Growing Magazine - June, 2009
Sulfate of Potash and Sweet Potato Crop Yields
University studies sponsored by Great Salt Lake
Minerals Corp. (GSL) indicate that sulfate of potash may be a more
effective potassium fertilizer for sweet potato crops than traditional
muriate of potash (MOP), increasing the yield of U. S. No. 1 sweet potatoes
by as much as 32 percent in preliminary studies.
Ongoing crop trials at Louisiana State University
Agricultural Center compared the effect of different sources of potassium
fertilizer on the yield and quality of sweet potatoes. In the crop trials,
SOP treatments produced more bushels per acre of sweet potatoes and more
U.S. No. 1 sweet potatoes than treatments of MOP. Additional sweet potato
trials are currently underway with the University of California, Davis,
and North Carolina State University.
GSL offers an organic SOP that is listed as an
approved source for potassium and sulfur by the Organic Materials Review
USDA to Conduct Organic Ag Survey
USDA will conduct the first-ever, wide-scale survey of
organic farming in the United States to find out how the growth of organic
farming is changing the face of U.S. agriculture. The 2007 Census of
Agriculture counted more than 20,000 U.S. farms engaged in organic
production. The new survey will look at many aspects of organic farming
during the 2008 calendar year—from production and marketing
practices, to income and expenses. It will focus not only on operations
that are currently engaged in organic production, but also on those making
the transition to organic agriculture.
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS) mailed the survey in early May to all known organic producers in the
United States, who are asked to respond by June 17. NASS will publish
results in winter 2009.
Participants can mail back their forms or complete the
survey online at www.agcensus.usda.gov. Survey participants are guaranteed by law (Title 7, U.S.
Code) that their individual information will be kept confidential. NASS
uses the information only for statistical purposes and publishes data only
in tabulated totals.
New Organic Nematicide
Monterey AgResources announced that Nema-Q, an organic
nematicide, is now registered by the California Department of
Pesticide Regulation. Nema-Q is the only nematicide based on Quillaja, an
extract from a tree native to Chile. The nematicide has been used
successfully in Chile for several years.
Nema-Q is listed by the Organic Materials Review
Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production. It acts directly on the
plant parasite nematodes that cause damage by feeding on roots, and is
highly effective in a wide range of agricultural applications, including
vegetables, tree fruit, nuts, vine crops, ornamentals and turf. Nema-Q can
be applied through the irrigation system by drip, micro-sprinkler, or band
Marrone Organic Innovations Changes Identity
Marrone Organic Innovations, Inc. has revised its name
to Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) in a move to more accurately
represent the company’s leadership in the discovery and development
of effective and environmentally responsible pesticide active ingredients
from novel biological sources.
Despite the broader scope of the company’s
target audience, the development of safe and effective pest management
products that are approved for organic markets continues to rank high in
importance at MBI. Several new products are in the development pipeline at
MBI for organic and conventional ag, as well as for other uses.
Information on the company and its products can be
found at the Web site www.marronebioinnovations.com.