AGRONOMY HUB

Tools and resources for functional sustainability.


“Am I Willing to Share? Heck No, It’s My Competitive Advantage”
"Ultimately, potato growers are all in competition with each other. Strike lets me grow more yield and better quality than the guys down the road or – since it’s a global market – in another state or country. The longer I can keep that edge to myself, the more money I make.”
06/21/2023
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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
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A Deeper Look into Grafted Watermelon Production and Management
In this blog and video presentation we will take a deeper dive into why we recommend grafted plants and fumigation as potential solutions to obstacles in watermelon production. I would like to focus on grafted plants as a tool and potential solution to grower obstacles.
10/14/2022
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A Deeper Look into Grafted Watermelon Production and Management
In our last blog we went over the obstacles that growers face in watermelon production and their potential solutions. In this video presentation we will take a deeper dive into why we recommend grafted plants and fumigation as potential solutions to obstacles in watermelon production.
10/14/2022
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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.
01/30/2024
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Agronomy in Action - Peanut Soil Fumigation Trial
Our agronomist, Josh Mays, was out recently in a peanut field in Marion, SC comparing the difference in uniformity of emergence and uniformity of growth in a soil fumigation trial that TriEst Ag Group is doing.
10/23/2023
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Agronomy in Action - Peanut Soil Fumigation Trial Part II
Triest Ag's agronomist, Josh Mays, was back out in the peanut field in Marion, SC recently doing some of the final evaluations on TriEst's soil fumigation trial. The peanuts were freshly turned and drying for harvest.
10/30/2023
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Agronomy in Action - Soil Fumigated PNW Onions
TriEst Ag Group had the opportunity to visit our west coast affiliate, Trident Ag Products, in the Pacific Northwest. They took our agronomist, Josh Mays, to visit some onion growers that were harvesting. He breaks down why growers soil fumigate onions and the benefits of doing so.
11/01/2023
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Agronomy in Action: Tobacco Soil Fumigation Trial
Our agronomist, Josh Mays, was in a tobacco field back in mid-August visiting a Granville Wilt trial. He touches on the differences in soil fumigated versus untreated. You can read about some more of our work in tobacco at www.triestag.com/ag-news/.
10/19/2023
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Are Lurking Pathogens Already Wreaking Havoc Below Ground
Farmers usually feel pretty hopeful about the potential of their crops at the start: the most common comment I hear in early summer is “This is going to be my year!” Those same farmers are often disappointed what they saw in June and July didn’t translate to yield.
09/19/2022
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Are You Throwing Money Away on Your Soil Fumigation?
You’ve seen the research study results that show soil fumigation with Strike can effectively subdue rhizoctonia, black dot, common scab, and early die complex. You’ve heard experts explain how chloropicrin can boost soil’s health and potato production’s sustainability.
03/08/2022
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As Promised Here’s How Paul Doubled His Yield
Last week we shared the first article in a 3-part series published in SpudSmart titled, “Ontario Potato Farmer Notches 100% Yield Increase”. This week we are sharing the second article in the 3-part series published in SpudSmart titled, “As Promised Here’s How Paul Doubled His Yield”.
10/18/2022
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Chloropicrin Shifts Soil Biology in Powerful Ways across Diverse Regions, Crops, and Soil Types
What the studies conclusively show is that in the weeks and months following soil fumigation with chloropicrin, soil microbial communities (bacteria and fungi) shifted in remarkable and quantifiable ways.
11/02/2022
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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.
02/19/2020
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CROP: Potato - Strike Fumigants
No current practice in potato production provides more benefits than soil fumigation. Soil fumigation with Strike allows plant roots to develop in an environment where nematodes and other soil borne diseases are managed.
10/31/2023
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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?
05/18/2022
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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.
06/06/2022
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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.
06/06/2023
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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.
09/22/2023
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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.
12/08/2020
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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
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Examining the Effectiveness of Fumigant Application on Sweet Potato Crop
The demand for sweet potatoes across the United States has increased dramatically for the last several years. Fumigation of the soil can greatly increase their yield and control pests like nematodes.
12/09/2022
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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.
08/08/2022
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Field Trial Data that Inspired our Latest Campaign
“The farmer says he doesn’t want other growers to know the secret of his competitive advantage. I know he can’t help himself. I know he’s telling his neighbors what he can’t believe is happening in his fields.” What Is Quickly Becoming The Worst Kept Secret? Strike Soil Fumigant.
10/31/2023
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Field Visit for Grape Trial in Modesto, Ca. with Dr. Kristi Sanchez
It was an honor to get invited by one of our Scientists, Dr. Kristi Sanchez. It was remarkable to see her in action out in the field, doing what she does best: helping diagnose nematode issues and providing support to growers throughout the Central Valley.
06/27/2023
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Finally: A New (Desperately Needed) Solution for Potato Wart?
Potato wart strikes fear in the bravest among us and at every level of the potato value chain. 36 fields have been identified as infected in three counties since 2000, leading to major trade disruptions, the destruction of hundreds of millions of kilograms of potatoes.
02/12/2024
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Four Ignored Irrigation System Costs
Often times it’s easy to be led astray by persuasive sales tactics or lured by low price bids for your next development project. However, differences do exist and usually take form in the following ways: equipment sizing, irrigation runtimes, installation quality, and design awareness.
02/16/2022
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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%.
05/08/2023
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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.
02/01/2021
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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.
02/13/2023
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Greenhouse Tomato Production
Grower Experience – Trentham Cliffs, NSW
The grower previously had total plant deaths of his tomato crop where it was found that Verticillium and Fusarium wilts had killed all of his plants when they reached the growth stage.
09/25/2022
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Growing Greater Grapes – Modesto Trial Update
By utilizing pre-plant fumigants in a vineyard – such as TriClor (Chloropicrin) and TELONE™ II (1,3-Dichloropropene) – growers can reduce the total parasitic nematode pressure within the soil where the grapes are being planted.
05/18/2022
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Growing Greater Grapes Pt. 2 – Modesto Trial Results
TriClor and TELONE™ fumigant treatments continue to demonstrate significant reduction in total plant-parasitic nematode (PPN) density across all 3 seasons compared to untreated control, shown in the graphic below.
06/16/2022
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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.
07/18/2022
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How to Avoid “What Happened to my Crop?!” Disappointment
An interview with Chad Hutchinson by Ashley Robinson Seed World Group
07/05/2022
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How to Suppress Soil Pest and Disease Levels In Cucumbers to Below Economic Damage
Cucumbers are one of the most pest and disease susceptible vegetable crops and are sensitive to Nematodes, Rhizoctonia and Pythium levels. Moderate numbers of each detected on the SARDI DNA tests will cause economic damage and result in yield losses.
12/04/2022
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How Trical Has Helped Onion Growers
TriCal Australia knew it could help solve yield problems on an onion farm in Myalup, WA. Soil health was deteriorating, with higher rates of Pink Root, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Verticillium wilts, Sclerotinia, Pythium, and parasitic nematodes all being detected in soil DNA tests.
08/08/2022
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Impacts of Fall & Spring Fumigation of Tobacco
This project was established in East Central NC originally in 2021 to evaluate the effects of TELONE ™ II and Chloropicrin (PIC) on nematode suppression in Tobacco, Granville wilt suppression, and tobacco yield and quality. Is it possible to stagger harvest between the products?
08/31/2023
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Impacts of Fall & Spring Fumigation of Tobacco
This project in East Central NC originally in 2021 to evaluate the effects of TELONE ™ II and Chloropicrin (PIC) on nematode suppression, Granville wilt suppression, and tobacco yield and quality. This is a complex issue of harvest timing, weather conditions, disease, and nematode pressure.
11/29/2023
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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.
07/10/2023
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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.”
03/21/2023
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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
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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.
01/01/2023
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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.
08/05/2023
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New Report Finds 97% of Fruits and Vegetables Sampled in California Meet Pesticide Safety Standards
The DPR released the 2021 California Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program Report showing that 97% of produce collected in 2021 had no detectable pesticide residues. More than 98% of “grown in California” produce had no residues that exceeded allowable levels.
06/01/2023
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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.
09/22/2022
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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
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Overcoming Obstacles in Watermelon Production
Sustainable crop production is a complex issue that every farmer faces each season. The production issues for watermelon are not limited to those listed here by any means, but the following are the focal points of ongoing research..
06/27/2022
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Part II: A Deeper Look into Grafted Watermelon Production and Management
In this post we want take you through year 2 results and our findings into grafted watermelon production and management. The key focus points of the trial were increasing yields and maturity window of grafted plants using chloropicrin.
12/05/2022
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Pineapple Crops Perform Great in Healthier Soils
Over the past three years, TriCal Australia has been conducting extensive research in the Queensland Pineapple industry to determine the best fumigant to be used across the varying soil types and pest and disease pressure for our own conditions.
07/15/2022
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Pistachio Field Trials: Decreased Nematode Densities
We established 2 multi-year field trials in Fresno County California, one trial taking place in Firebaugh, and the other in Caruthers, both led by TriCal PCA-Victor Rodriguez to examine the benefits of TELONE™ and Chloropicrin providing early rootstock establishment..
07/31/2023
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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.?
03/02/2020
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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?
06/27/2023
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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?
06/27/2023
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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.
01/03/2023
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Potatoes Following in Strawberries’ Footsteps, But Can Potatoes be as Nimble?
The parallels between where we are in the potato industry today compared to where California’s strawberry industry was in the 1950s are quite amazing. Strawberries are very sensitive to verticillium. Do I think chloropicrin is coming in potatoes? Absolutely.
09/27/2023
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Pre-Plant Soil Fumigation in Greenhouses with Strike 60 for the Production of Capsicums
The Adelaide Plains region, outside of Adelaide, South Australia, is the largest greenhouse growing region in the southern hemisphere. This region suffers from soil pest & disease issues that greatly reduce the yields and quality of the crops grown.
04/20/2023
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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
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Reduced Irrigation Yet More Yield and Better-quality Potatoes
One grower trialed soil fumigation with Strike (a chloropicrin-based product) on a handful of acres in 2020, mostly to better manage common scab and other soil borne diseases. Pleased with the results, he’s increased his treated acreage each year. Last fall, he fumigated several hundred acres.
03/16/2023
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Savage Farms Success Story
This is my livelihood, I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have this to tell you the truth. Being able to make a living at this, it's rewarding. We're growing over 500 acres of potatoes, so we have to perform and get a good yield to be able to make money, and every year that seems to get more and more challenging.
03/13/2020
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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
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Soil Fumigation Treatment Zones — What You Don’t Know Could be Stealing from Your Investment
When growers apply Strike soil fumigant under their carefully managed field conditions, they get impressive results — control of rhizoctonia, black dot, common scab; boosted crop yield and improved sustainability.
03/29/2022
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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.
03/15/2023
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Soil to Substrate: Key Irrigation and Fertigation Ideas for Long Cane Raspberries
PH is key in a soil system for berries. Traditional soil production for soft fruit crops is a buffered system that is slow to change. Think of substrate as a high risk, high reward type system where your attention to detail is very important.
06/13/2023
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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.
02/08/2021
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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.
03/13/2020
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STRIKE is Fast Becoming the Potato Industry’s Worst-Kept Secret
Soil fumigants have suffered from an image problem, Strike is different – it’s a modern, highly-selective, soil health-promoting tool. There’s more and more awareness that Strike’s active ingredient, chloropicrin, suppresses all the major soil-borne potato diseases.
08/23/2023
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Striking Wide Range of Soil-Borne Diseases in Your Bulbs and Tubers
For years, farmers have been using a variety of methods to increase crop yield and improve quality. A growing number of farmers have realised the health of their crops depends on the health of their soil.
06/17/2022
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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.
07/13/2021
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Sustainability and profitability: two sides of one well-managed coin
Sustainability is a priorities in agriculture today. Recognizing that responsible management of resources is critical to ensuring agriculture can meet the world’s food, feed, and fiber needs today and tomorrow too, farmers are supportive of improving sustainability.
09/15/2023
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Tackle Verticillium Wilt and Take Back Control
Farmers have a lot on their minds: pests, frost, heat, commodity prices, too much rain, drought, labor, regulations and even more. To succeed at farming, a thousand things have to go right. Farming is stressful on its own. Add in supply chain issues and you are left with tough decisions regarding the best way to move forward for the success of your farming operation. Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.
10/12/2021
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Tackling Early Die Complex — a Sneak Peek from Potato School
If potato producers could snap their fingers to solve the most costly and frustrating production challenge they face, almost all would snap away early die complex. Early die can cost five to 30 per cent of yield. Yes, early die is difficult to manage. However, the more you know, the better you’ll be able to tackle it.
12/03/2021
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TELONE™ and Chloropicrin: A One-Two Punch for Nematodes and Soilborne Diseases
Agricultural diseases can decimate your crop if you don’t take the proper preventative steps. Nematodes and other soilborne diseases need to be stopped in their tracks—and the right soil fumigation techniques can make all the difference.
06/09/2023
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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!
07/31/2023
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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.
03/27/2023
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Tired Soils Aren’t an Inevitable, Unwinnable Battle
I receive countless from frustrated potato growers who tell me they are throwing costly inputs at their fields, yet not seeing the yields they need. Production costs are increasing while water resources grow tighter. If you’re not satisfied with your yields, it’s time for a change.
09/01/2021
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Trical Almond Replant Research: The Importance of Fumigation for Growers
In California, nematodes can significantly impact crop production. They cause considerable damage to plant roots, disrupting the uptake of water and nutrients, resulting in reduced crop yield. For pre-treatment control soil fumigation is a vital management tool for growers.
10/01/2021
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TriCal Australia
TriCal Australia was established as SA Rural Agencies in 1987 which became AGAS Rural in 2012. Joining the TriCal Group of Companies in 2019, TriCal Australia continues its history of providing innovative and dependable fumigation products and services to the Australian fumigation, agriculture, pest control and quarantine community.
08/08/2019
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TriCal Demo 2017
Dennis Lane and Abbie Asche talk about soil fumigation and application safety.
03/12/2017
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TriEst Ag Group Soil Health
A live-action video production for TriCal and included in our Q4 2018 Highlights portfolio. We're Levitate and we've been producing live and animated video for enterprise and SMB clients since 2009.
10/28/2019
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What Are Nematodes?
Nematodes are incredibly diverse, thread-like roundworms that live in a wide range of soils. Mostly microscopic in size, nematodes have varied methods of survival. A majority of nematodes are microbial feeders found in the soil. They can feed on diverse food sources, including bacteria, fungi, and even other nematodes!
02/27/2023
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What happens when you stop using Strike Telone in your soil, Sam Pike tells us.
A long time ago, when Sam stopped using Telone for 4 years, he found that nematodes and diseases increased and nematicides did not control the cycle of nematodes. With further agronomy testing they found the exact and were able to tackle the issue head on.
11/23/2022
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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.
03/21/2023
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What Patates Dolbec Learned About Soil Fumigation Could Make You Money
Scab steals a costly percentage of the potatoes produced at Patates Dolbec, one of Quebec’s largest farms. Patates Dolbec’s director of quality assurance and agronomy, coordinated a soil fumigation trial last year to see how Strike might impact his soil’s health and productivity.
01/31/2022
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What’s Biting into Your Farm’s Economic and Environmental Sustainability?
Up to 58 per cent of all the food produced in Canada is lost or wasted each year. Think about that: nearly two of every three potatoes you grow get chucked. If you are like most farmers I know – strong and honorable people who are proud to be part of feeding the world – knowing that so much of your effort is wasted is nothing short of offensive.
11/03/2021
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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
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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.
04/28/2023
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Why Paul is Guilt-free About Doubling his Yield with Soil Fumigation
Over the last couple articles, I’ve told you about Paul: a highly experienced, sustainability-focused Ontario potato producer who saw yield skyrocket when he started using chloropicrin (the active ingredient in Strike) as a soil fumigant.
10/27/2022
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Why soil health is so important to Andrew Braham
South Australian capsicum grower Andrew Braham, explains his approach to soil health and how TriCal Australia have helped him to improve his soils.
05/03/2021
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