Thinking of Going “Organic”? Think Scientifically & Think Bottom Line

By Philip A. Wheeler, Ph.D. As a sustainable/organic agronomist, one of the most disheartening types of calls I receive on a regular basis are the ones that proceed as follows. “Hi, this farmer Joe Smith, I’m having problems with weeds/insects/low yield etc. on my soybeans.  Of course I should expect lower yields, since I went organic […]

Science & Philosophy: Should Organic Growers Be Forced To Choose?

By Philip A. Wheeler, Ph.D. The first issue to get out of the way is that the author is not anti-organic agriculture in its broadest definition.  I raised my children on a certified organic farm, have sold semi after semi of organic fertilizer commodities and blends and continue to work with organic growers on several continents.  The […]

Comments on Potassium Silicate

By Philip A. Wheeler, Ph.D. First, a discussion of the issues involved. Since potassium silicate is composed of natural elements, the issue of being a synthetic, carbon based, toxic material similar to a pesticide is a non-issue. The next issue is that of being “manufactured”, thereby consuming “energy” in its creation. This is a philosophical […]

Cutting To The Chase

By Philip A. Wheeler, Ph.D. As graziers, the bottom line is pounds of meat produced per acre. Then you can refine that by talking about price for pound for “quality” meat and cost of land, labor inputs, etc. Many growers pride themselves on efficiency and diligence in their choice of breeds, choice of forages, choice […]

CSI Grower Grazier Newsletter – August 2012

GREETINGS: Hope you, your family, your livestock and your crops are surviving the challenging weather. Also hope you had crop insurance if needed. This season has certainly reminded me of the importance of supporting your crop at every stage possible. Current commodity prices should allow you to put a little more in to get a […]

CSI Grower Grazier Newsletter – January 2012

GROWING PROBLEMS: In spite of our best practices we can still be challenged by Weeds, Insects, Diseases and Conditions. I will address each of these and give you some ideas that may help you avoid or deal with them. These problems can be worsened by rising carbon dioxide levels that can cause a major change in […]

CSI Grower Grazier Newsletter – August 2011

Letting Nature Supply All Your Nitrogen Needs Human activity is affecting planet earth to such an extent that natural scientists are naming this time the beginning of a new geological age/epoch called Anthropocene (the recent age of man) and ending what was the Holocene epoch (about 17,000 years ago to present). We are no longer […]