The Holganix Blog

Soybean Cyst Nematodes: What You Need To Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

NEMATODES

A silent predator, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) leads to an estimated $1 billion worth of yield loss in the U.S. each year. With planting season drawing closer, it’s important to keep the threat of Soybean cyst nematodes under consideration.

Check out our infographic on the threat of soybean cyst nematodes and how your farm can proactively battle SCN in the field. Or, skip the infographic and scroll to the bottom to read the article in more depth.

Soybean cyst nematode infographic

What Are Soybean Cyst Nematodes?

SCN are microscopic roundworms that attack soybean roots and other plants. Juvenile worms burrow into soybean roots to feed and develop. While feeding, the SCN damages roots by stealing water and nutrients. This can lead to stunted growth and reduced yields. In addition, punctures from the SCN can allow disease to enter the roots, furthering yield problems.

If the SCN is female, she has the potential to lay 200 or more eggs after her death, potentially leading to an infestation if the problem isn’t curbed.

There can be visible signs of SCN, but they are also silent killers. In fact, 15-to-30% yield loss can occur without any visual above ground differences.


Which Farms Are Under Threat?

According to AgWeb.com “Farmers in the “I” states and other areas with known SCN populations should actively manage the pest because its developing resistance to certain genetics. However, states, where SCN is a new problem, face challenges, too.” Fields or sections of fields that have high pH levels and standing water, can often have a greater threat than other fields. North Dakota State University Nematologist, Sam Merkell reports, “pH is more important than soil texture, but sandy soils can show more symptoms of nematode damage if the plant is water stressed.”


Be Proactive With Soybean Cyst Nematodes

According to the SCN Coalition, avoiding tight rotations and using SCN soybean resistant varieties are all proactive ways to fight the threat of SCN. In addition, conducting soil tests before planting and manually digging roots to check for tell-tale cysts, can all help.

Further, improving soil health, especially the presence of beneficial soil microbes, leads to the development of suppressive soils. Suppressive soils are those where soil-borne pathogens do little or no damage to the crop largely due to competition and predation by beneficial soil microbes. Improving soil health also helps by building a strong root system and by improving the crop's resilience against stressors, ultimately building healthier plants that better resist yield loss due to SCN.


New Tools To Battle Soybean Cyst Nematodes

Sometimes even the most proactive farmers have to pull out nematicides to battle SCN outbreaks. Holganix is currently developing a bionematicide that harnesses the power of soil microbes to fight juvenile SCN. While studies are still ongoing, preliminary results have shown a 75% reduction in pathogenic nematodes with Holganix technology in a lab setting and a 80% reduction in pathogenic nematodes in a field setting.

“We are excited about the opportunity with this technology,” explains Holganix President of Agriculture, David Stark Ph.D.

>>Learn more about our preliminary results by visiting this blog

Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

Late Spring Season? 2 Ways Holganix Helps Corn and Soy Growers

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Across the corn and soy belt, weather forecasts point to a late spring. We have had bitterly cold weather in some regions, and in others, we have had rain and flooding; for many, field work to prep for planting has been delayed.

Once conditions dry, it will be a mad dash to get crops planted. When we are faced with conditions like these - a shortened growing season with rough weather conditions - using Bio 800+ Agriculture becomes paramount for farmers looking to maximize their crop. In fact, there are two key benefits to using Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture during these conditions.


1. Developing a deep extensive root system, quickly

When the season turns from spring to summer in a short period of time, getting roots established is key so the crop can withstand the dry, hot periods that are sure to follow. The faster you can develop an extensive root system, the faster your crop can catch up to the development it usually sees under ordinary circumstances.

Microbes in Holganix Bio 800+ like mycorrhizae fungi, and plant growth promoting bacteria focus on developing a strong, web-like root system as quickly as possible for the crop.

>>Learn more about End and Ecto- Mycorrhizae

>>Learn more about Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria


2. Replenishing soils with microbes during flooding/wet conditions

Ground that is saturated with water will become anaerobic or very low in oxygen, so the beneficial, aerobic microbes drown and their populations decline rapidly. Tilling or leveling ground damaged by last year’s harvest, winter weather and floods also kills microbes, particularly beneficial fungi. The drop in aerobic, beneficial microbes not only opens the door to microbial pathogens which don’t require oxygen, but further nutrient cycling will decline since this process is dependent on beneficial microbes. This means nutrients in cover crops, plant debris, manure and even synthetic fertilizer will be less available to the new crop.

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes and when applied to soils, replenishes critical aerobic soil microbe populations that are harmed during wet conditions and necessary field repairs.

>>Learn more about our microbes by downloading our ingredient list


Improving crop yield and soil health is just the start…

Not only does Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture improve crop yield and soil health, but it also plays a huge role in helping farmers overcome challenges associated with a shorter planting season and rough weather conditions.

At Holganix, we talk a lot about the importance of soil health and all of the long-term benefits improved soil health can mean for your farm. While Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture should be the foundation for that sort of program, using the product provides more than just long-term benefits; the microbes in Bio 800+ can help farmers today, in the short term, especially during tough weather conditions.

 

Check out our university and commercial grower trials

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 crops. Click the button below to access a sample from our 2017 and 2018 collection.

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Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

10 Soil Health Terms Explained In Simple English!

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Soil health has become an important benchmark for all growers - regardless of whether you are growing corn, berries, turfgrass or ornamental trees and shrubs. Yet for many, soil health definitions and terms are new and confusing! In this blog, we focus on providing simple and concise explanations for 10 key soil health terms.

To “short-cut” the article, you can select any term you would like to explore using the list below.

>> Soil Structure >> Soil Degradation
>> The Soil Food Web >> Soil Microbes
>> Beneficial Soil Bacteria >> Beneficial Soil Fungi
>> Cation Exchange Capacity >> Soil Organic Matter
>> Humus >> Regenerative Agriculture


Soil Structure

Soil structure influences water and air movement, soil microbe activity, root growth, and seedling emergence. In short, it is the arrangement of pore spaces and solid soil particles that are glued together by sticky substances created by bacteria and root hairs. Good soil structure has 50% soil particles and 50% pore spaces occupied by air and water.


Soil Degradation

Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality; specifically, it is the decline of the soil’s physical, biological and chemical state. Depending on the severity of degradation, the soil can still be used for crop production. According to the USDA, the “productivity of some lands has declined by 50% due to soil erosion and desertification.”

DegSoilMap

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy found that 75% of our lands are degraded. Their assessment took three years and included more than 100 experts from 45 countries. Check out the image above from GRID Arendal (A center collaborating with the United Nations Environment Program) which demonstrates degraded land worldwide. 

Soil degradation can be caused by improper land use through agriculture, pasture urban or industrial purposes.

>>Looking to learn more about Soil Degradation? Check out the U.N. to combat desertification


The Soil Food Web

Within the natural world there exists a complex balance among living organisms known as the “food web.” Plants, animals, and microorganisms 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.

A healthy soil food web is very similar to the food web we all learned in middle school (see image below from the National Resources Conservation Services).

The Soil Food Web

One of the functions of a healthy soil food web is to hold nutrients in non-leachable forms so they remain in the soil until the plant requires them. The plant triggers the right soil microbes to convert nutrients into forms the plant can uptake (but which are typically very leachable), in exchange the plant provides sugars for the microbes. When the correct ratio of fungi and bacteria to protozoa (prey to predator) is present, the soil pH, structure and nutrient cycling occur at optimum rates, producing the right form of nutrients for the plant when the plant needs them.

>>Watch our 3.5-minute video on the soil food web to learn more


Soil Microbes

Soil microbes recharge soils, that ultimately leads to improved yield, root growth, and crop resilience against stress. Increasing beneficial microbe populations and diversity in the soil is an important component to improving soil health. In fact, it is impossible to build topsoil, soil structure and convert plant and animal debris into nutrients without microbes.

There are 5 types of soil microbes: bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. Each type conducts a unique job to improve soil and plant health.

Growers and turf professionals can increase their soil microbe populations and diversity by:

1. Applying a microbial product like Holganix Bio 800+ - Holganix Bio 800+ harnesses the power of over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes that improve: (1) soil health, (2) plant resilience against stress like disease and traffic, (3) crop yields, (4) root depth and density, and (5) turf professionals can reduce their use of fertilizers and pesticides.

2. Supporting microbes already present in the soil with microbe food - Applying sugars, using compost, reducing your tillage and incorporating cover crops are all ways to feed the microbes already present in your soil, or those you apply to your soil through microbial products. However, deep freezes, flooding, tillage, and some chemicals can harm the soil’s microbiome, so it’s not just important to support the microbes already present in the soil but to also supply a diverse concentration of microbial species.

>>Check out this 4.5-minute video on the top 5 most interesting soil microbes

 

Beneficial Soil Bacteria

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), states, “bacteria may well be the most valuable of life forms in the soil.” Beneficial soil microbes are the crucial workforce of soils and are charged with breaking down nutrients and releasing them to the root zone for the plant. Some species like Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria, release plant hormones that encourage plant growth.

>>Check out this 5-minute read on Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria


Beneficial Soil Fungi

Like bacteria, fungi also live in the root zone and helps make nutrients available to plants. For example, Mycorrhizae fungi facilitate water and nutrient uptake by the roots and plants to provide sugars, amino acids, and other nutrients. Other beneficial soil fungi like Trichoderma help the plant fight disease and improve root growth. 

>>Check out this technical article on the benefits of Mycorrhizae

 

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. 

How can you increase CEC? Check out this blog on how superintendents like Shannon Easter at Broken Sound Golf Club and Matt Boyd at Orchid Island Golf and Country Club, are using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf to drive CEC.

>>Read our case studies on improving CEC


Soil Organic Matter

Soil organic matter (SOM) is made from carbon and once-living plants that are broken down by soil organisms like bacteria, fungi, and earthworms. Soil organisms utilize SOM as food, and when digested, exude nutrients and humus. Once SOM has been efficiently broken down, SOM becomes humus.

Increased SOM in soil promotes improved soil structure, biological activity and an increased ability to hold and release nutrients and water in the soil. Good, healthy soil contains 3 -to-5% SOM. Low SOM is a sign of soil degradation.

So, how can you increase SOM? Combining Holganix Bio 800+ to provide a diverse set of microbes, with practices the feed soil microbes (think no-to-low till, cover crops, compost, etc), will allow you to slowly build SOM.

Check out this blog on how superintendents like Shannon Easter at Broken Sound Golf Club and Matt Boyd at Orchid Island Golf and Country Club, are using Holganix Bio 800+ Golf to improve SOM.

>>Read our case studies on improving SOM


Humus

According to National Geographic, “Humus is a dark, organic material that forms in the soil when plant and animal matter decays.”

When plants drop leaves and other material to the ground, it forms leaf litter. As animals die, their remains contribute to the litter. Over time, the litter decomposes to its most basic chemical elements. These chemical elements “are important nutrients for the soil and organisms that depend on soil for life, such as plants.”

After the litter decomposes, the thick brown or black substance that remains is called humus.

National Geographic states that “Humus contains many useful nutrients for healthy soil. Some experts think humus makes the soil more fertile. Others say humus helps prevent disease in plants and food crops.”

>>Learn more about humus by visiting this National Geographic blog


Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that focus on regenerating topsoil, allowing farmers to maintain crop yields, improve water retention and nutrient uptake, increase farm profitability, and support biosequestration, among other benefits.

The backbone of regenerative agriculture is a focus on strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. The key is that regenerative agriculture “Does no harm” to the land, and in fact improves it using technologies to build soil health like compost, recycling waste, limited-to-no-tillage, among other practices.

>>Check out this 5-minute read for more information on the benefits of regenerative agriculture


Are you interested in soil health and want to dig in deeper? Download our Soil Science eBook

Digging Soil Science 101: Beginners Guide to Understanding the Soil Food Web

We know regenerative agriculture and long-term sustainability of farmland hinges on the health of soils. But, how do soils work? And, what does healthy soil look like? Dig deeper into soil science with by downloading our FREE eBook by Holganix Director of Soil and Plant Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer.

Download our eBook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy crops

2. The power behind soil microbes and what they do to build resilient crops

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

soil food web

Tags: lawn care, the science behind holganix, golf course, farmer

Top 5 Benefits Of Regenerative Agriculture [INFOGRAPHIC]

Regenerative_Agriculture_benefits

In 1938, Dr. Charles Kellogg, soil scientist and then Chief of the USDA’s Bureau for Chemistry and Soils stated that “Essentially, all life depends upon the soil… There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.”

100 years later and that quote still remains prevalent to the way we think of agriculture. As new scientific studies are published supporting the benefits of soil health, topics like regenerative agriculture have gained popularity. Once thought of a system for niché farmers, regenerative agriculture is gaining major headway within the agriculture community as a way to improve soil health, while being good stewards to the earth.


What Is Regenerative Agriculture?

So, what is regenerative agriculture? Regenerative agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that focus on regenerating topsoil, allowing farmers to maintain crop yields, improve water retention and plant uptake, increase farm profitability, and support biosequestration, among other benefits.

The backbone of regenerative agriculture is a focus on strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. The key is that regenerative agriculture “does no harm” to the land, and in fact improves it, using technologies to build soil health like compost, recycling waste, limited-to-no-tillage, among other practices.

According to a paper by the Washington State University, “there are multiple versions of [regenerative agriculture], each with a different flavor.” For example, The Rodale Institute promotes a strictly organic version and even has certifying programs to guide farmers and buyers. While, farmer and TEDx speaker, Gabe Brown champions a form of regenerative agriculture that doesn’t restrict the need to go fully organic.


Top 5 Benefits Of Regenerative Agriculture

Check out our infographic below for the top 5 benefits of regenerative agriculture, or skip the infographic and keep on scrolling to read it in article form - the old fashioned way.

Regenerative_Agriculture_Infographic


#1 Regenerative Agriculture Is Focused On Increasing Soil Health

No matter the variation in regenerative agricultural practices, all focus on increasing soil health. According to the Regeneration International, a non-profit organization with the goal for a global transition to regenerate agriculture and land management, “Regenerative agriculture describes farming and organic practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity…”  By focusing on building soil health, you can optimize their yield results and crop health naturally.


#2 Maintaining Crop Yields Is A No Brainer?

No conversation around switching regenerative agricultural practices would be complete without addressing yield. According to the Nature Conservancy Organization, regenerative agricultural practices “reduce the risk of yield loss due to stressors, and can bring about a material increase in crop yields and quality.” Other reports from the Rodale Institute shows that yields can be maintained and at times increased (See benefit #3).

We should be open to exploring whether or not we can maintain crop yields with regenerative agricultural practices and there is no better way to get proof than by trying it on a portion of your own farm.  

>>Check out the Nature Conservancy's report on Regenerative Agriculture


#3 Growing More Resilient Crops

According to the Rodale Institute, yields “under organic systems are likely to be more resilient to extreme weather… in the long-running Farming System Trial, in drought years, yields were consistently higher in the organic system. For instance, organic corn yields were 28-to-34% higher than conventional.” In general, having resilient crops comes back to the soil and increasing soil biodiversity. By ensuring your soils are healthy and teeming with beneficial soil microbes, you can naturally displace and suppress disease.


#4 Improved Farm Profitability

According to several reports, switching to regenerative agriculture can actually increase your farm’s profitability. For example, according to Farmland LP, a fund that invests in converting conventional farmland to regenerative, organic farming, they have seen gross margins around 40-to-50% on wine grapes and single-digit improvements on commodity crops. In another example, researchers Claire LaCanne and Dr. Jonathan Lundgren note that regenerative agriculture grown corn reaped 78% higher profits than conventional corn production systems. And, according to General Mills, it builds farmer economic resilience. They state that “regenerative agricultural practices can reduce the need for expensive chemical inputs.”

There’s a lot of discussion on the importance of focusing on improved farm profitability when converting a farm to regenerative agriculture, and the research on it is variable, yet promising.  


#5 Regenerative Agriculture As A Solution To Climate Change.

In a white paper titled “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change”, the Rodale Institute states that “we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term 'regenerative organic agriculture.'”  That’s a tall order! But, it is one the Rodale Institute has been working with researchers to prove for the past three decades.

>>Check out the Rodale Institute’s white paper for information on their climate change data


How Do Regenerative Agriculture and Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture Fit Together?

Regenerative agricultural practices like composting, cover crops and no-to-low-till, leave food sources for soil microbes in the soil. By providing food sources for microbes, regenerative agriculture strengthens the soil microbes.

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture harnesses the power of over 800 species of soil microbes to recharge soils, that ultimately leads to improved yield, root growth, and crop resilience against stress.

When you combine regenerative agriculture practices that provide microbe food sources, and the diverse consortium of microbes in Holganix Bio 800+, results from both can increase.

Learn more about Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture by watching our short 8.5-minute video on our university and commercial grower trials.

 

 

 

Dig Deeper Into Soil; Download Our Soil Science eBook

Digging Soil Science 101: Beginners Guide to Understanding the Soil Food Web

We know regenerative agriculture and long-term sustainability of farmland hinges on the health of soils. But, how do soils work? And, what does healthy soil look like? Dig deeper into soil science with by downloading our FREE eBook by Holganix Director of Soil and Plant Science, Dr. Robert Neidermyer.

Download our eBook to explore:

1. How the soil food web supports healthy crops

2. The power behind soil microbes and what they do to build resilient crops

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

soil food web

Tags: science behind holganix, farmer

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

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“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: holganix reviews, agriculture, holganix review, farmer

[Video] Interview On Results With Holganix Agriculture

Holganix Agriculture

In today’s blog, we sit down with Holganix Agriculture President, Dr. David Stark and Holganix CEO, Barrett Ersek for a 3.5-minute interview on the results farmers are seeing with Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture. Watch the video below to hear the conversation or skip the video and read the highlights. If you are reading this blog via email, click here for the video.

 

 

  

Holganix – Dr. Stark, you have been working with our farmers for over two years, what are they seeing in the field?

David Stark, PhD. – Farmers are telling me that Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is easy to use and goes down well. They are also reporting increased yield and increased rooting - everything you would expect from a Holganix farmer.

Recently, I heard from a midwest farmer growing corn that applied Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture on his worst ground; according to that farmer, it became his best performing ground. I even heard from a strawberry grower in Georgia that called our sales representative and thanked the rep for selling him Holganix. According to the strawberry grower, Holganix saved his season and he saw better yields and an earlier harvest compared to the poor harvest his neighbors’ had.

 

Holganix – Barrett, where do you see the microbial space in the next five years?

Barrett Ersek – It is an exciting space to be in! Today, being a farmer in America is challenging. Farmers have to be innovative and hussle in order to make a profit. Anytime Holganix can help a grower make a return on their investment in Holganix, we know we are doing our job for our farmers. We are seeing farmers make anywhere from a 4x to a 10x ROI on their use of Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture

As an industry, I’ve seen a lot of investment pour into the microbial space. I believe that over the next five years, the industry will see microbes do everything from soil health, crop yield to disease and pest control. At Holganix we intend to lead that revolution.

 

Want to dig into the science?

Looking to learn more about Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture, click the link below to access a more in depth video and article on the science and research behind the product.

>>Watch Our Video

Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

How Do You Build Soil Health?

4 Tennessee Lawn Care Companies-2

It is no secret to readers of this blog that the benefits of building soil health are far reaching. From gaining the ability to reduce fertilizer and pesticide inputs, reducing erosion and minimizing weather and disease risk, soil health benefits touch both the economic and environmental needs of growers.

According to a recent report Seeding Soil’s Potential by Wrangler in collaboration with the Soil Health Institute, three core practices - cover crops, crop rotation and conservation tillage - have the ability to add three times more organic matter to the soil, ultimately providing healthier soil that can provide economic and environmental benefits. Let’s explore each of these practices in depth.

healthy_soil_HR-soil-seeding

Above graphic by Wrangler.

 

Cover Crops

According to data released by the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, “only 1% of all cropland acreage uses cover crops [in the U.S.].” Yet, cover crops produce biomass and reduce erosion and nutrient loss.

Examples of cover crops include cereal grains, legumes and brassicas - each type of cover crops provides a unique benefit for the grower.

Cover Crop Examples

Above graphic by Wrangler.


Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an approach for managing pests and diseases. Furthermore, planting diverse crops above the ground leads to a diverse microbial community below the ground.  This ultimately provides a more resilient soil for crops to grow. According to the USDA, “82 to 94% of most crops are grown in some sort of rotation in the U.S.”.


Conservation Tillage

According to an article published by the Washington Post, “plowing and tillage are major sources of soil erosion around the world - they were key factors behind the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.” Furthermore, tilling leads to nutrient loss and releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Conservation tillage includes two methods - no-till and strip till - the later method is a practice where the farmer only tills a narrow stirp of land for planting purposes.

In a 2009 report by USDA, about 35.5% of the country’s cropland had at least some no-tillage operations and 10% practiced full-time no tillage operations.


How else can you build soil health? Incorporating Holganix Bio 800+

Why use Holganix-587110-edited-1

Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture is a plant probiotic that builds soil health by replenishing the soil with microbes. In fact, a jug of Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture contains over 800 species of soil microbes, among other ingredients, to foster soil health, develop root architecture, increase plant resilience and improve crop yield.

soil food web

Tags: the science behind holganix, farmer

Why Soil Matters To Farmers [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Not only are healthy soils important to nurture healthier, more resilient plants but also healthy soils allow farmers to reach crucial environmental goals. Here are just two reasons why soils matter to farmers.



Healthy soils and healthy plants are synonymous

Soil is a living, breathing entity that is teeming with life. In fact, in a single tablespoon of soil there are more microbes present than there are people on Earth. When soil is rich and healthy, it fosters healthier, more resilient plants with deeper, more web-like root systems. That means plants are more sustainable - in other words they can sustain themselves regardless of the environmental conditions including; drought, cold, too much rain. Rich soil also acts as a reservoir to store nutrients and water so the plant can access them when needed.

Check out our infographic below to learn more about how soil nurtures plant health.

why soil matters infographic.png


Healthy soils help farmers reach environmental goals

Not only does having healthy soils help farmers improve crop health, but it can also help farmers reach environmental goals by reducing erosion risk and by reducing nutrient runoff into our waterways. Soil erosion caused by wind, water and tillage removes organic matter and nutrients from the soils, making soil less productive for growing plants. When nutrients runoff into our waterways, marine dead zones can form causing detrimental problems for marine life. Healthy soils act as reservoirs, holding key nutrients in the soil for the plant to access and minimizing runoff.


How can Holganix help?

Holganix Bio 800+ is a plant probiotic that builds soil health by replenishing the soil with microbes. In fact, a jug of Holganix Bio 800+ contains over 800 species of beneficial soil microbes, microbe food and nutrient enhancers to foster soil health, develop plant root growth, increase plant resilience and improve crop yield.

 

Digging deeper into soil

Want to learn more about soil? Download our 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: the science behind holganix, farmer

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: lawn care, golf course, agriculture, science behind holganix, farmer, 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: agriculture, holganix review, holganix agriculture, farmer