This Year, Resolve to Kick the Chemical Habit

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy New Year! Andaman Ag would like to wish all of you a very successful new season!

Maybe you saw the recent news about a California court stopping a state program that allowed pesticide spraying at schools, organic farms and backyards across California. The court cited inadequate public disclosure of the chemicals’ potential harmful effects. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s statewide “pest management” program required no site-specific analysis of risks before the application of any of 79 pesticides, including some known to cause cancer and birth defects and to be highly toxic to bees, butterflies, fish and birds.

This injunction is a view into the future, as growers need to realize that over time there will be continued restrictions on the use of chemically based pesticides and herbicides. There is increasing demand for farms to reduce their chemical footprint as soil health has become a primary concern among regulators and consumers and the increasing penetration of chemicals into the food chain has prompted research into alternatives to chemically formulated agricultural products.

Growers will need to prepare for the future by getting a better understanding of how to apply organic products and incorporate organic practices, including the application of biostimulants to magnify the impact of other beneficial inputs. In addition, it has been shown that more aggressive and/or proactive application of organic fertility programs helps to naturally mitigate the need for pesticides and herbicides. Healthy crops can better withstand insect and pathogen pressures on their own.

Andaman Ag offers organic fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and products that significantly knock back nematode counts. Thyme Guard, a derivative of thyme oil is an excellent fungicide, insecticide (small sucking insects only), bactericide and virucide. Nem Guard Gold or Kyte Gold (California label only) also helps control nematode counts.

We have a new organic herbicide called Weed Slayer that uses Eugenol as its foundation to control weeds. We think that this product represents a leap forward. My research has discovered that many plant diseases are the result of minor deficiencies in micronutrients. Conventional herbicides like glyphosates bind metals (magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, etc.) as the means to kill the weed. The metals stay bound for an extended time, contributing to the elevation of crop diseases.

I recommend that readers of our newsletters begin the new year by implementing some organic practices in their fields — the reasons are straightforward:

  • increasing soil health as far-reaching benefits, from the ability to hold more water to making more nutrients accessible to the plant
  • it’s beneficial to combine conventional and organic practices as the combination dynamically generates better yields and crop quality
  • the future is coming and you will need to become more comfortable with employing organic practices as the industry goes through a transition.

We at Andaman Ag are very willing to share our crop-programs and product-application expertise. We have a clear and extensive history of improving soil and crop health and production.

As always, feel free to contact me with questions about organic and sustainable growing practices.