I’ve been in this industry my whole life, having grown up in agriculture and then diving headfirst into a career in the field as well. Before I started working as a PCA and crop protection specialist, I was even in your shoes and managed a farm where I made the same decisions you make every day in pursuit of a better harvest.
My experience in agriculture over the decades means that I have witnessed first-hand the major shift that our industry has gone through. As young producers, there were tried and true methods that we followed and chemistries that we relied on to treat the issues that plagued our orchards and fields. Everyone pretty much did the same thing, using the same methods and best practices.
But, in the last ten years, there has been a seismic shift in agriculture production, which has ushered in more options, more diversity in production practices, and yes, more crop inputs than you can imagine. Soil nutrients, biologicals, synthetic chemistries, organic practices, conventional acres—it’s no longer a one-size-fits-all in agriculture.
One of the main reasons why I advocate for biologicals so much is for their flexibility. You are changing every day, evaluating and determining how you can meet the market’s demands, which are also evolving at a rapid pace. As you make those quick decisions, the use of biologicals in your crop protection IPM will never back you into a corner.
The biggest benefit that biologicals offer in this area is their use in either conventional or organic acres. We know that many of you are transitioning to organic acres or are diversifying operations to include organic acreage. It’s a great decision to help you meet market demand. As you take this big step, know that Certis Biologicals and our leading portfolio of biologicals are right beside you. After all, we do have the largest offering of OMRI-Listed® and NOP-Approved products for organic production.
Biologicals offer great flexibility to you during the growing process. With low PHIs, REIs and residue levels, you never need to worry about applications negatively impacting your growing schedule. For instance, if you notice ants popping back up right before harvest, you can feel confident treating them with Firefighter®. With a zero-hour PHI and a 4-hour REI, you can rest assured that your control won’t lock you out of your orchard at a critical time when you need to be harvesting.
Biologicals can offer you flexibility in application as well. Crop protection applications are critical, but they are also tough to schedule and tricky to manage with all the moving parts of your operation. Don’t you want to do that as few times as possible? Because biologicals have the ability to successfully tank-mix with other biologicals and synthetic chemistries, you often can eliminate the number of applications that you need to make. As an added bonus, biologicals can sometimes bring synergistic qualities to other products, combining to provide even more benefit to your crops.
With the sheer number of options out there now in how you grow, what you grow and what you use to supplement and treat your crops, biologicals find a way to meet you wherever you fall on the agriculture spectrum. Because of that flexibility, using biologicals are often the easiest choice that growers like you make.
Thank you for continuing to engage with our new Why Bio? Series for the Tree Nut Farm Press! We’d love to hear from you if you have questions about biologicals. You can always reach out to us at [email protected].