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October 06, 2017

On September 7, Advancing Eco Agriculture hosted an

event at the Haskell County fairgrounds where John Kempf

and David Miller presented some new information on how

to manage and prevent spider mite problems in cornfields.

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Solution For Bacterial Canker Discussed at Orchard Tour

Anna Kempf

July 10, 2017

Advancing Eco Agriculture partnered with Omeg Orchards in The Dalles, Oregon to host a tour reviewing Oregon State University trials on several different cherry varieties on July 7, 2017.  Mike Omeg, orchard owner, and Lynn Long, OSU extension agent, showed images of how the Stinson block had looked at the beginning of the trials.

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April 03, 2017

I came up with the phrase “critical points of influence” to describe a window in a plant’s growth cycle in which a great deal of its future yield potential or disease susceptibility is being determined. These points are the times when a knowledgeable manager can best influence both a crop and the operation’s bottom line by delivering the right amount of the right nutrition in the right form.

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March 31, 2017

AEA products are equally as effective for flower production as for food! These pictures from a Wisconsin bedding-plant and hanging-basket grower show the kind of vitality and production we expect from AEA nutrition. 

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Managing Nutritional Integrity

February 27, 2017

Based on our work with crops for disease management and fruit quality, we know that nutritional integrity of plants is the foundation for producing extraordinarily healthy crops.

 

A tremendous body of research correlates specific diseases with specific nutritional imbalances. For instance, research studies have documented that powdery mildew in cucurbit crops is associated with manganese deficiency, and that apple scab is associated with a deficiency of cobalt.

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Be Wildly Successful

December 05, 2016

We get excited when crops become so vibrant that they regenerate soil health and build soil organic matter while the crop is growing.

 

We are passionate about growing crops so healthy that they transfer their immunity to people and could be considered food as medicine.

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Phytophthora In Disease Suppressive Soils

October 25, 2016

In Greek, phytón means “plant” and phthorá means “destruction.” “Plant destruction” sums up a Phytophthora infection quite well. Outbreaks occur primarily with wet, warm weather, and more readily on compacted soils than on well drained. Mainstream agriculture has very limited management options, offering these standard suggestions:

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August 31, 2016

Many nutrients are locked in the soil and become available to plants only as they are digested by microbes. Phosphorus and calcium tend to bind to each other and be unavailable to plants. Minerals—iron, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum—are often found only in an oxidized state that’s almost completely unusable by plants. Soil microbes, primarily bacteria, will consume these elements to support their own life cycles; as they reproduce and die, the nutrients become available plant food.

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August 24, 2016

In regenerative agriculture systems, spring begins in the fall. Both annual and perennial crops have their most important Critical Points of Influence (CPIs) in the spring.

 

For annual crops the most important stage is at planting and transplanting. For perennial crops, the most important stage is blossoming and pollination. These stages are critical, especially from a plant health perspective.

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August 03, 2016

A terrific host, informative speakers, good weather, and awesome audience of close to 80 people combined to make a great evening on July 1 at Spence Farm in central Illinois.

 

Spence Farm is a diversified farm that uses biologically friendly inputs for soil fertility, and grows vegetables, grains, and other crops. The produce is sold to chefs at high-end Chicago restaurants. 

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July 25, 2016

Why do plants get sick just as the crop is starting to size and ripen? Why do insects and diseases destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of food each year? Why are crops infested with fungal and bacterial diseases like downy and powdery mildew? Why do cherries get bacterial canker? Why is there citrus greening in oranges? What is the cause of diseases in plants and why do they mostly show up late in the season?

July 19, 2016

Eli Yoder was seriously considering quitting farming. His farm was losing money year after year. His CSA customer base was dwindling. Energy levels, both in the crops and the farm personnel, were at their lowest ebb. Farming had become a chore. But an aggressive attempt to rescue the farm using AEA foundational soil building products Rejuvenate and SeaShield turned the farm around more quickly than anyone thought possible. 

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July 11, 2016

Under most conditions, a cow will eat for eight to nine hours a day and will take 55-60 bites per minute. With these constraints on the amount of material that can be consumed per day, the quality of the feed being offered becomes fundamentally important to the amount of milk or meat a given animal can produce. When pasture, hay or baleage is rough in texture, low in protein and digestible carbohydrates, and deficient in mineral content, a cow literally cannot eat enough to meet her daily needs.

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May 17, 2016

Farmers are quickly recognizing the strong movement toward quality in production. Although yield is important, the market is demanding higher quality crops with better storability, better taste, and higher nutrient density. In addition, the push toward organic food is putting pressure on traditional farming conventions. Our objective is to provide a pathway for farmers to transition from the conventional paradigm of agriculture to a more biological approach. The production of high-quality crops is dependent on the complete biological system of soil, air, and water.

May 10, 2016

Adequate levels of functional organic matter and a robust soil digestive system are sorely lacking in most agricultural soils. This lack of humic substances and biology significantly reduces a soil’s water-holding capacity and the ability to release nutrients, all of which leads to large losses in crop quality and yield.

May 03, 2016

NutraLive: The Best of AEA In Two Jugs

 

Most of you have a healthy skepticism of “snake oil” products touted as the only thing you'll ever need, or the one thing you've been missing. So do we! Since healthy plants and soils depend on dozens of minerals, thousands of distinct chemical reactions and trillions of microbes, it’s extraordinarily unlikely for one single input to be THE solution. The more we discover about bio-nutrient interactions, the more we learn that simplistic models of agricultural inputs just don't work for long-term sustainable food production...

April 22, 2016

Earth Day is an important holiday to us at Advancing Eco Agriculture. Earth Day began in 1970 as part of an effort to bring awareness to the mounting environmental problems of that era—soil erosion, air pollution, and drinking water contamination. Since that first Earth Day, some advances have been made, but there are still many important issues to solve.

March 22, 2016

Repeated tillage passes, monocropping and herbicide applications can burn up soil organic matter, degrade soil structure, and tie up critical micronutrients. 

 

These tight, compacted soils choke off plant root development and mineral uptake, robbing crops of the water and nutrition they need for maximum development.

February 03, 2016

AEA partnered with a strawberry breeder in Watsonville, CA and a farm in Santa Maria, CA for a series of replicated trials evaluating use of AEA products and nutrient management programs for strawberry production.

August 17, 2015

Developing disease suppressive soils is a fascinating area of research with the potential to completely change how we manage plant diseases in the very near future. As we learn more about the factors which allow soils to suppress potential pathogens, we are better able to manage these influences in the field and produce soils that can greatly reduce or even eliminate plant infection by a broad range of soil-borne pathogenic organisms.

 

July 28, 2015

Genetics are not our limiting factor. The mineral nutrients in the soil, which are the building blocks for growing plants, are the limiting factors in producing quality and stress-resistant crops.  

 

I believe that plants have the opportunity and the genetics to consistently surpass what we accept to be normal.

July 23, 2015

The commonly accepted model of plant nutrition holds that plants absorb soluble mineral ions from the soil solution through root hairs. In this model,  plants are dependent on soluble ions and adequate water supply in the soil to allow the transport of those ions to plant roots. This dependency on water and solubility has several potential weak links. First, when mineral ions are water-soluble and transported by water, they can leach into groundwater and leave fields as runoff very easily. 

July 06, 2015

At Advancing Eco Agriculture, we have the privilege of working with many different farms, and many different types of farmers and farm managers. We have observed that farm managers tend to be on a spectrum of management intensity. Some farmers measure and manage everything they can. Others don’t.

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