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Actinovate Biological Fungicides – A Powerful and Versatile Tool

Actinovate biological fungicides offer growers and home gardeners a very powerful and versatile Organic (OMRI Listed) tool to control fungal pathogens.  Actinovate works just like other biological controls (the classic example of a biological control is the use of ladybugs to control aphids), only the organisms in Actinovate act on a microscopic level.  Actinovate uses a natural enemy of fungal pathogens to keep these pathogens from destroying your crops.  This natural enemy is a beneficial bacteria called Streptomyces lydicus WYEC 108, which is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that was originally isolated from the roots of a linseed plant in England, and patented worldwide.  Actinovate is effective and versatile, utilized both indoors and outdoors, in markets including greenhouse, nursery, landscaping, turf, and homeowners.

How does Actinovate protect against fungal pathogens?

Actinovate can be utilized to combat fungal soil diseases, as well as foliar diseases.  The organism within Actinovate colonizes plant structures in a beneficial symbiotic manner, when introduced into the root zone or applied to foliage.  The Streptomyces lydicus spores germinate and form a mutually beneficial relationship within the rhizosphere of plants by feeding off the plant’s waste and secreting beneficial byproducts, such as Chitinase to break down fungal walls, byproducts that kill or repel other microbes, and iron carriers to starve competing microbes.  Essentially, the S. lydicus feeds off the root’s secretions, and discharges toxins that keep other microbes (including pathogens) out.  This assortment of byproducts and toxins discharged by S. lydicus means that Actinovate utilizes several modes of anti-fungal action to protect plants, lawns, and gardens from pathogens, rather than relying on a single mode of action as many other fungicides do.

What pathogens can Actinovate help control against?

Similar to a probiotic used to keep our own digestive systems in healthy balance, Actinovate works within the root zone microbiome to keep the system healthy and in-balance.  Actinovate can be used on annual and perennial bedding plants and flowers, roses, potted flowers, foliage plants, trees, shrubs, and lawns located in homes, greenhouses, and home landscapes, as well as fruits including tree fruits, berries, and melons, nuts including a wide variety of tree nuts, and vegetables including leafy vegetables, root crops, cole crops, peppers, and tomatoes.

Actinovate’s S. lydicus organism will actively control against several common soil pathogens, such as Damping Off Fungus, Root Rot, Turf Brown Patch, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, Fusarium, Verticillium, Sclerotinia, and many others.

In foliar applications, Actinovate will suppress Downy Mildew, Gray Mold, Powdery Mildew, Botrytus, Phytomatotricum, Sclerotinia, Alternaria, and more.

When should Actinovate be applied?

As with most biological controls, it is best to use Actinovate as a preventative tool, rather than curative treatment.  For best results, apply Actinovate as early as possible to the plant’s root system, and reapply every 2-12 weeks as needed.  In foliar applications, it is best to apply prior to disease development, or at the first signs of pathogen infection, and repeat at 7-14 day intervals to protect new foliage.

Actinovate is relatively safe when compared with many other fungicides, though caution is advised when using any pesticide.  Please read the label thoroughly for all precautionary statements and PPE requirements.  When sprayed onto foliage or used in chemigation via sprinkler or other spray irrigation, the re-entry period is only one hour, or once the solution has dried.  Actinovate can be applied up to and including the day of harvest, so the pre-harvest interval is not a concern.  Always clean application equipment prior to use of this product, and use the prepared Actinovate solution within 4 hours of preparation.

How can Growers and Gardeners apply Actinovate?

Actinovate is a soluble powder which can be added to water to create a solution and then applied to the plant’s root zone or foliage using the applications below.

For rhizosphere, or root-zone applications, the soil drench should contain 4-6 ounces of Actinovate per 100 gallons of water (1 teaspoon per 2 gallons of water for smaller quantities).  This solution can be watered into damp soils, applied to pots, base of plants, root balls, or applied to the root zone by watering the substrate with Actinovate solution until the soil is completely saturated without creating runoff (generally 1 gallon of solution per cubic foot of substrate).  In greenhouses and nurseries, Actinovate can be applied to the root zone via drip or flood chemigation using the rate of 1-12 ounces of Actinovate per 10-200 gallons of water, depending on desired application.  For soil chemigation, apply the solution only through pressurized drench (flood) or drip (trickle) systems, micro irrigation such as spaghetti tube or individual tube irrigation, hand-held calibrated irrigation equipment such as hand-held wand with injector, or ebb and flow systems.

For foliar applications, dissolve 6-12 ounces of Actinovate into 50-100 gallons of water.  Growers or gardeners can use a pump bottle, hand-held pump, backpack, or similar spray equipment to spray leaves, stems, and new shoots to wet, but not quite to run-off, providing complete coverage of the entire plant.  In greenhouses and nurseries, Actinovate can be applied to the foliage via chemigation using the rate of 1-12 ounces of Actinovate per 10-200 gallons of water, depending on desired application.  For foliar chemigation, apply the solution only through overhead boom and mist-type systems or sprinklers such as impact or micro-sprinklers.  For best results in foliar applications, use a non-ionic spreader-sticker in conjunction with Actinovate application.

Always refer to product label for complete instructions, precautions, safety, and storage and handling before use.

Can Actinovate be part of an IPM program?

Actinovate is a great addition to any Integrated Pest Management program, and can be used safely and effectively alongside beneficial fungi, such as mycorrhizal inoculant products.  Actinovate can also be used safely and effectively alongside a rotation of traditional fungicides.  Also, Actinovate does not need to be rotated, and can be used year-after-year, season-after-season, as unlike other fungicides, there are no pathogen resistance issues caused by prolonged or repeated use of biological solutions such as S. lydicus.  Actinovate is OMRI-Listed as an organic input, therefore, it is a great resource for organic growers and gardeners for organic control of fungal pathogens.  Additionally, Actinovate is Pollinator Safe, as trials have shown that exposure to Actinovate had no adverse effects on honeybees.

What Actinovate products are available for Professional Growers and Home Gardeners?

Actinovate is a proven technology that has been utilized by growers, farmers, landscapers, turf managers, and home gardeners with confirmed success for many years.  Professional growers, turf managers, and landscapers can utilize Actinovate SP for nursery and greenhouse applications.  Actinovate SP is available in 18 oz. packages, and has a 6-month shelf life.  Home Gardeners and Lawn and Garden professionals can utilize Actinovate Lawn and Garden, which is available in 18 oz. packages, 2 oz. packages, and 0.7 oz. packages, and also has a shelf life of 6 months.

Where can I find these products and learn more about how to use them?

These Actinovate biological fungicides for Professional Growers and Home Gardeners are available through distributors in the US and Canada.  The best way to determine where you can get your hands on Actinovate SP or Actinovate Lawn and Garden to try in your own greenhouse or nursery, or home lawn and garden, is to contact your local distributor.  If you have problems locating a distributor or need further information, contact Mycorrhizal Applications, who can point you towards a distributor in your region.  Their information is available online at www.mycorrhizae.com, or you can reach the Mycorrhizal Applications sales staff by calling (541) 476-3985 or emailing inquiries@mycorrhizae.com.

© 2017, by Mycorrhizal Applications LLC


Everybody’s Doing It—Should You? (GrowerTalks Cover Story)

by Jennifer Zurko (Excerpt from GrowerTalks, February 2017)

(Link to Original Article: http://www.ballpublishing.com/GrowerTalks/CoverStory.aspx?articleid=22821)

GrowerTalksFebCoverCapture

It’s an important word that’s hard to pronounce, but once you see the benefits of adding it to your growing media, it’ll be as simple as saying phytophthora.

At least that’s what the companies who produce mycorrhizae and the media that include it are hoping. And it seems to be working—they say more and more growers are seeing how it can help their crop go from good to great with a better root system, plant vigor and more.

Mycorrhizae isn’t a new thing, by any stretch; it’s been naturally occurring in nature since forever. And greenhouse growers knew about it 30 years ago, but at the time, no one had ever thought they would be able to use it in their own growing media. Now, with more research coming out and more companies making it commercially available, mycorrhizae is all the rage…

Continue Reading: http://www.ballpublishing.com/GrowerTalks/CoverStory.aspx?articleid=22821


New Growing Media Advancements Giving Growers More Options

By: Laura Drotleff (Excerpt from Greenhouse Grower, December 2016)

Link to Original Article: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/crop-inputs/media/new-growing-media-advancements-giving-growers-more-options/

A number of advancements in growing media components have surfaced over the past few years, providing growers with new options for building the best possible foundation for growing healthy plants.

Growers who are mixing their own growing media want to develop precise recipes that will ensure optimal growth for a large range of crops at an affordable price. Those who purchase pre-blends appreciate the convenience, consistency, and innovation that goes into the mixes expert growing media companies provide. These suppliers also offer the ability to mix a grower’s custom blend.

Here are some of the newest advancements in growing media components and premixes for growers today:

Click Here for Full Article: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/crop-inputs/media/new-growing-media-advancements-giving-growers-more-options/

 


Getting To The Root Of Improved Fruit And Vegetable Production

By: Lauren María Alexander (Excerpt from Growing Produce, September 2016)

Link to Original Article: http://www.growingproduce.com/vegetables/getting-to-the-root-of-improved-fruit-and-vegetable-production/

Taking a holistic approach to soil health is a key to increasing plant vigor and yields. High yields begin with healthy soil, and maintaining a proper balance between nutrients, microorganisms, and other compounds is an essential part of the soil health equation.

Mycorrhiza, which describes the symbiotic association between plants and a specialized root fungus, plays an important role in enhancing plant performance and growth.

Through this mutually beneficial relationship, mycorrhizal fungi colonize plants roots, enabling the roots to access nutrients and water that may otherwise be unavailable to plants.

Mike Amaranthus, founder of Mycorrhizal Applications, which focuses on the research and development of mycorrhizal inoculum for commercial use, explains exactly how these beneficial fungi work, and how you can use them to help improve overall plant health and increase yields.

What Are Mycorrhizae And How Do They Work?
According to Amaranthus, the relationship between mycorrhizae and plant roots has been active for approximately 460 million years, and between 85% to 90% of plants form this relationship in their natural habitat.

“It’s one of those relationships where both the plant and the fungus benefit,” Amaranthus says. “The mycorrhizae benefit the plant in allowing it to access nutrients and water that are essential for the plant’s performance and growth. In turn, the fungus depends on the plant for sugars from the plant roots, which give it the energy it needs to grow into the soil.”

The fungi act as “roots of the roots” and are fine threads that grow off of the roots themselves, Amaranthus says. They are especially important in the uptake of phosphorous, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, and other key micronutrients that may be bound up organically or on soil particles.

Weed, Disease, And Drought Benefits
Not all plants form mycorrhizal associations, including crops such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, canola, mustard, and sugar beets. But on the plus side, some of the world’s worst weeds do not form mycorrhizal associations either, Amaranthus says.

“Weeds come in following a disturbance in the soil, and disturbances knock out the mycorrhizae. Without mycorrhizae, the weeds get a competitive advantage and are better able to access phosphorous in the soil. If mycorrhizal fungi are established, you can help starve weeds of phosphorous,” he explains.

Regarding disease resistance, Amaranthus says that like many other fungi, mycorrhizae produce antibiotics, which are capable of deterring root pathogens. They also have the capacity to selectively transport salt and toxic compounds away from plant roots.

“They depend on the roots for their energy source, so they want to keep the roots healthy, active, and growing. For this reason, the salt and the toxic compounds don’t get translocated to their cells,” he says.

Mycorrhizae’s benefits include drought protection due to roots’ improved ability to extend further into the soil to access water.

“Mycorrhizal roots are a lot spongier because they can get more water out of the soil, and they store them in specialized cells. They’re also much thinner so they can get into the small spaces in the soil where water is being held,” Amaranthus says.

A study Amaranthus conducted that was repeated by the University of California, Davis in 2013 showed almond trees inoculated with mycorrhizae experienced a 60% reduction in plant moisture stress.

“Some of the studies have demonstrated six or seven days of growth in drought situations,” he says.

Application Methods
Mycorrhizae can be applied to the soil in granular, powder, and liquid forms.

“We grow the seeds of the mycorrhizae, or what we call propagules. Mycorrhizal inoculums come in powder or granular forms. Growers can add water to the powder and add mycorrhizae in the liquid form near the seed, they can coat the seed with the powder, which puts the inoculum right where the roots come out of the seed, or they can band the granular material in furrow,” Amaranthus says.

To maintain populations, he says that any practice that fosters root growth will foster mycorrhizal development. Mycorrhizal development is most rapid when soil temperatures are between 40°F to 70°F and when soil fertility levels are moderate. Fumigation eradicates mycorrhizal development and re-inoculation should be at least two weeks following fumigants.

“With mycorrhizae, the bottom line for the end user is that they can get improved yields with less inputs. It’s a win-win situation,” Amaranthus says. “There’s an opportunity to save money, and it improves the efficiency of the plant’s ability to feed itself.”

Link to Original Article: http://www.growingproduce.com/vegetables/getting-to-the-root-of-improved-fruit-and-vegetable-production/ 

COPYRIGHT 2016 Growing Produce


The Dirt on Biodiversity: Mycorrhizal fungi essential to healthy vineyard soil

By Jessica Cortell (excerpt from Oregon Wine Press)

Link to Original Article: http://www.oregonwinepress.com/dirt-biodiversity 

How often do we contemplate the biodiversity of soils and what it means to healthy vineyards and for that matter, a healthy planet? The main four components of soil are water, air, minerals and organic matter. The organic component of soil is around 3 to 10 percent in Willamette Valley soils but is often overlooked in its importance.

Living soil microorganisms are less than 5 percent of the total organic component. Soils are among the most diverse ecosystem on Earth. Soil biodiversity includes all organisms living in the soil, which can be broken down into macro, mesa and micro-fauna. They can also be organized by the functions they perform in the soil. Without us paying much attention, this multitude of organisms is carrying out many important functions right under our very own feet.

The soil microorganisms can be regarded as the “biological engine of the earth.” They are involved in most of the key functions soil provides such as nutrient uptake, nutrient cycling, soil aggregate formation, degradation of pollutants, suppression of soil-borne diseases and regulation of plant communities. Also, soil microbial processes play key roles in mediating global climate change.

What about in vineyards? What roles do these organisms play and what practices are detrimental to them? About 20 years ago, many vineyards in Oregon had the “scorched earth” look where all vegetation but the vines were killed with herbicides. Luckily, the industry has come a long way since then in understanding, improving and maintaining soil biodiversity in vineyards.

When it comes to microbes, it is all about relationships. Here we will focus on a relationship between the grapevine and a specific type of fungi. The surface area that can be explored is the key to water and nutrient uptake by grapevine roots. While large roots anchor the vine and medium roots store nutrients, the fine roots are responsible for uptake. Better yet, grapevines have co-evolved for thousands of years with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to assist with nutrient uptake. Fossil evidence suggests that this mutually beneficial relationship with plants appeared around 400 to 600 million years ago when plants were first colonizing land.

These fungi have a relationship with grapevines in which they trade carbohydrates from the vine’s roots for improvements in uptake of water and nutrients. The fungus actually lives inside the root and forms a fungal structure known as an arbuscule inside the root cells. Arbuscules are tree-shaped structures that are responsible for nutrient exchange between the plant and the fungus. The fungus has an extensive network of hyphae outside of the root to absorb water and nutrients.

This fungal relationship has many benefits for the grapevine, including the ability to explore and take up nutrients from a greater soil volume, the hyphae have a greater ability to take up phosphorus, the hyphae can explore smaller soil pores and the hyphae can help support healthy soil aggregation for aeration and movement of water in the soil pores.

Mycorrhizal fungi play an important role in the uptake of phosphorus. Phosphorus is important in phosphate groups in ATP and ADP, which is the energy currency used by plants and animals. In general, phosphorus levels are quite low in Willamette Valley soils, and the amount of phosphorus in the soil solution is extremely low. In addition, phosphorus movement in the soil is very slow. As plants need to take up inorganic phosphate from the soil solution, it is surprising grapevines are able to pull up much phosphorus at all. However, it is the fungi that make it happen.

Even more fascinating is that the fungal hyphae can create an extensive network and connect roots on multiple vines and other species of plants. In one study, it was shown that fungal hyphae could connect the grapevines to the cover crop growing in a vineyard and minerals were found to move via the hyphae highway from the cover crop to the grapevines (Baumgartner, 2006). This helps explain how phosphorus even at low levels in the soil can move into the vine.

Improvements in phosphorus uptake have added benefits of improving drought tolerance in grapevines. One way mycorrhizal uptake of phosphorus helps is in allowing the grapevine roots to grow deep in the soil profile to take up water instead of growing shallow near the surface searching for phosphorus.

As far as practical applications in the vineyard, growers can encourage AM fungi by planting cover crops of mixed legumes and grasses or other species (except mustards as they are detrimental) and doing minimal cultivation of the cover crops in order to minimize disruption of the hyphae. In one study, mycorrhizal colonization increased from 4.7 percent in conventional management to 15.9 percent under organic management. Synthetic phosphorus fertilizers were found to be detrimental to AM fungi. Most Oregon vineyards plant cover crops regardless of the production system and use minimal amounts of synthetic fertilizers.

For new plantings, using field-grown vines are preferred as they will already have associations with mycorrhizae fungi. For potted vines grown in sterile media, they could be inoculated at planting but another approach is to grow a cover crop in the soil prior to planting the vines so the AM fungi will already be present in the soil and can colonize the young vines quickly.

Link to Original Article: http://www.oregonwinepress.com/dirt-biodiversity 

COPYRIGHT 2015 Oregon Wine Press

 


Hand in Hand with the Soil

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These hard-working fungi provide the cornerstone for sustainability of our plant communities. They provide the moisture and nutrients needed to keep plants in our natural areas healthy and functioning through tiny absorptive threads called hyphae. We could not survive a day without them. Without their diligent munching in the soil, plants in native ecosystems all over the world would go hungry and die of thirst.