3 Management Practices to Help Improve and Sustain Soil Organic Carbon

Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is an important aspect of crop production and the long term sustainability of the soil. Carbon makes up approximately 58% of the organic matter in soil, revealing just how significant it is for maximizing soil health and crop production. Without adequate amounts of SOC, crops cannot reach their genetic potential resulting in lower yields, less profit and higher costs to the farmer. Having a healthy amount of SOC is beneficial because it improves fertility, reduces erosion, and also increases the land’s resistance to drought and flooding.  When erosion occurs, the soil is exposed and carbon is released into the atmosphere and converted into carbon dioxide.  Reducing erosion allows the carbon to be utilized for soil and plant health, while also reducing unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. When SOC is managed properly it will benefit the land and grower for years to come. Some good management practices to help improve and sustain SOC are:

  1. Reduced Tillage – this lowers the loss of carbon into the atmosphere because it is not turned over and exposed to the elements where it could be washed away by rainfall or even erosion.
  2. Crop Rotation –  this lowers the risk of weed resistance and improves the diversity of the soil microbiome which utilizes the SOC to the grower’s advantage.
  3. Cover Crops – helps keep the soil microbial populations constantly active and increases the amount of organic matter in the soil.  Cover crops also protect the soil from erosion and help store nutrients in the soil for next year’s crop.

AgriGro’s products provide a big help in this area by boosting the soil’s native microbial life to improve yields, soil health, SOC, and overall soil organic matter (SOM).  Your soils microbial life (microbiome) are essential for the breakdown of SOC and SOM by making them available to the plant in a usable form so they are not wasted into the atmosphere as CO2 or washed away through erosion.  Products like IgniteS2® and FoliarBlend® work to provide an immediate shockwave to your soil and plant’s microbial life allowing the natural microbiome to unlock nutrients and increase organic matter so the plant can use them. Microbes, along with SOC and SOM,  help improve the tilth of the soil, therefore improving germination, root development, water infiltration, and the use of nutrients already in the soil to the crop’s favor.

In conclusion, AgriGro products have been proven to be an effective tool to improve Soil Organic Carbon which improves the overall Soil Organic Matter, leading to healthier soils, stronger plants, higher yields, and more profit in the growers pocket.





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The Ultimate List of the Most Vibrant Fall Shrubs, Perennials, & Trees

Autumn is known for its vibrant colors—from stunning leaves on the trees to bright pumpkins growing in fields. This time of year is anticipated, it’s homey and beautiful—a mix of so many family activities and traditions. 

Bringing these beautiful fall colors and foliage to your home is relatively simple by choosing just the right plants. We have our favorite, ultimate list, and images of the best fall shrubs, perennials, and tree suggestions that will bring the fall color you are looking for!

Shrubs

Certain shrubs are the perfect choice for planting near your home’s foundation. Their compact size requires less maintenance, and adding the right shrub can bring pops of color next to your home exterior materials. Some shrubs even produce berries, which we love! But before you choose, make sure the shrub will have plenty of space to grow in the area allotted. So do your research and know where your shrub will be located.

These are our fall favorites : 

Beautyberry

Fothergilla

Heavenly Bamboo

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Sumac

Virginia Creeper

Winged Euonymus

Witch Hazelpr

Beautyberry Shrub








Perennials

Perennials are the perfect garden and landscape staples because they come back year after year. Many perennials provide great fall color and leave your garden looking beautiful year-round.

Look to add: 

Florists’ Chrysanthemum

Gaillardia 

Gloriosa Daisy 

Golden Fleece 

Goldenrod 

Japanese Anemone 

Mountain Sage 

Pineapple Sage 

Salvia’ Indigo Spires’

Sedum’ Autumn Joy’ 

Sneezeweed 

Sunflowers

Gaillardia








Trees

There’s something incredible about seeing the trees change colors in the fall and then the carpet of color they blanket the ground with soon after. It’s truly a spectacular sight!

If you’re looking to add height, here are some of our favorite trees: 

Chinese Pistache

Crape Myrtle 

Eastern Redbud

Japanese Maple

Maidenhair Tree

Paperbark Maple

Persian Parrotia

Smoke Trees

Eastern Redbud








Once you add a mix of these shrubs, perennials, and trees—take time to give each plant a considerable amount of water. While we’re moving into the fall season, it is still warm in many parts of the country, so plants need plenty of moisture to stay healthy and hydrated. To help with hydration, consider adding mulch. This will add an extra line of defense and help your plants retain water.

Don’t forget to add microbial support to your planting routine. Our Home and Garden prebiotics work to increase nature’s ability to bolster root establishment and growth to best prepare for winter dormancy. Come spring, with Bountiful Harvest®, your soil and plants will thrive with health, vigor, and vitality that you simply can’t get from fertilizers alone. How it works – Each product works in harmony with nature to provide vibrant, healthy plant growth while enhancing plant and soil health the way nature intended. Helping you create a beautiful “Bountiful Harvest®” of fall color this year and next fall in and around your home!

Happy GRO-ing!


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SOURCES:
Cohoon, S., & McCausland, J. (2002, 10). Color your garden for fall. Sunset, 209, 92-98.
Weishan, M. (2003). Planning for the fall. Country Living, 26(8), 62.
10 1988: 69. ProQuest. Web. 18 July 2020.

Late Summer is the Best Time to Repot Your Growing Houseplants – Here’s How

Indoor houseplants can often go unnoticed when it comes to the right time to transplant. However, when our pothos, snake plants, and philodendron begin outgrowing their pots, they need to be replanted into bigger containers to take root and give them the best opportunity to develop and thrive fully. You’ll know it’s time when roots start peeping out of drainage holes, and new growth is smaller and farther apart. 

During the warm months is the best time to make the transition since the plants are actively growing. You can also wait until fall, but don’t wait too long—the colder weather will stifle the growth of your houseplants and weaken their transplant success. 

We’ve put together a guide so you can successfully transition your houseplants into a new home:

#1 – Water

Before you make the transition, begin watering your plants thoroughly 24 hours before you plan to transplant.

#2 – Remove the plant

To remove the plant from the pot: Turn the plant upside down, place one hand on the soil, and the other gripping the pot. Then, gently pull to release the plant from the pot.

#3 – Examine

Once the plant is out, examine the roots. If any white ones are winding around the edges, gently untangle them with your fingers. 

Pro tip:  To help promote good nutrient absorption, it’s ok to help the roots loosen up and even trim them. Use pruning shears to remove and loosen the root mass and help create space for the plant to avoid strangling itself with its roots as it grows.

#4 – Repotting

Add fresh soil to your new pot. Next, center the plant and fill the rest of the pot with soil. The soil should be just below the rim of the pot—about three centimeters.

Pro Tip: Cacti, Snake Plants Succulents, and Snake Plants love terracotta pots. Plastic pots are best for African violet, anthurium, and ferns.

#5 – Just Add Life

To ensure your plants succeed when being repotted, take the opportunity to check if your soil lacks nutrients. A simple soil test will help you determine if the nutrients have settled to the bottom soil in your pot, and this is the perfect time to boost the nutrients.  

A soil test indicates your soil’s pH level—the relative acidity or alkalinity—which affects how plants take up nutrients and thrive. If the analysis shows low PH, we recommend adding calcium. Calcium is the trucker of all plant nutrients; it is essential for proper nutrient transportation into the plant. When calcium is deficient, your plants suffer not only from lack of calcium but other essential nutrients as well.

Adding SuperCal® is one of the best ways to supply calcium in the form your plants require. This fast-acting, proprietary blend of natural organic acids, works in the soil to break down tied up calcium/lime deposits and convert them to an available form that plants can utilize. 

Here are a few benefits:

– Guaranteed analysis of 10% calcium

– 100% water-soluble, does not have to go through biological breakdown

– Immediately available to the soil and growing plants

– Improves Nutrient Uptake

– See immediate results…No waiting six to twelve months like with dry lime.

Don’t starve your plants of the calcium they need. Set them up to take root in their new home with SuperCal®!




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SOURCES:
Westcott-Gratton, Stephen. “Repotting Houseplants.” Canadian Gardening Winter 2007: 38-9. ProQuest. Web. 18 July 2020.
“Prepare Houseplants for Winter.” Southern Living 10 1988: 69. ProQuest. Web. 18 July 2020.

Preventing Harmful Water Factors in Poultry Production

Water Functions

Numerous factors play a role in poultry performance. These factors include equipment, management practices that help with the fight against ammonia, house environment such as improving litter quality, and housing type. Enhancing any of these daily operations is important, but water quality may be the most critical. 

Water is needed for bird consumption, facility sanitation, and reducing air temperature, and is an essential nutrient in bird nutrition and metabolism. Water consumed by the bird is used for:

  • body temperature regulation
  • enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body
  • lubrication of joints and organs
  • nutrient transportation.

The necessity of providing a plentiful supply and sufficient access to water is well understood, but the importance of water quality on performance is often overlooked and misunderstood.

Harmful Factors

Poor water quality may interfere with bird digestion and subsequent bird performance. Bacteria, fungi, minerals, molds, and water additives interact in the water source and within piping and drinkers to impede management practices necessary to ensure the best quality water for your bird’s peak performance. Bacteria should not be present in drinking water in the ideal situation. Their presence often comes with contamination by organic materials. The presence of coliform bacteria in drinking water is typically from fecal contamination resulting from runoff to surface or groundwater supplies. High levels of total dissolved solids cause the most harmful effects in poultry.

The primary components contributing to total dissolved solids include magnesium, calcium, and sodium salts. The pH of your water is also critical. Water with a pH of 7 is neutral. A pH of less than 7 indicates acidity, and a pH greater than 7 indicates alkalinity. Water with a high pH can clog watering systems because of excessive mineral levels, primarily magnesium and calcium. Water with a low pH can be unpalatable.

What can you do to help prevent these harmful factors?

(wattagnet.com)
  • Change filters regularly. Clogged filters restrict water flow to the drinker and cooling systems. Sediment and other particulates can lead to water nipples leaking, which can negatively affect litter quality. 
  • Conduct water tests. All farms should have their water tested thoroughly. The quality of your water can fluctuate during periods of drought or heavy rain. During these times, additional water tests will ensure that water lines continue to give adequate water volume for both the cooling systems and the birds. 
  • Flush water lines regularly. Perform a high-pressure flush on water lines between each flock and after adding supplements through the medicator. 
  • Supplement and improve water effectiveness by adding NutriZyme. NutriZyme® is an all-natural water and feed additive that can positively affect digestive function by promoting the diverse microbial population in the gut of poultry, giving birds a stronger immune system when dealing with various factors.
  • When used as a daily dose of 16 oz. of NutriZyme® into 5 gallons of water and set medicator to 1 oz./gallon (1:128), it’s designed to improve animal health and performance. Working in conjunction with the importance of good water quality. NutriZyme® will enhance your bird’s gut health, feed conversion, disease resistance, energy and vigor, skin, paw, and leg integrity. 

In conclusion, managing for the highest water quality will have the most significant impact on your bird production.  Overlooking these harmful factors can, and will, affect your bottom line. 

Following the simple steps above will make all the difference in the water quality you give your birds.  Coupled with enhancing your bird’s immune system by supporting gut health and disease resistance, you can have the added peace of mind that you are giving your house what it needs to thrive with more profit back to you at settlement time.

Check out what one grower had to say…

“I started using NutriZyme® about one and a half years ago. At that time, I was becoming concerned about the limited use of antibiotics. Some of the issues I was facing… birds going off feed at 3-4 weeks old, my mortality was going up, and the birds were very sizey. This last issue continued until market time creating birds that weighed anywhere from 8 – 16 lbs. We began by spraying the feedlines with NutriZyme®. We observed that the birds responded very well to the product and we started to see fewer gut issues in the birds. With less gut issues and the birds not going off feed, this meant more profit at settlement time. Having seen positive results from the NutriZyme® feed additive, we also began to treat the litter with IndigoLT®. This treatment was to reinforce the placement of good enzymes in the birds’ environment, while slowing the ammonia and keeping the litter dryer. At this time, both products are in use with positive results in bird performance and profit in the flock settlements. Also, I have not had to use any antibiotics in the last year.”

ATKINSON TURKEY FARM – HARRISON, AR

Contact a rep to learn more about adding NutriZyme® into your poultry production.




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Sources:

“Poultry Drinking Water Primer” by University of Georgia Extension, Apr 04, 2006, Updated Apr 14, 2015

“Water Quality Critical to Broiler Performance” by Tom Tabler, Ph.D., Extension Professor, Poultry Science; Jessica Wells, Extension Instructor, Poultry Science; and Wei Zhai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Poultry Science.  2019 by Mississippi State University

2019 SeedMaxx Trial Increases Corn Yields By Average of 10.7 BPA

In a study performed by KMR Research across multiple corn varieties, SeedMaxx® was evaluated in four different locations. Overall, SeedMaxx® averaged a 10.7 bushel per acre increase over the control.

Details:

SeedMaxx® was evaluated in 4 different locations with 3 different hybrids.

  1. Albert City, IA
    Corn on Corn; Strip till applied hog finisher manure
  2. Scribbler, NE
    Irrigated, corn following soybean; Cattle manure broadcasted
  3. Elizabeth, IL
    Corn following soybeans; No-till w/ wheat cover crop
  4. Round Lake, MN
    Corn on corn; Farrowing barn manure injected

Applications = 6oz of SeedMaxx®  / 100lbs of seed

Results:



SeedMaxx® averaged a 10.7 BPA increase over the control.


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