It’s Time for the Next Agricultural Revolution

by Jim Morris

From hunter-gatherers through mechanization and the development of pesticides and fertilizers, agricultural revolutions have kept food on our plates and farmers in business.

With population growth, climate volatility, intensifying sustainability efforts and shrinking farmland, now is the time for bold action – a paradigm shift in the understanding of, and actions needed for optimal plant nutrition.

“We’re learned more about how plants grow in the last 20 years than the prior 100 years,” said Redox CEO Darin Moon. “One recent revelation is that there are 2,500 genes, just related to nitrogen assimilation in the plant.”

“We’ve done a good job in agriculture,” he added. “However, our scientific understanding has grown exponentially. We are on a faster, better pace of learning than ever before.

We now know better. We’ve got to start to think about the plant first, not the fertilizer first. You’ll get better at what you do, when you think about how the plant extracts nutrients, not about how the fertilizer truck spreads the nutrients.”

Education and cutting-edge plant nutrition have been hallmark characteristics at Redox Bio-Nutrients since day one, and our just-concluded MasterClass was an escalation of both.

Agronomists traveled to Redox Headquarters in Burley, Idaho, from throughout the U.S. and Japan for an immersive agronomic experience. They left inspired.

“My grandfather proposed that if you stop learning, you die,” remarked Peter Sackett of G.S. Long in Washington, who has attended four MasterClasses. “I have an uncle that’s 93 years old that attends college every day, so I put a high value to learning.”

First time attendee Darren Rozell from Texas said he gained a lot from the meetings.

“I tell the growers I work with that you don’t have to change,” he said. “You can keep farming just like your daddy or grandaddy did, I don’t care, but one thing is you’re going to be competing against the people that are changing. That’s why you really need to learn about all of this.”

An intersection of greater knowledge and need for improved plant performance are great motivators to enterprising growers. Biostimulants offer great promise, but are underutilized in the U.S.  America is the world leader in food production, but accounts for a small fraction of overall use of biostimulants.

As understanding grows of the effective nutrition biostimulants provide, and they fit well into sustainability programs, the foundation has been laid for the next agricultural revolution.

“As farmers continue to witness that the practices from 10 years ago are no longer being effective today, they’re going to start welcoming the use of biostimulants,” said Jose Ramirez of Buttonwillow Warehouse Company in California. “As these biostimulants get better, more complex, and we weed away the non-efficacious ones, I believe the farmer is going to gain stronger confidence in them and is going to utilize them in their farming operation.”

Change often isn’t easy, and farmers have changed a lot over time. Moon said growers can take comfort that this new technology has proven to work over many trials and firsthand experience from a growing number of farms.

When biostimulant adoption grows in the U.S., it will be the realization of Darin Moon’s dream that began 30 years ago. Farmers, consumers, and the environment will be better for it.

“It is not OK to know better, and keep doing the same thing,” Moon said. “It is OK to take a risk, and to make a change because there’s science behind it. We need to be committed to doing the right thing, not the easy thing. That is who we are.”

Jim Morris
With 30+ years in Agricultural Communications, including California Farm Bureau and California Rice Commission, Jim Morris brings a strong voice to Redox Bio-Nutrients. As Director of Communications, Jim spearheads the podcast, interviewing customers, retailers, and others throughout the country. This has enabled him to make a fundamental, positive difference for farmers. In his own words, "When agriculture is strong, we all win!"
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