Physicists tell us that all matter has an electrical ability to be either attracted or repelled by a magnet. If matter is attracted to a magnet, it is said to be paramagnetic. If the matter is repelled, it is said to be diamagnetic. There are big differences in degree of attraction and repulsion among various materials. The paramagnetism of many elements and compounds can be found in physics handbooks. The actual paramagnetic value of rocks, metals, fertilizers, elements, and soils can be measured with a magnetic meter (called the Phil Callahan Soil Meter), available from Pike Labs (see www.pikeagri.com ).
While many materials are paramagnetic, it is the highly magnetic volcanic rock that is used as the soil additive and conditioner. To understand how it works, think of paramagnetic rock as a conduit for gathering the electro-magnetic energy of the cosmos. In the soil, this "gathering power" sets up a flow of energy from the paramagnetic material to other material that is diamagnetic (e.g. plant material and compost). The higher the soil CGS value, the higher the flow of energy. It is this flow of energy that is responsible for increased microbial development and the resulting plant growth. Other paramagnetic materials include charred wood, ash, air, oxygen, water, calcium, potassium, sodium, and soil. As a rule, paramagnetic rock does not provide minerals for plants. Paramagnetic rock is sometimes referred to as lava sand. Many soils will have paramagnetic values that are less than 100, with some as low as 25. These will not be highly productive soils. The unit of measure is CGS, (centimeter/grams/second), which is gauss/million, i.e. the measurement of the magnetic flux density.
Most organic molecules, e.g. plants, are diamagnetic. You can actually observe this. Try transplanting very tiny carrot plants, with hair-like roots. As you stick the carrot root into a small hole in the soil, the carrot root actually bends as if attracted by the soil (which is exactly what is taking place).
Soils with high organic matter and high biological activity are usually higher in paramagnetic values. Paramagnetic values can also be increased by correcting the calcium/magnesium to the 7:1 ideal ratio and raising the oxygen level in the soil. All the systems in the soil work together. The higher the organic matter in the soil, with the accompanying biological activity, the more affective it will be with the addition of paramagnetic rock. The following soil paramagnetic readings can serve as a guide:
0 - 100 = not good soil
100 - 300 = good soil
300 - 700 = very good soil
700 - 1,200 = excellent soil
The Value of Paramagnetic Rock: The most important point about paramagnetism is that it contributes to plant growth. Dr. Phil Callahan, the guru in this discipline, says unequivocally, that paramagnetism is required for plant growth. He and others list the values of high paramagnetic soils as increased water retention, increased microbial stimulation, improved nutrient utilization, and something referred to as increased light energy. Other benefits in the soil include increased seed germination and flowering, improved insect resistance, increased frost and drought hardiness, and more earthworms in the soil. It has also been shown to assist in overcoming the effects of toxins (atrazine) in the soil.
Paramagnetic rock can also be beneficial when added to compost piles. It increases the biological activity, which in turn speeds up the rates of decomposition.
Australian agriculture consultant, Graeme Sait,tests all his clients' soils for paramagnetic value. If low, he recommends a highly paramagnetic rock. Callahan, in his book, Paramagnetism, writes about the great healing places in the world as being highly paramagnetic. Likewise there are interesting facts connecting paramagnetism to Round Towers in Ireland, as well as indian mounds and the pyramids.
The rate of application is dependent on the CGS values of paramagnetic rock and the soil to which it is to be applied. For my garden, my goal is to get the paramagnetic value in the 300-700 (very good) range. I have a good soil, and have increased the organic matter content to about 4%, but before adding any paramagnetic rock, the paramagnetic value averaged 85. I did some testing, and by thoroughly mixing paramagnetic rock to an 8-inch depth, with rates of ¼ pound, ½ pound, and 1 pound per square foot, I could raise the CGS values of my garden soil to 250, 475, and 565 respectively. A cup of paramagnetic rock weighs about ½ pound. I have tested many garden soils in the area, and almost all are below 100, with some as low as 25. I have now applied 1 pound per square foot over my entire garden. This may seem like a very high rate, but remember that the magnetic, energy-collecting value remains in place for centuries.
Callahan, Phillip S. 1995. Paramagnetism --Rediscovering Nature's Secret Force of Growth. 128 pages. See www.acresusa.com.
Sait, Graeme. 2003. Nutrition Rules! 308 pages. See www.acresusa.com