The Advancing Eco Agriculture Blog

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Nitrogen Inputs: Combating your Budget’s New Nemesis through Regenerative Ag

Nitrogen input prices have skyrocketed across the agricultural industry. What can growers do to protect this season’s crop performance and their bottom line? The answer lies in a stable, slow-release, plant-available approach to profitable nitrogen management.

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Deconstructing Disease: More Should Be Considered When Controlling Plant Pathogens

Elementary discussions of plant pathology almost always describe the disease triangle. The foundational concept appears quite simple at first glance. For a “dis-ease” to express itself, a combination of three elements is required...

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Turning to Regenerative Farming to Lower Crop Input Cost

The sudden increase of just about every crop input cost, including fertilizers and diesel fuel, is making it harder for a lot of farmers to break even. The increase in input cost started in 2020 with a more substantial uptick happening over the past couple of months.

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Leader in Regenerative Agriculture Raises $4.7 Million

Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) has announced the close of $4.7 million of financing to accelerate growth and propel regenerative agriculture across North America and beyond.  This is the first outside investment for AEA, which has been a leader in regenerative agriculture since its inception in 2006...

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Is Regenerative Agriculture Profitable? Sarah Day Levesque Breaks Down the Perceived Financial Barriers

Sarah’s Regen Rev presentation, Dollars & Sense of Regenerative Agriculture, swiped at some of the largest misconceptions about regenerative practices, dismantling the perceived financial barriers that come with transitioning away from the conventional approach.

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Phytophthora in Disease-suppressive Soils

In Greek, phytón means “plant” and phthorá means “destruction.” “Plant destruction” sums up a Phytophthora infection quite well. Outbreaks occur primarily in wet, warm weather, and more readily on compacted soils than on well drained...

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How to Start Off Your 2022 Growing Season: Nitrogen Use Efficiency

It’s time to plan the planter. How much N do you need? We’re all for less. 
Take stock of your current cover crop success and what contribution will likely come from that, as well as crop residues.

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Why Purchase Soil Inoculants? The Benefits of Off-farm Biology

As a regenerative agriculture consultant, I was delighted to see a return to in-person events in 2021. Being able to connect with growers face-to-face, whether at a conference or in the field, was something I can say we all missed dearly. As I continue to share and interact with others in the agricultural industry, one idea...

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Can Plant Health Actually Repel Flea Beetles?

Flea beetles can be a bane of our consulting mission, because there is no special nutritional sauce that knocks them out. We often encounter the worst flea beetle problems on very young brassicas, like arugula or kale, and on spring eggplant.

The problem is that beetles have...

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Addressing Crop Health Issues with Regenerative Agriculture

How can you expedite the health of your crops? While it’s known that healthy soils contribute to the overall health of a crop, what may be less well known is that, when supported correctly, a crop can also greatly improve the health of the soil. In fact...

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5 Things to Get Your Regenerative Garden Started

Regenerative Agriculture is nothing short of a revolution that continues to gain traction across the globe. With the mainstream success of documentaries like “Kiss the Ground” and a growing consumer base looking for high quality, nutrient-dense food, people are looking to cultivate healthier soils and some are starting in their own backyards.

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BioCoat Gold™: The Most Budget-Friendly Product You Will Use All Year 

Of all the products from AEA, BioCoat Gold™  is simply the most economical way to get your plants off to an optimal start. Over the years, it has become one of AEA’s most popular products for its effectiveness and ease of use. 

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3 Essential Tips for Using Biological Inoculants

#1 Soak and stir dry inoculants like Spectrum, Mycogenesis, or OP8 in a small amount of clean, lukewarm water to rehydrate and activate the microbes. 10-15 minutes of soaking is usually sufficient. Not much more, as many species in inoculants will be active after four hours contact with water...

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Why Are Spider Mites Only Attracted To Certain Fields?

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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Critical Points of Influence in Reproductive Crops

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.

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Flowers Grown with AEA Nutrition Have Bigger, Longer Lasting Blossoms!

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

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...

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Regeneration Feels and Tastes Great, but Profitability is our Goal

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

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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What Are The Benefits Of Fall Soil Applications?

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.

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The Best Way To Build Organic Matter Fast During The Winter 

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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Spence Farm, AEA Team Up For Near-Perfect Evening

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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Resurrection: One Farm's Experience

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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The Value Of High Quality Forages

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.

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How Is Your Soil Like A Cow?

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...

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Three Proven Methods Of Building Carbon

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.

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How To Provide All Elements Needed For Improved Plant Performance

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.

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An Earth Day Message from Jason Hobson, CEO of Advancing Eco Agriculture

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.

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Modern Farming Is Hard On Soil

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.

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AEA Strawberry Trials Results

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.

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Disease Suppressive Soils

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.

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Genetics Are Not The Limiting Factor

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.

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Microbial Metabolites Are A More Efficient Source Of Nutrition

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.

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Use Plant Sap Analysis to Expand Profits

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.