Treatment of plants and seed with the Sonic Bloom process – a combination of foliar-fed nutrients and pulsed sound – have appeared in previous issues of this paper. The purpose of the present article is to review some of the impressive results obtained by Dan Carlson’s clients over the 1985 growing season in various parts of the American midwest, Florida, Arizona and, particularly, in northern New Mexico, San Juan Pueblo, an Indian community not far from Santa Fe.

In the last instance, master gardener Gabriel Howearth conducted meticulous field tests on five crops: peppers, tomatoes, melons, corn, and amaranth.


Harold Aungst, Pennsylvania dairy farmer, had a chance to win the state-wide contest for alfalfa tonnage per acre. Aungst showed me photographs of his alfalfa field with plants measuring five feet tall.

The official report of the 1985 Pennsylvania Alfalfa Growers’ Program, sponsored by the state’s Grassland Council and the State University at College Station became available in February 1986. With 7.61 tons of alfalfa per acre, produced with only three cuttings, Aungst won his regional five acre contest hands down over 93 other participants and with plants four years old, as against those only two years of age for many other participants. He came in third for "Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN)" as determined on a dry matter basis.

While many of Aungst’s competitors achieved their yields, ranging from 6.03 to 6.85 tons/acre, only through the use of copious and expensive amounts of chemical fertilizers, Aungst’s total costs for Carlson’s nutrients were $50 per acre, which allowed him to realize an officially recorded net profit of $446.75 per acre. Furthermore, Aungst reported that, fed on the Carlsonized alfalfa, his cows used one-third less feed than previously while upping average milk production from 6800 to 7300 pounds per hundred weight per cow.

He has also noticed that his alfalfa plants were favorably stooling out, i.e., sprouting heavy branch growth on the lower part of their stems, which in his eyes augered so well for the 1986 growing season that he confidently expects to achieve a yield this year of 10 to 12 tons per acre, or more.

Also successful with Carlson’s method was Pennsylvania farmer Aaron Zimmerman (see Acres U.S.A., January, 1986) who produced bales of alfalfa each weighing 37-1/2 pounds. On acreage treated with Sonic Bloom, Zimmerman realized 93 bales per acre as against only 37 bales on untreated land, or 3,487 pounds versus 1,387 pounds per acre. No less successful was Chip Struckmeyer, in hot Yuba City, California, who increased his previous alfalfa production by over 60% by spraying the last three of six cuttings, then, for the first time in his career adding a seventh cutting, the only one in the country. Struckmeyer grew up with chemical agriculture, and he knows its successes and its failures, and its legacy. His march to a different drummer was a reasoned reaction.


Corn growers also have come up with impressive results. After treating a hybrid field variety with Sonic Bloom during a growing season that included six weeks without a drop of rain, Jim Blake in Dorchester, Iowa, achieved from 97 to 130 bushels per acre, whereas his neighbors for miles around were averaging only 85 bushels per acre. In a hand-written testimonial, Blake reported: "49 acres were planted on May 7 and 8 in freshly plowed alfalfa sod ground. All acres were sprayed on May 21 with one gallon of liquid calcium, one pint of spray adjuvant, and 1-1/2 pounds of "Blades 80-w" per acre in 20 gallons of water. The spraying was put on with a drag. No starter or added nitrogen was used."

"The Sonic Bloom treated plot was sprayed on May 28, June 4, and July 10 with 10 ounces of nutrient in 10 gallons of water per acre, each application being made between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s. Control strips were sprayed on June 13 with liquid fish and seaweed and 10-8-8 fertilizer at one quart per acre, with a little spray adjuvant."

"My harvest data, taken during the second week of November showed: 96.8 bushels per acre (bpa) on the control land. Treated varieties produced as follows: Dairyland D/S 1008, 97.7 bpa; Dairyland D/S 1008, 111 bpa; Dairyland D/S 1001, 120.5 bpa; Riverside RS 40, 123.8 bpa; Henry’s 12A, 123.8 bpa; Henry’s 21A, 130.3 bpa. (The Henry’s 12A produced 90 to 95% double ears, the other varieties between 40 to 60% double ears)."

Blake’s fellow-Iowan, Doradean Kahl of Cherokee, grew a newly-developed field corn high in lysine, with some of his plants putting out as many as five ears per stalk. At the same time, Kahl also used Carlson’s method to make $1,000 on a small garden of cantaloupe melons that weighed an average 5 to 6 pounds each compared to 1 to 3 pounds for untreated fruits.

In Deer Grove, Illinois, H.W. Hosteller tried Sonic Bloom on seed corn, a crop with normally low yields per ear and requiring intensive labor input. He was elated with the results which earned him a net profit of $416 per acre, or an 18% increase (at $54 a bushel) over untreated controls.


Three growers of sweet corn and other vegetables were equally pleased with their Sonic Bloom derived results. Don Jansen of Fort Meyers, Florida, grower of "Seaponic" vegetables, increased his cucumber count by 400%. In ten rows, each 100 feet long, his vines turned out 17,000 pounds, or 8-1/2 tons, of fruit so appealing he received 50 cents for each "cuke."

On the left bank of the Mississippi River not far from its source, Will Krahn, of River Falls, Wisconsin, tripled his sweet corn yield in his truck garden, attaining three ears on 65% of his cornstalks, and chalked up an estimated 50% plus increase across the board with such table vegetables as onions, tomatoes, peppers, baked beans, sweet peas, cucumbers, and even second-year asparagus. Some 225 miles to the east, Jim Percy of Sturgeon Bay also grew multiple-eared sweet corn; "Big Boy" tomatoes with clusters of 12 to 14 fruits instead of the normal 3 to 4; and the "best-tasting cucumbers I ever grew," for all of which he received premium prices at seven different small stores supplying "organic" produce.


Particularly impressive were tests of the sound and nutrient method run on soybeans by Gerald Carlson, a farmer and senior editor of Professional Farmers of America, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, whose long journalistic experience had made him highly skeptical of Carlson’s claims. In a formal report of his field trials, he stated that average yields were the following:


For untreated crops 37

For crops treated only with "Sonic Bloom" sound 44.2

For crops treated with "Sonic Bloom" sound and three

Sprayings of "Sonic Bloom" nutrients 51

For crops treated with "Sonic Bloom" extra sound and

five sprayings of "Sonic Bloom" nutrients 75.2

Gerald Carlson adds" "These trials were done in strips in three adjacent plots. Pioneer early beans were planted on May 20. The plots treated with sound only out-yielded the same variety on similar soils one-half mile distant and exposed to neither sound nor spray. Additional sprays on the five-spray acreage were applied by hand. Other sprays were applied by hand. Other sprays were applied by ground boom and tractor. Soybeans were visibly larger in treated fields, with an increase in pods per plant, pods numbering from 60 to 100. Clusters of pods were typically 5 to 7 per tract, sometimes as high as 9 per tract. The untreated beans had a tendency to behave like climbing plants, twining themselves both around one another and around the buttonweeds that grew up above the canopy. Treated beans had few nodules on their roots as compared to untreated which had normal nodulation. The extra sound was played continuously during daylight hours for two weeks in June."


At LaBelle, Florida, in the heart of one of Florida’s leading orange-growing centers, Roy McClurg, who will harvest in late March of this year, estimates at least a 30% increase in orange production on the 160 acres he treated. If last year’s prices hold, this will mean a $500 per acre increase in revenue. More significantly, his trees affected, like those of most Florida orangemen, with "young tree decline (YDT)," a so far incurable disease which shrivels their root systems, were beginning, under the Carlson-devised ministration, to return to health as shown by the fact that they were producing 50 to 60 oranges in contrast to untreated YDT trees that were bearing only 5 to 6. McClurg hopes that another year’s treatment of the recovering trees may bring them back to normal, which may imply a revolutionary solution to a disease problem on which the state of Florida has thus far fruitlessly spent millions of dollars of research money.

In mid-Florida’s community of Lake Wales, Rodney Dean, a nurseryman, treated Bitter, Hamlin, and Valencia baby orange trees to find that they quickly doubled in size as compared with untreated stock. The key to the doubling seemed to be the fact that the little trees receiving treatment put out leaves more than twice the size of the half-dollar sized leaves of their untreated neighbors, allowing them to reach a stage for transplanting in the field in two-thirds the time normally required.

Many of the above growers have indicated they intend to increase the number of acres treated in 1986 and Marvin Koehn, a New Order Mennonite farmer in Leoti, Kansas, has signed up to treat 800 acres of corn and sunflowers – for a total cost of $50 per acre – cultivated by himself and his two brothers.

Carlson also has plans to make his process available to the Oliver Garvey Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning in Wichita, Kansas, a holistic medical research institution which plans to start a garden of herbs to test their nutritional qualities. The center’s laboratories will also do careful analyses of Sonic Bloom treated produce to determine increases in its amino acids and other nutritionally important contents.

In 1985, Carlson revealed the following inventory of information:

Sonic bloom has now been tested on over 100 species of plants with marked success.

· A Purple Passion Vine, a houseplant which normally attains a length of no more than 18 inches, grew 1,300 feet back and forth on narrowly spaced wires strung across the ceiling in a living room. The feat is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Carlson told me: "I made about 400 cuttings from that vine and when I sold them, I included my telephone number with each cutting, plus the message: If the plant dies, call me for a replacement. Over three to four months, I got many calls . . . not to say that any of the plants were dying, but to report that all the cuttings had grown from 75 to 100 feet long, out of pots only 4 inches tall."

· Carlsonized huge white cauliflower heads could be packed only four to a box in boxes that normally contain a dozen heads . The Minnesotan farmer who grew the outsized heads which were disease-resistant and of exceptional taste, netted $200,000 on 20 acres, or $10,000 per acre. His costs for the treatment came to only $1,000.

· Soybean plants produced up to 300 pods per plant (30 to 35 pods is normal), with more beans on each side shoot than on any untreated plant. The beans, treated in Wisconsin, contained 27% protein as against a normal 15%.

· Cucumber vines with up to six (instead of just one) cucumber per leaf segment. "I call this challenging the seed," Carlson said.

· Papaya trees on the Big Island of Hawaii with 135 large papayas (normal 30-35). "See where they’ve been trimmed and cut back at the bottom . . . a lot of them usually die after that, but the sprayed trees began to put papayas out all over again," Carlson commented.

· On root systems between treated and untreated winter wheat plants, the treated ones were longer and lusher.

· Eight enormous lettuce heads filled to the brim a box that normally contains 24 heads.

· An old macadamia nut tree in Hawaii considered "past the age of production," was putting out nuts in all stages of maturity plus flowers, virtually becoming an "ever-bearing" tree.

· A greenhouse in Hawaii fed over 500 people with vegetables on just half an acre of growing surface . . . 20 large sacks per day of cucumbers were constantly harvested just 38 days after planting from seed . . . 70% increases over normal were recorded for squash growth and 50% for bush beans.

· An avocado tree in Hawaii produced fruit clusters of 18 to 20 avocados in place of the normal 1 or 2.

· A Florida orange tree was treated on one side only. The treated half revealed oranges in all stages of maturity, plus copius flower growth, making of it, like the above-mentioned macadamia nut, "ever-bearing." The untreated side was pedestrianly norrmal.

· Dill plants over four feet tall; calla lilies over six feet tall, bell pepper plants bearing 50 peppers and up, and African violets with 200 to 300 blooms (30 blooms being normal).

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Dan Carlson’s discovery is the fact that, not alone plants, but also their seeds, are affected by the simultaneous treatment of his nutrients and sound. In my Washington, D.C., kitchen, I soaked open-pollinated corn seed in a bowl of the nutrient solution while leaving control seeds taken from the same corn plant in an empty bowl beside them. While soaking, the treated seeds were exposed for about an hour and a half to the pulsed sound buried in Hindu Indian "raga" music played on a cassette tape. By morning, most of the treated seeds had germinated. Put into the ground, along with untreated seeds, they sprouted 8 to 9 days earlier than their untreated counterparts.

I also used the home kit on a dozen plants producing green bell peppers which I had been growing in good soil for several seasons. Whereas my peppers had never reached full size until the first or second week of August, the treated plants began bearing mature fruits in the first week of July.

The implications of Carlson’s research and development are far-reaching, opening a horizon that promises to any person with even a small plot of ground the opportunity to feed himself, his family, and his neighbors at very low cost for plant nutrients applied. This, in turn, heralds an emancipation of countless growers from their enthrallment to the monopolies of agri-business and chemical companies.

As an example of what his methods can do for drought-oppressed "Third World" countries, Carlson has recently reported that in the fall of 1985 Sonic Bloom-treated seeds were sent to the Sudan in Africa through the good offices of Save the Children, a multi-million dollar charitable organization operating in over 40 of the earth’s nations. Save the Children has reported that his seeds matured well and produced excellent crops in a region where daytime temperatures are often measured at 145 F. As I finish this account, another 300 pounds of treated seed were shipped to Sudan for planting.

-- Acres, July 1986

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