perma-Guard insecticides have a remarkable repellency factor that is ever-present in any environment in which they are regularly used. Bugs just don't feel welcome.

Aside from Perma-Guard's household insecticide, proven effective against ants, roaches, silverfish, crickets, fleas, bedbugs, certain types of beetles, box elder bugs and useful in protecting exposed, stored food against insect pests, Perma-Guard also makes a D-10 insecticide for grain or seed storage. Field crops can be protected from insect damage too. by applying Perma-Guard systematically throughout the growing season. The wise grower will apply prior to insect infestation. And, get this! Perma-Guard insecticide products, which have been proven to be effective when used in a prescribed crop application program, also can be used safely, even to the day of harvest!

For further information on Perma-Guard's products and the use of diatomaceous earth in livestock and agricultural industries, watch for upcoming issues of this publication.

Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth

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