After 40 years, NACHURS liquid fertilizer
can still pass the test.
A 5 gallon 40-year-old container of 5-10-5 NACHURS liquid fertilizer was discovered tucked away in a corner of the Wheatland Mill and Elevator Company in Wheatland, Iowa. The discovery was made by the owner of the elevator.
Over 60 years ago, local residents were purchasing the 5-gallon containers for use in their gardens. People were paying up to $40 for a 5-gallon container of NACHURS 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer.
A Clear Premium Liquid Fertilizer
During a meeting in Red Oak, Iowa, the 5 gallon container of 5-10-5 was presented to former Nachurs Alpine Solutions President John Kelly. In front of an audience and the local media, the seal was broken. A clear premium liquid fertilizer poured evenly and cleanly from the can. It was almost as if the fertilizer had been put in a time capsule. The product seemed as good today as it did 40 years ago.
Steve Keller, Nachurs Alpine Solutions former chemist, examined the fertilizer and concluded that the fertilizer is as good today as it was 40 years ago. According to Keller, the 5-10-5 analysis contained 5.36 total percent of nitrogen, 10.8 total percent of phosphorus (P2O5) and 5.07 total percent of potash (K2O).
Still a True Solution
Keller said a lot of liquid fertilizers would have settled out after a short period of time. The 40-year-old NACHURS liquid fertilizer is still a true solution. The high purity of raw materials and the near neutral pH prevented the 5-10-5 analysis from settling out. The consistent and stable fertilizer was stored for four decades without any deterioration.
The fertilizer was brought back to the Marion headquarters and examined by Herb Petrich, President of Nachurs Alpine Solutions from 1953-1963. Mr. Petrich explained that the fertilizer was produced prior to 1949, which was the year Nachurs Alpine Solutions began selling directly to farmers. From 1946-1949, 5 gallon containers such as this one were sold to nurseries, greenhouses, golf courses and institutions. This 5-10-5 analysis was the first formula developed by Nachurs Alpine Solutions in 1946.
The fertilizer that was found was in a tin container. According to Mr. Petrich, tin containerswere only used after World War II due to the difficulty in buying the round 5 gallon drums after the war. The 5 gallon drums were used by NACHURS prior to the war and as soon as they became available after the war (in 1949), the 5 gallon drums were once again used.
Near Neutral pH
Most fertilizers are corrosive and wouldhave rusted through a tin container. Although the exterior of the can had minor atmospheric-caused corrosion, Keller advised that the interior of the tin can had no corrosion. Keller’s analysis of the fertilizer showed that the fertilizer still had a near neutral pH.
Even over 60 years ago, Nachurs Alpine Solutions used only the highest quality raw materials. The raw materials used then differed slightly from the ones used today. The nitrogen was supplied by urea, the phosphorus source was phosphoric acid and diammonium phosphate, and the potash came from dry potassium hydroxide.
Today, the nitrogen in NACHURS fertilizers comes from ammonia, ammonium thiosulfate and white prilled urea. The phosphorus is furnaced grade white phosphoric acid and the potash is liquid potassium hydroxide.
Pictures Above (Top to Bottom)
- The original NACHURS 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer
- (L-R) President John Kelly and Herb Petrich, Past President and Co-Founder of NACHURS ALPINE SOLUTIONS
- (L-R) John Kelly, former president of NACHURS ALPINE SOLUTIONS; Keith Peterson,former Manager of Red Oak Plant; and Steve Keller, former Director, Technical Services