2017 Sustainable Ag Expo

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Last week I was in San Luis Obispo attending the 2017 Sustainable Ag Expo. It is a very well run event and there were a number of excellent speakers. It’s a great place to meet with growers we work with from all around the state. Dr. Marc Fuchs, Plant Pathology Professor at Cornell University, spoke

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The Pest and Pathogen Carousel

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I’m reading a book by Francis Chaboussou called “Healthy Crops.” The book has groundbreaking material, and all growers should give it a read. I would compare Chaboussou (although much less known) to Liebig, the German chemist who made major contributions to agriculture and biological chemistry and was considered the founder of organic chemistry. Chaboussou presents

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Fire Relief Offer for Northern California Growers

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Andaman Ag, Master Distributor for Creative Ag Products, Inc. (Pacific Gro) and Sustainable Growing Solutions (MetaGrow ST compost tea), is working directly with its generous suppliers to offer free and discounted products to those vineyards or orchards that have been burned or singed by the recent fires in Northern California. We are offering IBC totes

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A Growing Problem: Ramifications of Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Despite the best efforts of soil health advocates, the rate of synthetic fertilizer use is still on the rise. According to USDA, in 1964, farmers were applying on average 58 pounds of nitrogen per acre. By 2010, the average was 140 pounds. It’s unlikely those numbers have changed much since 2010, and that level of

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Now You’re Cooking: Being a Chef of the Kitchen of Your Soil

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Organic farming is less about following a recipe and more about being a chef in the kitchen, experimenting with different ingredients.  We’re learning more and more about the exchange between plants and the fungi, bacteria and other organisms in the soil and, frankly, there are few recipes available for dialing this in. Like with any

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Post Harvest Applications

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Post harvest applications are essential as studies have shown that nearly 30% of all nutrients for the entire season are taken up at post harvest providing essential nutrients to help get the crop through the winter and ready for spring. This is a window of opportunity that cannot be ignored even given the rigorous demands

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Organic Farming as Crop Insurance

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Organic farming combines conservation-minded methods with technology, but does not use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Instead, organic farming relies on enhancing and building soil fertility. Still, for a farm to survive in a market economy, it has to be profitable. Long-term studies show that organic farming increases both energy efficiency and economic returns, the latter

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Microbes Carry a Lot of Carbon to Their Graves

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My newsletters are consistently about improving soil fertility, and carbon sequestration is a key part of that process. What’s interesting is that carbon sequestration is still poorly understood despite years of research. I believe that where technology is making its greatest impact on agriculture is in accurately measuring things that we’ve only guessed at in

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What Can We Learn from Soil Management?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I met a grower down in the Oxnard area that grows over 600 acres of blueberries in substrate (pots) and is very successful selling his organic product to Driscoll. One of his primary challenges is growing during the winter. The pots cool off each night much more quickly than soils and thus, the next day

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Do Amino Acids Work?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, continue to get a lot of attention in agriculture. Proteins are one of the major components of the structure and the chemistry of living things. Amino acids may be linked together to form more than 50,000 different proteins. The primary function of amino acids is to furnish the

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Listerine in Agriculture

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Inspired by Louis Pasteur‘s ideas on microbial infection, the English doctor Joseph Lister demonstrated in 1865 that use of carbolic acid on surgical dressings would significantly reduce rates of post-surgical infection. Lister’s work in turn inspired St. Louis-based doctor Joseph Lawrence to develop an alcohol-based formula for a surgical antiseptic that also included eucalyptol, menthol,

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Optimizing Fruit Set

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A few weeks go we presented newsletters addressing ways to improve fruit set. Getting a good bloom and fruit set is critical. I’ve always made the analogy that prior to fruit set it’s all about the “mother,” or getting the plant as healthy as possible. After fruit set, it’s all about the “baby,” as plant

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Building Crop Health For Today And Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I’ve been traveling around California looking at the various stages of crops emerging from dormancy. There have been some areas that have experienced a considerable amount of rain and the soils remain very damp if not boggy. I hear many growers rejoicing about soil moisture profiles this season relative to what they endured over the

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Lessons Learned from Biodynamic Farming

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I was talking to a very experienced vineyard manager last week who shared with me his experiment of converting a small number of acres to biodynamic. It was something that he decided to instigate, with the blessing of the vineyard owner, as he was curious about the potential outcome. To cut right to the end

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Poor Fruit Set – FAQ

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dear Friends of Andaman Ag, The last two of our newsletters have addressed problems and solutions associated with poor fruit set. I’ve received several questions and inquiries from growers and I’ve reached out to growers that are using our products to get their direct responses. Please note that CropBioLIfe (CBL) is manufactured and imported from Australia and Sea-Crop is manufactured

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