AGRONOMY HUB

Tools and resources for functional sustainability.


ARTICLES

A High-tech Look Inside Soil’s Microbiome
A High-tech Look Inside Soil’s Microbiome

Chad Hutchinson is pleased to discuss soil microbes and sustainability with Joy Youwakim, an agroecology scientist at Biome Makers, an independent, third-party genomics company that specializes in DNA sequencing of agricultural soil samples.

1/30/2024
Pushing for Sustainability Is Good, But Only If We Know What We’re Aiming For
Pushing for Sustainability Is Good, But Only If We Know What We’re Aiming For

You’d be hard pressed to look anywhere in agriculture today without running into the word ‘sustainability’. The whole industry is pressing forward on sustainability…but what does sustainability really mean? How do we define sustainability’s goals?

12/19/2023
Opportunities in Pecans
Opportunities in Pecans

The TriCal Group recently hosted a meeting and had Samantha McLeod, Executive Director of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association and Editor of Pecan Grower Magazine speak to us and share information about the U.S. and Georgia pecan market. We’d like to thank Samantha again for her time and for sharing with us.

10/20/2023
Short-term Thinking Costs Long-term Benefits
Short-term Thinking Costs Long-term Benefits

I convinced the director of agronomy for a large company that grows chipping potatoes to try soil fumigation with chloropicrin (sold as Strike). He appreciated the soil health and yield gains he achieved in year one, but he hasn’t been seeing the longer-term soil health gains.

10/17/2023
Ensuring Safe Agriculture: The Important Role of Product Stewardship
Ensuring Safe Agriculture: The Important Role of Product Stewardship

In the dynamic landscape of modern agriculture, the responsible use of chemicals has become paramount to ensure robust crop yields and the well-being of ecosystems, farmers, and consumers. This is where the concept of product stewardship takes center stage.

10/12/2023
Educational Outreach: Agknowledge Program in Salinas, California
Educational Outreach: Agknowledge Program in Salinas, California

The Agknowledge Program in Salinas, California, organized by the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation, is an initiative that brings together the Monterey County community to educate them on issues and public policies affecting the local agricultural industry.

9/22/2023
Managing the Good and the Bad of Soil Microorganisms
Managing the Good and the Bad of Soil Microorganisms

If you’ve farmed for several decades, you’ve seen firsthand the shift from broad spectrum to targeted pest management. Partially, the change has occurred because today’s available technologies are so vastly more precise than what our parents and grandparents used.

8/5/2023
The Badger Common’tater: An Interview with Josh Mays of Triest Ag Group
The Badger Common’tater: An Interview with Josh Mays of Triest Ag Group

The July issue of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association’s The Badger Common’Tater features a wonderful, in-depth interview with our own Corporate Agronomist, Josh Mays!

7/31/2023
Incremental Yield Improvement Is Good, But It’s Not Where the Money Is
Incremental Yield Improvement Is Good, But It’s Not Where the Money Is

Soil health is the basis of the entire crop. Healthy soil is the most important step towards your crop’s yield potential. Plant into unhealthy soil and, no matter how much effort and investment you shovel into those acres, your crop won’t reach its potential.

7/10/2023
Potato Farming Realities and Sustainability
Potato Farming Realities and Sustainability

It seems everyone is talking sustainability today. But, what does sustainability really mean in the context of today’s farming realities, and how do we achieve it in practical, real-world application?

6/27/2023
Potato Farming Realities and Sustainability
Potato Farming Realities and Sustainability

It seems everyone is talking sustainability today. But, what does sustainability really mean in the context of today’s farming realities, and how do we achieve it in practical, real-world application?

6/27/2023
Does Soil Fumigation Have a Place in Regenerative Agriculture?
Does Soil Fumigation Have a Place in Regenerative Agriculture?

Over the past handful of months, I’ve attended a whole pile of potato seminars, expos, forums and conferences around the world. Regenerative agriculture and sustainability are almost always top of the agenda.

6/6/2023
Fumigation Proves Worth for Bundaberg Chillies
Fumigation Proves Worth for Bundaberg Chillies

TriCal Australia has worked closely with a Bundaberg, Queensland, farming business to help improve soil health. The soil on the farm suffers from fungal infections that severely damage chili plants in and around the fruiting set. In some seasons, fruit losses can be as high as 70%.

5/8/2023
Why Healthy Roots Matter for Agriculture
Why Healthy Roots Matter for Agriculture

We will explore why healthy roots are essential for crop growth and productivity. A plant’s roots serve as the main pathway through which water and nutrients are absorbed from the soil, and without a vigorous root system, plants cannot absorb enough nutrients to support their growth.

4/28/2023
The Importance of Irrigation in Pecan Production
The Importance of Irrigation in Pecan Production

Pecan trees have high water requirements, as much as 350 gallons per tree per day for mature trees. They have been shown to take most of the water they require from the upper 32 inches of the soil profile for normal seasonal growth. The deeper the trees have to reach for water the more energy they use.

3/27/2023
What Is Soil Fumigation—And Why Does It Matter?
What Is Soil Fumigation—And Why Does It Matter?

The presence of many common organisms, parasites, and pests can mean the difference between a healthy yield or an off year. Soil fumigation can give plants the best chance possible to grow up and develop, while controlling pests safely and effectively—with lasting results.

3/21/2023
Introduction To Sustainable Agriculture
Introduction To Sustainable Agriculture

The term sustainability has become more engrained in everyday use, but the term is difficult to define. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sustainability as “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.”

3/21/2023
Soil Health: An Overview For Growers
Soil Health: An Overview For Growers

Healthy soil is the foundation for successful agricultural production. One factor that can inhibit soil health is plant parasitic nematodes. Ee will discuss the importance of soil health, how nutrient cycling affects soil health, and the importance of soil fumigation in controlling nematodes.

3/15/2023
Potato School Snapshot - Can Fumigation and Sustainability Align?
Potato School Snapshot - Can Fumigation and Sustainability Align?

As an agronomist and potato scientist, I’m always fascinated to hear the latest research from potato experts around the world. That’s why the TriCal Group’s Potato School with its focus on grower education is one of my favorite events.

1/3/2023
Make the first – and biggest – step toward sustainability
Make the first – and biggest – step toward sustainability

Potato farmers today are pushing hard for sustainability. Regenerative, soil-health promoting practices like reduced tillage, cover cropping, and planting into more residue to reduce erosion are all increasingly mainstream.

1/1/2023
When Size Matters
When Size Matters

When a plant is unfumigated they have a smaller root system which means that water and nutrient uptake is poor. As a result, more water and fertiliser have to be applied to the soil for the stunted root systems to extract both. This increases wastage and input costs.

10/18/2022
Ontario Potato Farmer Notches 100% Yield Increase
Ontario Potato Farmer Notches 100% Yield Increase

Four years ago at a farm show, I happened to cross paths with a long-time, forward-thinking potato grower from Ontario named Paul. He had the walk of a guy who wasn’t planning to stop. But four words on our signage literally caught him mid-stride: Strike supports soil health.

9/22/2022
Fertigation in Substrate: Doing it Right? for Berries
Fertigation in Substrate: Doing it Right? for Berries

Change occurs slowly in a traditional soil production system. This allows berry growers to make fertigation mistakes that are not completely detrimental. Soil deficiencies are more difficult to correct. When fertigating in a substrate system, growers can change pH almost daily.

8/8/2022
Growing Long-cane Raspberries in the Southeast
Growing Long-cane Raspberries in the Southeast

NC State University started an on-farm research project with Lewis Nursery and Farms to investigate the feasibility of long-cane raspberry production in the state. Commercial production of this high value crop has been limited to the western part of the state where the temperatures are cooler.

7/18/2022
Do You Miss the Money You Could Have Earned?
Do You Miss the Money You Could Have Earned?

For a variety of agronomic, environmental, and management reasons, some potato producers choose not to apply soil fumigants to manage disease. The industry standard fumigant doesn’t allow for a winter cover crop to protect your soil and requires a great deal of management.

6/6/2022
Disease Management vs. Sustainability — Does it Have to be a Choice?
Disease Management vs. Sustainability — Does it Have to be a Choice?

The push for sustainability in agriculture: cover crops, reduced tillage, planting into more residue to reduce erosion, and choosing more sustainable chemical inputs are priorities for our whole industry. Is there a way to do that while controlling disease and staying profitable too?

5/18/2022
La Nina Heralds More Than Flooding Rain
La Nina Heralds More Than Flooding Rain

Soil health dramatically decreases after a flooding rain event due to waterlogging and introduced pests and diseases from other land areas. The most effective solution is to fumigate the soil to control these pathogens and rebalance the native beneficial soil microbe population, conditioning it ready for planting.

11/18/2021
Sustainability = Environmental Stewardship, But Economic Success Too
Sustainability = Environmental Stewardship, But Economic Success Too

Sustainability is one of the more commonly misunderstood concepts in agriculture today. At times agricultural success, especially higher productivity, is put at odds with ‘sustainability’. This is not necessary, and here’s why.

7/13/2021
Spudman announces potato industry Dream Team 2021
Spudman announces potato industry Dream Team 2021

As the global director of potato research and market support for TriCal Group, Hutchinson is a master of soil health and disease suppression. He is the industry’s leaders in research and isn't shy. He is often a speaker at potato-related educational opportunities, like Potato Expo.

2/8/2021
Fumigation reduces soilborne diseases, which helps sustainability
Fumigation reduces soilborne diseases, which helps sustainability

Improving sustainable potato production is a goal for the potato industry. The basic concept of sustainable crop production is to produce an economically viable crop while maintaining or improving soil health and reducing the potential environmental impacts.

2/1/2021
A Crisp Autumn Morning
A Crisp Autumn Morning

Picture a crisp, autumn morning. The sun is starting to rise above the tree line that edges up close to the field that stretches before you. The air is still but sweet with the smell of season’s end. You step into the taller grass that grows just beyond the end of the field. The grass is wet with dew. In a heartbeat of time, all that has happened to get to this point passes before you.

11/17/2020
Climate Change, Agriculture, and Chloropicrin Soil Treatment
Climate Change, Agriculture, and Chloropicrin Soil Treatment

Climate change is a politically divisive topic. It is advisable for those with a stake in agriculture to explore the ramifications of potential weather changes on business. As weather instabilities or weather extremes become more common, farming will need to change.

2/19/2020

VIDEOS

Eno River Farm - Hillsborough North Carolina

TriEst Ag Group focuses on the design, equipment and services they provided to a new farm on the Eno River. This short video was produced using only selected soundbites from TriEst Ag Group and their client, Keegan Czesak. The drone aerials on this video are incredible.

12/8/2020
Strike + Potatoes Overview

No matter what you're growing, the health of the soil in which you're planting your crops has one of the most influential impacts on the quality of the crop you harvest. For years farmers have been using a variety of methods to increase yield and improve quality. A growing number of farmers have realized the health of their crop depends on the health of their soil.

3/13/2020
Potato Expo 2020

Dr. Chad Hutchinson reviews how soil fumigation with Chloropicrin helps tackle potato scab, black dot, rhizoctonia, verticillium wilt, and nematodes while positively impacting overall soil health.?

3/2/2020

TRIALS

Green Beans: Low Rate Fumigation Trial
Green Beans: Low Rate Fumigation Trial

Building off of our traditional success in tobacco and our more recent watermelon results in 2020-2021, we wanted to trial our low rate system in another crop that fit the specifications outlined earlier; 60-120 day crop. An opportunity was found in Florida with fresh market green beans.

2/13/2023