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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Improved Set / Reduced Shatter – #2

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

With bud break around the corner or occurring in some places already, we can look forward to bloom and set shortly thereafter. It’s a couple week period that every grower dreads, hoping for fair weather and little wind as without a good set, the remaining year becomes a real challenge. We all know that an

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Addressing Rain Soaked Soils

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

We all know that an adequate and balanced supply of all mineral nutrients is critical for optimum fruit set. I think this year is going to be especially challenging given the amount of rain that we’ve experienced and the amount of mineral flush and heavy leaching of the soil that has subsequently taken place. The exact

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New 2015-16 CDFA Agricultural Statistics

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Every year California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) produces their yearly report which is always interesting although the amount of information can be overwhelming. Lots of food for thought to ponder with no pun intended: The sales value generated by California agriculture decreased by 16.8 percent between the 2014 and 2015 crop years. The State’s 77,500 farms and ranches

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New findings on how plants manage immune response

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New research, being published January 20 in the journal Science, has uncovered a previously unknown means by which plants are able to regulate how their immune systems respond to pathogens. A group of small peptides, referred to as RALFs (Rapid ALkalinization Factors), serve to dampen immune signaling — preventing further response once the infection has been

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Future Water Management

Thursday, January 19, 2017

As of Jan. 10, all of northern California, everything north of Sacramento, is no longer in drought, according to the federal government. South of Sacramento, with the exception of a sliver of land along the coast north of Monterey Bay, remains in some level of drought conditions, though the most extreme of these – “Exceptional Drought” is

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