The Holganix Blog

Holganix Case Study: "The Turnips Have Large Roots & The Yield Is Amazing!"

soil health

“As a consulting arborist, farm technical assistance provider, and a distributor, I see the Holganix family of products used in a wide variety of applications with great success,” explains Lee McBride of Landscape Management Consultants (Ag Products), a crop consultant working with Holganix in Alabama.

Recently, Lee used Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture at planting on their turnip crop. However, due to previous experience, he decided to use Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture as a stand-alone product, without using any fertilizers or pesticides.

“I’m a better salesperson when I have the courage of conviction in a service or a product, thus I was intrigued about how the product could perform by itself,” notes Lee.

Overall, “the turnips had large roots and the yield was amazing.” Also, because Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture builds healthier soil and stronger plants, Lee saw a surprising lack of insect feeding damage.

The picture above is of second growth, after harvesting the week prior. “We would normally expect weaker plants with more damage at this time, but we noticed only a mildly reduced yield. The plants were still strong,” explains Lee.

“With the mild winter thus far here in north Alabama, we are still harvesting roots and tops.”

 

Applications & Details Involving The Turnips

On September 22, 2018, Lee planted purple top and seven top turnips. The beds had been made last May but hadn’t yet been used. One week prior to planting, Lee tilled the soil in the beds twice. The soil tested at a pH of 6.3 and no fertilizer had been applied prior to, during or after planting the turnips. The bed does have drip irrigation, so the plants were watered throughout.

Lee made an application of Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture the day after planting, using the rate of 1.5 gallons per acre. This worked out to 2 oz on 360 square feet of bed area in three gallons of water.

On October 24, the turnip leaves were harvested yielding 60+ pounds.

The picture below was taken on October 31, just before the second leaf harvest which was also an incredible 60+ pounds.  

turnip_soil 

 

About Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture

Why use Holganix-587110-edited-1

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes that promote growth in crop foliage and roots, convert and release nutrients in the soil and promote the crops’ tolerance to stress like weather and disease.

What's in the Holganix Bio 800+ jug?  Check out our ingredient list! 

 

Want To Learn More About Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture?

If you are looking to dig deeper into the results behind Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, be sure to check out this blog which goes into detail on several university and commercial grower trials. Or, feel free to reach out to Holganix directly by emailing David Stark P.h.D., the President of Agriculture, at dstark@holganix.com.

Tags: agriculture, farmer, holganix review, holganix reviews

Soil Testing: How Do You Do It AND Why?

Soil test

When was the last time you took soil tests at your property? Are your plants looking a little worn out? Are your turf and plants not taking to fertilizer applications?

Soil tests provide the key soil health metrics you need to better prescribe a fertility program for your property.

On a basic level, soil tests indicate nutrient deficiencies and pH levels. However, more advanced soil tests are available that also indicate Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), soluble salts and other important soil health metrics.

What is each of the soil health metrics you can expect from a soil test, what do they mean and what practices can you put in place to improve results?

 

Measuring key elements to plant growth

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “There are at least 17 essential elements required for plant growth: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine and nickel.”

While elements like hydrogen, carbon and oxygen are taken from air and water, the remaining elements are derived from the soil. When the soil is lacking in a key element, adding a fertilizer is key.

The three most important nutrients for plant growth include: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

1. Nitrogen is responsible for stimulating strong plant growth and promoting green coloring of foliage (it helps with chlorophyll production). Nitrogen is often present in the soil; however, it may be locked in a form that isn’t utilized by the plant. Adding a fertilizer containing nitrogen will directly supply the nutrient to the plant. You could also add a probiotic containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria that will unlock nitrogen already present in the soil, making them available to the plant.

2. Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. It also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters. Just like with nitrogen, phosphorus is often contained in the soil but may be locked in a form the plant can’t use. Adding a fertilizer containing phosphorus or adding a probiotic containing phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria can increase the supply of available phosphorus.

3. Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression. Adding a fertilizer containing potassium will offset any imbalances in the soil.

>>For information on the six essential nutrients for plant health, read our blog here.

 

Looking at soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of soil acidity. A pH of 7 is neutral; anything below a 7 is acidic and anything above is alkaline.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension, “A soil pH is an important chemical property because it affects the availability of nutrients to plants and the activity of microorganisms in the soil.”

On average, most plants prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and most turf grasses prefer a pH of 5.5 and 6.5. However, pH can differ depending on the plant and turf grass you are growing.

Adding a lime is one common practice to raise the soil pH. Tools that lower pH include but are not limited to: sulfur, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate, acid sphagnum peat and ammonium sulfate/urea.

 

Cation Exchange Capacity

Think of the soil as the pantry for plants, storing the necessary nutrients to feed the plant and ultimately boost plant health. The Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) is the soil’s ability to maintain and release nutrients to the plant.

So, the higher the CEC, the larger the pantry and the more “food” the soil has the ability to store and feed to the plant.

To increase CEC levels, adding a product with high microbial populations will stimulate the digestion of organic matter, increasing humus levels, which thereby increases CEC levels.

>>Dig deeper into Cation Exchange Capacity and how Holganix boosts CEC levels

 

Soluble salts

Soluble salts are the ions that are dissolved in soil water.

Why are soluble salts important? “High soluble salts can reduce water uptake by plants, restrict root growth, cause burning of the foliage, inhibit flowering, and limit fruit and vegetable yields.” 

Some soils naturally have high soluble salts, however human practices like over fertilizing, pet urine, or using snow salts on sidewalks/streets can all increase soluble salt levels.

To correct soluble salt problems, look at incorporating gypsum and leaching the soil with good quality water.

 

How and where do you conduct soil tests?

Results from soil tests often take a couple weeks and possibly a couple months depending on the test. Most university extensions offer soil testing.

Utilize a sampling tube and take several samples at each location of your property. Look at taking 3-inch to 6-inch deep soil samples. Remember to label each tube with the location from your property from which it was taken.

 

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, agriculture, the science behind holganix

Holganix Agriculture: Data & Building The Case For BioDiversity

holganix ag

For growers using Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, an increase in yield and soil health has led to an increase in ROI on crops.

Earlier this week, we sat down with Holganix President of Agriculture, Dave Stark, PhD to discuss the commercial and university field trial results from over the past few years. We also discussed the importance of selecting a microbial product that is high in diversity, and it’s no secret that Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is the most complete, diverse blend of microbes available on the market.

In this blog, we’ve compiled Dr. Stark’s two key points from that conversation. The concepts are available below in video clips and summarized highlights. If you are reading this blog via email, please click here to have access to the videos.


Building The Case For BioDiversity - Selecting A Microbial Product

Watch the above 10-minute video or read a quick synopsis below.

Why do soil microbes matter? It’s plants and microbes that work together to build a healthy, functional soil. Soil Microbes build organic matter that build soil structure, allowing soil to hold onto water, retain nutrients in forms the plant can use, and let air into soil.

Bacteria, fungi and protozoa all work together to build soil health. These soil microbes function like a car’s engine; each single component is important, but being out of balance can cause problems like diseases, plant stress, and more.

When it comes to microbial products, the microbe count is important, yet diversity can be even more crucial. By having a product filled with a diversity of life, the soil and plant are prepared for whatever hurdle it needs to face.

Think of it as your equivalent to a multi-vitamin. Instead of a magic bullet, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture parachute in an army of specialists, each of which is capable of filling in gaps to balance the biological requirements of the soil.

Consider the environment you are asked to grow plants in. Are the soils the same from property-to-property? Do the climate conditions change day-to-day or hour-by-hour? Are the pathogens and stresses that are attacking your plants changing? Don’t you want to give your plants every possible advantage to adapt and respond to all of these changing challenges?  

Whereas a single microbial strain would be able to assist with one single, targeted problem, a microbial product with a huge diversity of species is better equipped to handle problems in a changing environment.

Just as a car can’t be fixed with a single screwdriver, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is an entire toolbox of microbes adept to handle numerous problems


The Data Does The Talking - Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture Provides an ROI for growers 

 

In the above 8.5-minute video, Dr. Stark explores different trial results from different crops. Watch the video for the full explanation of each trial or read the bulleted highlights below.

  • On corn, the recommended application rate is 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing yield increase ranges on corn from 3-to-22 bushels per acre with typical results ranging from 6-to-11 bushels.

  • On soybeans, the recommended applications rate is also 0.5 gallons per acre at planting (or as close as you can). We are seeing typical yield increases of 2-to-6 bushels.

  • Additional crops including berries, cucurbits, tomato, potato and others are reviewed in the video.


Want to dig in deeper?

If you are looking to dig deeper into the results behind Holganix Agriculture, be sure to check out this blog which goes into detail on several university and commercial grower trials. Or, feel free to reach out to Holganix directly by emailing David Stark P.h.D., the President of Agriculture, at dstark@holganix.com.

soil food web

Tags: agriculture, the science behind holganix

[PODCAST] Farm Tank Interviews Barrett Ersek on Gratitude and Business Innovation

PODCAST
 
"A wise person learns from his experience, but an extremely wise person learns from the experience of others" — Barrett Ersek

Today's blog article comes from FarmTank Podcasts by Jordan Van Trump! Click the button below to access the podcast, or read Jordan's summarized highlights below. Be sure to sign up for Farm Tank Podcasts and share the podcast with friends!
 
A big thank you to Farm Tank and Jordan Van Trump for interview Barrett and sharing our Holganix story. 
 
Barrett's Podcast
 
A Note from Jordan Van Trump, Farm Tank Podcasts
 
Barrett Ersek, Founder and CEO of the Holganix, is a true American entrepreneur. Listen to this podcast to learn a collection of insight about building your own business even when you think all the cards are stacked against you. Barrett sold his first company for $3.5 million, his second for over $10 million, and is currently in the process of building another multimillion dollar venture. This man has a lot to share when it comes to overcoming adversity and the significance of gratitude in business as well as life. He has personally had to overcome many challenges and obstacles, many that would have stopped most people, but not Barrett Ersek. Not only did he overcome adversity, but he has excelled every step of the way.Barrett has been invited to lecture at places like MIT, The London School of Business, and the India School of Business.
 
Barrett now has his sights set on finding new and innovative ways to improve soil health and to leave a lasting footprint on earth. In this podcast episode, Barrett and I have great discussions about business and life. He shares some extremely valuable lessons he has learned along his amazing journey.
 
We also talk about a wide variety of topics such as: deep sea fishing in the Caribbean, meeting Brother David Steindl-Rast, and some of the best Philly cheese-steaks in Philadelphia. Listen to the podcast below to learn more about this earth changing agronomist and influential American Entrepreneur.
 
 
Want To Hear More?

If you are interested in receiving our exclusive podcasts, content, and Q&A's on a regular basis, visit Farm Tank's site, and simply enter your e-mail address. It's that simple! No spam, ever. Just great stuff.
 
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Tags: agriculture, lawn care

5 Types of Soil Microbes And What They Do For Plants

 

5_types_0f_microbe

We are all feeling the pressure to do more with less. Each state is talking about restricting fertilizer and phosphorus, and although these things are great for the environment it can also make it difficult to reach our needs when it comes to plant growth. What can we do to help both our plants and ourselves?

Read our blog article below for information about (1) how much fertilizer actually goes to the plant and (2) the role microbes play in fertilizer. If you’d rather dig deeper into this topic, skip the text and watch our webinar featuring Holganix President of Agriculture, David Stark Ph.D. If you're reading this blog via email, click here to watch the video.

 

How much fertilizer actually goes to the plant?

Did you know that only 40 to 60% of the fertilizer we apply actually goes to the plant, the remaining is lost to run off into our waterways, volatilization to the air or is tied up in the soil. This is why soil health is such an imperative piece of plant health. Functional soil is a soil embedded with organic matter and soil microbes that work together to hold onto nutrients in the soil and convert nutrients locked in the soil.

Beneficial soil microbes form symbiotic relationships with the plant. In fact, the plant will exert as much as 30% of its energy to the root zone to make food for microbes. In return those microbes not only protect the plant from stress, but also feed the plant by converting and holding nutrients in the soil.


What are the different types of soil microbes?

There are five different types of soil microbes: bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, protozoa and nematodes. Each of these microbe types has a different job to boost soil and plant health.


Bacteria

Bacteria is the crucial workforce of soils. They are the final stage of breaking down nutrients and releasing them to the root zone for the plant. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization once said “Bacteria may well be the most valuable of life forms in the soil.”


Actinomycetes

Actinomycetes were once classified as fungi, and act similarly in the soil. However, some actinomycetes are predators and will harm the plant while others living in the soil can act as antibiotics for the plant.


Fungi

Like bacteria, fungi also lives in the rootzone and helps make nutrients available to plants. For example, Mycorrhizae is a fungi that facilitate water and nutrient uptake by the roots and plants to provide sugars, amino acids and other nutrients.


Protozoa

Protozoa are larger microbes that love to consume and be surrounded by bacteria. In fact, nutrients that are eaten by bacteria are released when protozoa in turn eat the bacteria.


Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic worms that live around or inside the plant. Some nematodes are predators while others are beneficial, eating pathogenic nematodes and secreting nutrients to the plant.


Want to keep digging into soil science?

Within the natural world there exists a complex balance among soil microbes known as the soil food web. Plants, animals and microbes are all instruments in an orchestra; each plays a crucial part in the natural symphony of life. If even one of the players is out of tune, the whole soil food web suffers. However, when everything is in order, the results are beautiful.

Download our Digging into Soil Science ebook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy plants
2. The power behind soil microbes
3. Soil types and how to improve the health of your soil

soil food web 

Tags: science behind holganix, lawn care, agriculture, farmer, golf course, sports field

Update: Holganix Agriculture Trial Results

organic agriculture

This blog contains an update on university and commercial trial results on several crops from 2017 and 2018.  


What is Holganix Agriculture?
A Bio 800+ product

Holganix Agriculture promotes strong, extensive root systems, resulting in plants that are better able to find and use nutrients, minerals, and water in your soil. By nurturing healthy plants, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture maximizes yield potential while ensuring your crop is better prepared to fight off and recover from seasonal stress.

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is an organic plant probiotic that provides over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes, microbe food, and nutrient enhancers to grow healthy, resilient crops. In fact, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture contains the most complete and diverse blend of beneficial microbes available on the market!

Why use Holganix-587110-edited.jpg

Over the past four years, we have been compiling data on several different crops in different geographic zones to deepen our understanding of how Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture can help farmers maximize yields. Below is a sample from our 2017 and 2018 collection.

While we try to keep this blog up to date, for the most recent data or for a more detailed explanation, please write to David Stark, Ph.D. dstark@holganix.com

 

Video Overview

You can watch the below 8.5-minute video for an overview of our studies, or explore them more in-depth below in the text.

 

Increased ROI On Soybeans

Over the past several years, we have data showing a 2-to-6 bushel per acre yield increase when using Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture at a rate of 0.5 gallons per acre, at planting. Here are a few examples from our studies.

 

Missouri Researcher

A Missouri research farm testing the product over two years saw a 3.2 bushel per acre increase in 2017 and a 3.3 bushel per acre increase in 2018. The researcher used Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture at a rate of 0.5 gallons per acre in-furrow with their standard fertility while the check plots only used the standard fertility mix. As a note, the research farm was non-irrigated and in 2018 the farm saw severe drought.

soybean data

 

Increased ROI On Corn

We have several years of university and commercial data showing a yield increase of 3-to-22 bushels per acre, with typical results in the 6-to11 bushel per acre range. In most instances (in all instances so delete), The growers used our recommended 0.5 gallons per acre rate at planting. Here are a few examples from our studies.

 

Illinois Research Farm

In this non-irrigated field, Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture was tested in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, the grower saw an 11 bushel per acre increase while in 2017, the grower saw a 9 bushel an acre advantage. The grower used our recommended 0.5 gallon per acre rate in-furrow. 

It’s important to note that before even applying Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, his soil was extremely healthy because the field had previously been planted with soybeans - a crop that puts nitrogen back into the soil

Corn Data 

 Missouri Research Farm

A Missouri Research Farm testing the product over two years saw a 21.1 bushel per acre increase in 2017 and a 10.4 bushel per acre increase in 2018. The researcher used Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture at a rate of 0.5 gallons per acre in-furrow with their standard fertility while the check plots only had the standard fertility mix. As a note, the research farm was non irrigated and in 2018 the farm saw minimal rain.

According to the researcher, the Holganix corn was the “best looking corn plot on the farm.”

unnamed

 

Indiana Commercial Grower Picture Demonstrating Advantages in Root Growth

corn

 

Higher Weight Per Acre On Potatoes  

Idaho-based potato growers added Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture with their standard fertilizer rate and saw a 10-to-16% higher weight per acre allowing them to earn an extra $330-to-$440 per acre. 

Washington State University tested Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture with 20% less fertilizer and achieved a higher marketable yield than those potatoes just using the standard fertilizer rate. The higher marketable yield and decreased fertilizer use translate to an additional $200 per acre if the study were conducted at a commercial farm.

potato data

 

Increased Yield On Berries

$3,000 Per Acre Yield Increase On Strawberries

In Ventura County, California, a researcher used Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture on a commercial field through their drip irrigation system, applying the product each month. He achieved a $3,000 per acre higher yield in the strawberries and was able to harvest earlier than other growers. Strawberry Data

Less Disease Pressure and Sweeter Taste on Blackberries

For an organic certified grower in Indiana, he saw reduced disease pressure. That’s because Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is focused on fortifying plant strength and building soil health resulting in reduced disease and insect pressure. “I also noticed,” says the grower, “the crops taste sweeter which makes me think that it is affecting brix index… something I know Pennsylvania farmers have also been noticing.”

>>Read more about this growers’ experience

 

Increase Yield On Strawberries

According to a commercial grower in Alabama, “our strawberries are just crazy. We saw a 20-to-25% increase in yield and the plants produced berries longer.”

>>Read more about this growers’ experience

 

Boosting Yield and Degrees Brix On Vineyards

New York-based vineyard, Alfalfa Farm Winery reports a 55% average increase in yield in their Sevyal Blanc, Leon Millot and Marechal Foch from 2013 to 2015. Ultimately, because of the increase in yield, Alfalfa was able to boost the production of their wines.

Seyval Blanc yield in pounds

Seyval Blanc Yield

Leon Millot yield in pounds 

Leon Millot

Marechal Foch yield in pounds 

Marechal Foch Yield

In addition to increasing yield, Alfalfa Farm Winery reports that the brix index has increased by an average of 26% compared to the control.

>>Read more about this growers’ experience

 


Less Fertilizer Needed With Hot Peppers

According to Florida-based Datil Pepper grower, Eddie Lambert, “My only problem is that I didn’t use Holganix on my whole farm because it’s the best crop I have had yet.” Eddie applied Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture through a drip irrigation system, making applications every other week with 50% less fertilizer.

datil_pepper

Higher Payable Yield On Cucumbers

A cucumber farmer in Northern Kentucky used Holganix Agriculture on a portion of his crop, leaving the remaining crop the control. The rows treated with Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture had more, large cucumbers than the control. He was also able to harvest the Holganix treated crop a week earlier when prices were higher.


Tomatoes See a 10-to-12% Yield Increase

Growers testing the product in Indiana over the course of four years show a 10-to-12% yield increase using three applications. The first application was a 1.7 gallons per acre rate, followed by a second and third application about 4 weeks apart at a 0.85 gallon per acre rate.

tomato data

>>Read more about this grower’s experience

 

Curbing Nematode Pressure

While research is still ongoing, preliminary results conducted in a lab setting by Dr. Lambert at the University of Illinois are promising for nematode control using an unnamed Holganix technology currently in development. After the first year of studying the product, the team saw a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in the lab and an 80% reduction in the field.

“It’s complex,” explains Dr. Lambert of the Holganix technology. “There’s a lot of things going on in the jug and it is difficult to state with certainty why the Holganix technology is producing results.” However, Dr. Lambert does have three theories.

1. Affecting migration to the roots - Holganix technology appears to confuse or incapacitates the nematode so it can’t migrate to the plant and cause harm.

2. Inhibiting eggs from hatching - Holganix technology may be inhibiting soybean cyst nematode eggs from hatching.

3. Targeting pathogenic nematodes - Microbes in Holganix technology may be attacking pathogenic nematodes.

“We are taking a two-pronged approach to study the Holganix technology,” explains Dr. Lambert. “In 2016, we studied Holganix technology in a lab. This year, we are continuing lab testing but we are also studying it in the field.”

>>For additional information on our nematode research, visit this blog.

 

Increased Brix Index

Several farmers have also reported a higher brix (a measurement of flavor) on fruits and vegetables treated with Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture. Academic research also shows that brix can lead to reduced insect pressure on plants although we have not yet conducted supporting Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture research on insect pressure to date.

See below for a chart demonstrating the increased brix on crops treated with Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture as compared to their controls.  

brix index

 

Dig In Deeper to Soil Health: Download Our Soil Science eBook

Within the natural world, there exists a complex balance among living organisms known as the soil food web. Plants, animals, and microbes are all instruments in an orchestra; each plays a crucial part in the natural symphony of life. If even one of the players is out of tune, the whole soil food web suffers. However, when everything is in order, the results are beautiful

Download this book to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy plant

2. The power behind soil microorganisms

3. Soil types and how to improve the health of your soil

soil food web

 

Tags: holganix review, holganix agriculture, farmer, agriculture

The Pros and Cons to DIY Compost Tea

compost tea

Lately, human probiotics seem to be all the rage. It’s seen as a hip, new science found in the form of yogurt and pills that restore your body’s health. Human probiotics is the idea of introducing beneficial or benign microorganisms to our gut to naturally boost gut health.

Just as with human probiotics, plants need probiotics too! Soil microbes help the plant carry out daily functions and can lead to optimized plant resilience, increased yields and a stronger more web-like root system.

Perhaps one of the most common methods of incorporating plant probiotics into a plant health program is by applying compost tea.

 

Plant’s “Tea of Choice”: Compost Tea

Named for its murky brown tea-colored resemblance, this brewed, water extract of compost works to increase the amount of nutrients and soil microbes available to the plant as well as extending numerous other benefits that come from traditional compost. There are both pros and cons for incorporating compost teas; see below for some of our highlights.

 

Advantages of Compost Teas

Inexpensive – By applying compost tea to your plants, you reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, ultimately driving down the cost to keep plants healthy.

Aids in Producing a Healthier Plant – When applied, compost tea suppresses foliar diseases and speeds up the breakdown of toxins. Compost tea increases the amount of nutrients available to the plant through microorganism processes, resulting in an overall healthier plant.

Organic – Because it’s made up of natural components, crops nurtured with compost tea are organic, giving you a competitive edge in the plant health/organic world.

Easy to Make – With the right tools and components, compost tea can be made by just about anyone who has good organizational skills.

 

Disadvantages of Compost Teas

Inconsistent Products – There are many variables in producing compost tea including: compost, water, food materials, time of processing, good record keeping and sourcing materials. In order to ensure consistent results, brewers need to be exact in their recipe-building and production process. Even when brewers are organized in their production and recipe, each batch differs slightly from the last.

Inconsistent Results – Though they might be the same kind of plant, not every plant is exactly the same. As a result, the benefits from applying compost tea can differ slightly per plant.

Lack of Scientific Proof – Compost tea recipes are mostly made up of “he said, she said” gardener testimonials rather than actual scientific proof; therefore, following these recipes can generate unreliable results.

Time Consuming – Because of the “brewing” process, producing compost tea can often be time consuming, and once produced, compost teas must be applied shortly after for best results.

 

Holganix Can Help!

Brewing your own compost tea is tricky, but Holganix can help! Holganix’s flagship product Bio 800+ is a plant probiotic derived from a compost tea base that contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes. Because of our manufacturing process, we ensure product consistency and DNA fingerprint each batch to understand which species of soil microbes are present.

To learn more about Holganix Bio 800+ visit:  http://www.holganix.com/blog/what-is-bio-800 

Tags: agriculture, the science behind holganix

Top 5 Plant and Soil Science TED Talks

soil TED TALK

At Holganix, we are self-appointed soil geeks. Learning about new trends, research and theories that are happening in the field makes us tick. We bet it gets you excited too!

Here are our top 5 favorite plant and soil science TED Talks. Warning! Some of these are crazy, unique ideas that will make Holganix almost seem ordinary! If you know a good TED Talk we are missing, post it in the comments of this blog. We’d LOVE to check it out!

If you are reading this on an email, video function will not operate. Click on the link to watch each TED Talk. 

 

Humus – The Essential Ingredient

Humus is what is left after soil microorganisms have decomposed organic matter. It holds nutrients and moisture and provides a great structure for planting in. Humus is essential for food production and is being gradually depleted. Learn more in Graeme Sait’s TED Talk.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy World 

If you pick up a handful of soil, you will be holding more microorganisms in your hand than the entire number of people who have ever lived on earth. Think about that for a moment. Can you imagine the quantity of living things in your grasp? Soil is FULL of life. In this TED Talk you’ll have the opportunity to explore the soil from a microorganisms’ point of view.

 

Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs

Good news! Plants can quite literally change the face of the earth. By growing more plants, we can capture more carbon dioxide, water, production, biodiversity and profit? In fact, a 1% change in soil organic matter across just one quarter of the world’s land area could sequester 300 billion tons of physical C02. Check out Tony Lovell’s TED Talk here.

 

Stop Treating Our Soil Like Dirt!

Healthy soil is not dirt! Healthy soils are critical for keeping water clean producing food and buffering the effects of extreme weather. Soil plays a fundamental role in our lives in three key ways… Watch Karen Wynne’s TED Talk here.

 

Soil – From Dirt To Lifetime 

Did you know there are more living organisms beneath the soil then there are above it? Soil scientists can’t even come to an agreement about how many microbes are actually in the soil. Check out Fred Kirshenmann’s TED Talk here.

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, sports turf, golf course, marketing hints and tips, agriculture

7 Things You Don't Already Know About Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture plays a big role in today's farming industry and it's shaping the way the world grows organic, low input or holistic crops.

Check out our SlideShare below for seven key facts you don't already know about sustainable agriculture, or skip the SlideShare and go straight to the bulleted text beneath. If you're reading this blog via email and having difficulty viewing the SlideShare, click here: What You Don't Know About Sustainable Agriculture.  

1. Fertilizer production is an energy intensive activity that some estimate consumes 3-to-5% of the world's energy.

2. 40% of today's global population works in agriculture.

3. Organic food accounts for nearly 4% of all food products sold in the U.S.

4. The World Resources Institute reports that we need 70% more food in 2050 than we have today in order to provide for a 9.6 billion-world population.

5. Most produce is picked 4-to-7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves and is shipped an average of 1,500 miles. 

6. Fertilizer runoff contributes to dead zones where no-to-little marine life survives. The largest is in the gulf of Mexico and was 6,474 square miles large in 2015.

7. Sustainable agriculture can mean organic, low-input, free range or holisitic in nature.

 

Soil Health Is Crucial To Sustainable Agriculture
Having healthy soil means you have a better growing habitat for crops. When our soil ecosystem is in balance, crops are better able to handle stresses and need less inputs like fertilizers. Nurturing soil health means big improvements in sustainability.
Leonardo da Vinci once stated, "we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than the soil underfoot." Today's technology and research is doing a lot to close that gap.
Update your knowledge on soil health by downloading our Digging into Soil Science Ebook.  
 
soil food web

Tags: agriculture

Top 5 Techniques to Improve Sustainability at The Farm

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Sustainable agriculture is becoming increasingly important. However, farmers looking to improve sustainability at the farm are faced with the overwhelming challenge of producing high-yield, high-quality crops without undermining the natural systems and resources that crop productivity and environmental sustainability depend on. That challenge is becoming even more crucial when faced with today’s growing world population, which is forecasted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

We’ve compiled a collaboration of some of the most popular sustainable agriculture techniques employed by farmers today. These techniques help farmers increase yields and crop resilience, gain control over weeds, pests, disease, erosion, and aid in producing high-quality soil.

 

#1 Using big data to create field-specific applications

Instead of treating a field uniformly, precision agriculture uses big data to prescribe site-specific treatments utilizing technology like GPS and GIS. This micromanagement of a farm allows farmers to (1) provide the ideal recipe for growing the best crops possible on a specific location based on the needs of the soil and crop and (2) minimize their environmental footprint by using fertilizers and pesticides only when needed.

 

#2 Adding microbial products to boost yields and crop resilience and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides 

Instead of adding nutrients, microbial products add living, beneficial microorganisms that naturally increase crop and soil health the way Mother Nature intended. While seen as a new technology, data from microbial products demonstrate that soil microbes have the power to affect big change in the agriculture industry.

For example, Holganix Agriculture (aBio 800+ product) is a 100% organic microbial product, infused with over 800 species of diverse microbes to optimize your soils. Studies have shown that Holganix Agriculture increases yields and crop resilience when faced with stress, and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Want to learn more about results seen with Holganix Agriculture? Check out our case study “Boosting Yield and Degrees Brix at Alfalfa Farm Winery”: http://www.holganix.com/blog/boosting-yield-and-degrees-brix-at-alfalfa-winery

 

#3 No-till/soil enrichment enhances soil health and decreases erosion and runoff

No-till farming helps prepare the land for crops without mechanically disturbing the soil. There are countless benefits that come with adopting no-till farming including a significant decrease in soil erosion, an increase in water infiltration and retention by the soil (resulting in less runoff of water that is often contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides) AND because the soil is not being frequently agitated, no-till farming promotes biodiversity in and around the soil.

 

#4 Cover crops alleviate compaction and protect from erosion

Planting cover crops such as clover, oats, or radishes help alleviate compaction so oxygen and water can sufficiently flow in the soil. It also adds organic matter to the soil when tilled under for the next farming season and helps hold soil in place, reducing crusting and protecting against erosion from wind and rain.

For additional information regarding cover crop benefits, watch the video below by The Soil Health Institute. If viewing this blog via email, click here to view the video.

 

 

 

# 5 Crop rotation naturally curbs pest problems

Crop rotation allows farmers to curb pest problems naturally. Many pests have preferences for specific crops; therefore, the continuous growth of the same crop guarantees pests a steady food supply. By growing different crops in succession in the same field, you help break that food supply and control pests.

soil food web

Tags: agriculture, organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture