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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Ohio Farmer Leverages Hydroponic Solution to Extend Growing Season & Increase Revenue

December 19, 2012 |

Almost thirty years ago, Larry Klco and his wife Tina started Rainbow Farms, a family owned and operated business located in Madison, Ohio. To stay afloat while the couple started their farming business, Klco worked another job to pay the bills and to help the farm progress financially. Then, eleven years ago, when the company he managed closed it doors, Klco took the leap to become a full-time farmer.

In the early days of the farm, the Rainbow Farms grew pick-your-own strawberries, cantaloupes, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkins that they sold wholesale and at the lone farmers market in their area at the time, Willoughby Outdoor Farm Market. Read More

Biopesticides in Agriculture – Taking Advantage of Pre-existing Warfare between Biological Organisms

July 12, 2012 |

In 1904, Louis Henderson, one of the first botanists to explore the Western States, was called out to a farm in the Boise valley to solve an unusual mystery. He was taken to an apple orchard where he found a patch of blackened, wilting trees surrounding a bee hive. The farmer was stumped: were the bees killing the trees?

Henderson quickly identified the problem. The disease was fire blight, a necrotic wilt disorder caused by bacteria, and it was being spread by the busy, little pollinators (1).

In those days, there were few options for battling disease and pestilence outbreaks like fire blight. The treatment was to cut back the diseased trees and burn the cuttings. Read More

University of Florida Researcher Stumbles Upon New “Green” Pesticide with Potential to Protect State’s Citrus

February 9, 2012 |

What if agricultural pests could be managed by an essential nutrient, found in all proteins, that poses no environmental threat, naturally biodegrades, and potentially could be beneficial to plants?

Physiology and genomics professor, Bruce Stevens from the University of Florida thinks he just may have stumbled onto the future of green pesticides. It turns out when applied to the leaves of plants, methionine—one of a dozen or so essential amino acids found in literally everything that we eat—does a remarkable job of defeating destructive caterpillars, nematodes, mosquitoes, and a potential host of agricultural pests. Read More

Startup Profile: Pest Busting Ag Entrepreneur Offers Farmers a Natural Solution

July 25, 2011 |

Agriculture entrepreneur Pam Marrone, the CEO and Founder of Marrone Bio Innovations, says that biopesticides are the best-kept secret in agriculture. And she believes her company, which develops environmentally responsible natural products for plant, weed and pest disease management will play a large role in sustainably supporting the earth’s growing population.

“You can’t continue to feed people and trash the earth at the same time,” she says.

Marrone, who won the Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Growing Green” Business Leader award earlier this year, also likes to remind skeptics of biopesticides that they have a 63-year history of safe use as an organic and biodegradable form of treatment. Read More