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Making the Most of Microbes

Tiny Soil Organisms Provide Big Soil Health Benefits by Mike Amaranthus Ph.D., Larry Simpson & Jeff Lowenfels Here’s a shocker: The next big thing in agriculture might not be big at all. According to biologists a single table-spoon of healthy farm soil may contain up to a billion assorted microbes, a mile or more of […]

Rascal to Remedy Fungus on the Farm

By Mike Amaranthus, Ph.D. The ancient Romans had a legend about a malicious boy who tor-mented a fox by tying wheat straw to its tail and then setting the straw on fire. The Roman god of crop protection, Robigus, was so irritated that he penalized humanity with wheat rust, the fungal disease that leaves a […]

Farmer’s Fungus That Pays Big Dividends

By Mike Amaranthus Ph.D. There is an awful lot of fungus in the world. There are an estimated 1.5 million species with a total biomass around twice that of all animals. Despite their widespread occurrence and diversity this group of organisms is poorly understood. Fungi are famous for their effects on moldy bread, itching toes […]

MYCORRHIZAE (Myco = fungus Rhiza = root)

Fact Sheet 01-29 MYCORRHIZAE (Myco = fungus Rhiza = root) Angela M. O’Callaghan, Ph.D. Southern Area Social Horticulture Specialist  When plants live in challenging locations, they often develop mechanisms to help them survive. These include morphological characteristics such as thickened, small or narrow leaves to reduce water loss, slowing the plant’s growth rate, or developing […]


Mycorrhizae Mycorrhizae play an important role in plant nutrition. Because they are unseen, they are often disregarded when it comes to deciding upon a cause for decline in a particular planting. Just what are mycorrhizae and why are they so important in plant production? Ectomycorrhizal roots of Picea abies (photo by H. Blaschke). The word “mycorrhiza” means […]

The Care and Feeding of Soil Microbes

Soil microbes, or microorganisms, are the mediators that convert the bigger organic pieces, such as plant matter, insect skeletons and worm castings, into the ammonium and phosphate that the plants can take up and use. “Soil is a living being, and it’s filled with microenvironments and niches,” said Kate Scow, UC Davis Professor of Soil […]

Mycorrhizal Fungi Have Benefits in Agriculture

Researchers who are exploring this relationship are finding that mycorrhizal fungi are a vital part of ecosystem health around the world—not only in less intensively managed ecosystems but in agricultural landscapes as well. Mycorrhizal Fungi Mycorrhizal fungi colonize the root system of a host plant to form a symbiotic relationship and assist with water and […]

Penergetic P and K

The Natural BioTechonology!: Penergetic means energetically programmed. Penergetic P Plant Growth/Development Penergetic P for Plants Applied to seeds, foliar applied, mixed in soil, incorporated with fertilizer or watered in.   Penergetic K Soil Activation Penergetic K for soil Mixed in soil, incorporated with fertilizer, side dressed, top dressed or watered-in.