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Have Winter Wheat? Let It Snow!

January 15th, 2013 | Posted by XiteBio in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
Snow Covered Field

The arrival of winter snow generally brings a halt to field work until spring. However, if you are growing winter wheat, that does not mean that nothing is happening in the field. The presence of snow is essential for the survival of a winter wheat crop when growing in cold weather regions. An adequate layer of … Read more

Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Form Root Nodules on Soybean Roots

Many Midwest farmers choose not to use an inoculant for their soybeans. They feel, due to the high number of nitrogen fixing bacteria already in the soil, that inoculating offers little benefit. However, after the record-setting drought of 2012, they may want to reconsider. Jim Beuerlein and Harold Watters, agronomists with the Ohio State University, … Read more

Harvesting Corn

2012 will be a profitable year for Canadian agriculture. That’s the conclusion of a report released by the Bank of Montreal. Canadian agricultural output is expected to improve 7.5% by the end of the year when compared to 2011, growth that is largely supported by more profitable crop production. While agriculture is always vulnerable in a constantly changing economy, there … Read more


Barely half of U.S. soybean farmers are aware that the oil and protein level in their seed directly impacts their profits. That is according to a survey done by the United Soybean Board in 2010. Increasing yields is commonly seen as the driving force to higher profits, but this may be coming at the expense … Read more

Organic Methods to Managing Drought

September 25th, 2012 | Posted by XiteBio in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
Wheat Field

Aside from irrigation, there is no sure way to avoid the impact of drought on crops. Irrigation is not always possible, however, so other management strategies must be used to try and reduce the effects. Minnesota Farm Guide recently interviewed Joe Pedretti of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), who offered several practices … Read more

Canola’s Growing Potential

July 31st, 2012 | Posted by XiteBio in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
A close-up view of an individual canola plant in the middle of a blooming field

A record number of canola acres were seeded in Canada for the 6th straight year in 2012. The United States planted a record number of acres as well. Part of this increase in acreage is due to the relative newness of canola as a large-scale commercial crop. Plenty of opportunity remains for improved production, so … Read more

6 ways that growth promoting bacteria the health and yields of crops.

Rhizobacteria are bacteria that are found in soil. Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonise plant roots and stimulate plant growth. However, different bacteria do this in different ways.  Here are 6 ways that PGPR can lead to healthier plants and better yields: Nitrogen Fixation – Legumes form root nodules that contain symbiotic bacteria (Rhizobium species). … Read more

old cracked concrete barrier

Soil bacteria are frequently studied in the context of soil health and soil-plant-microbe interactions. But one known plant growth promoting bacterium has beneficial effects outside of growth promotion. An innovative team at Northumbria University has found that Bacillus megaterium can be used to extend the life of concrete and even repair existing concrete. How this species … Read more

soybean root nodules sliced in half and showing pink inside

Legumes can supply their own nitrogen, provided that appropriate species of Rhizobium bacteria are present. This allows legumes to produce greater yields without additional nitrogen and also helps succeeding crops in the rotation. Checking root nodules for nitrogen fixation is a straight forward process:  Wait 4-6 weeks after planting. It takes this long for nodules … Read more

example of savannas in South America during the wet season

The savannas surrounding the forests of the Amazon region of South America are undoubtedly challenging regions for agriculture. Long rainy seasons followed by prolonged dry periods create an annual cycle of flooding and nutrient leaching followed by drought. Yet in this difficult environment, sustainable agriculture flourished for nearly 300 years. Recently unearthed archaeological evidence of sustainable … Read more