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Bob Larson America's Real Environmentalists Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 08, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. When it comes to being environmentally conscious, nobody tops the American farmer.

That’s the opinion of Washington Policy Center’s Madi Clark who says farmers get painted with a broad brush when something goes wrong …

CLARK … “So, that’s the sad truth of a lot of our media and the stories that get out. They’re the bad actors. That’s who gets the media attention, but the one’s that, I mean the majority of farmers are out there doing good. They’re out there, like I talked about, implementing better tillage practices. They’re using technology to spray better applications on their crops. They care about their bees. They care about saving water. The technologies are constantly changing and growing just so they can care for their environment a little bit better. It’s amazing how much they invest in that.”

I asked Clark if she’d heard about recent Senate testimony from a biotech firm that wants to turn cow manure to drinking water …

CLARK … “Yeah, and that’s actually what prompted this. I was listening when they testified in front of the Senate and that was the comment, that was the innovator that they were saying, “you’re an environmentalist” and it made me laugh because they just told you about the dairy farmer who showed up at his door with a load of manure to say, “hey, will it work?” Because they care. They want to manage it. So, I think that would be an amazing technology to make Ag.”

Janicki Bioenergy is developing manure processing technology that would create clean water and dry compost from manure ponds.

You can see Clark’s blog post on the Washington Policy Center website.

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BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, Plant Growth Regulators. And why are they used in tree fruit?

AW: Plant Growth Regulators, PGRs for short, are plant hormones that tell the plant to grow, stop growing, thin fruit, shape fruit, drop fruit, or ripen fruit, but we can manipulate the plant to respond how we would like them to and in this case, for fruit production.

BL: putting plant hormones on fruit trees?

AW: yes or enhancing what is already there. For example, let’s say that last year your apples trees had almost no fruit. Since apples can have alternate bearing years, this years’ crop load might be huge! So you could apply a PGR which signals the tree to drop more of the fruit than usual.

BL: what other things can PGRs do?

AW: You can induce branching, optimize fruit size and quality, have better return bloom next year to prevent alternate bearing, keep fruit from dropping off the tree before harvest, but if applied incorrectly, you can even make mutant shaped fruit.

AW: For specific PGR advice, contact your local Valent sales rep.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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