Farming Sustainably For A Better Tomorrow

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Anuvia Plant Nutrients is a Business Reporter client.

Innovative technology from Anuvia Plant Nutrients helps agriculture sustainably feed a growing population.

Our planet is tasked with producing food on a finite amount of land to meet the demands of a world population forecast to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. With recent data suggesting agriculture accounts for over 37 per cent of the Earth’s land use and two thirds of its water use, finding ways to maximise these precious resources in a cost-effective manner is one of the biggest challenges facing modern agriculture today.

Anuvia is an agricultural tech start-up that empowers farmers to implement new sustainable practices to produce abundant food while enriching the soil and the planet for future generations. Anuvia manufactures high-efficiency, bio-based plant nutrients made by reclaiming organic waste that otherwise would be discarded. For every ton of waste used, approximately a ton of new fertilizer is produced. Anuvia’s production facility in Zellwood, Florida is the first of its kind in the world, establishing a new standard in plant nutrient manufacturing and organic waste utilizationcrops.

The innovative technology is a proprietary nutrient delivery system called the Organic MaTRX™, which mimics organic matter in nature. As the nutrients are slowly released, better nutrient utilization is achieved, increasing efficiency and crop yield while reducing nutrient loss into air and water. Anuvia’s products return up to 16 per cent organic matter back to the soil. Anuvia fosters improved soil health and water quality, increased yield and profitability, and the assurance that we can sustainably produce crops for generations to come.

Anuvia is a tangible example of a circular economy in which resources are reclaimed, converted and then reused. In the case of agricultural crops, the circular economy begins with crops planted, fertilized and grown. Those crops are used for human and livestock consumption with waste being created. Anuvia reclaims this waste and converts it into a sustainable plant nutrient. The cycle is completed as Anuvia products return nutrients and organic matter to the soil, feeding the next crop while nourishing and improving the soil.

Reclaiming waste at the end of the food chain has been largely ignored thus far in production agriculture, creating a further burden on already crowded landfills. According to the EPA, agriculture accounts for nearly 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emission in the United States. Greenhouse gases are produced when traditional fertilizers are manufactured and used, contributing N2O and CO2 into the atmosphere.

Recent results from a study conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a leading global environmental consulting firm, found that Anuvia’s technology reduces greenhouse gases on a crop production acre by up to 32 per cent, when compared with conventional fertilizers. The study indicates that, for every million acres of crops that use Anuvia’s technology, the reduction in greenhouse gases would be equal to the equivalent of removing 20,000 to 30,000 cars from the roads. With 90 million acres of corn in the United States alone, if these crops were treated with Anuvia’s plant nutrients, that would conservatively translate to 1.8 million cars removed from use.

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With little to no financial or operational barriers to adoption, Anuvia is poised to make an overnight impact on the agriculture industry, helping farmers drastically reduce their environmental footprint while more efficiently feeding their crops, growing healthier crops and, ultimately, producing more from their current acreage. In a world where natural resources are becoming more and more finite, it’s the kind of environmentally responsible technology that also makes good business sense.

To learn more about Anuvia Plant Nutrients – SymTRX for agriculture, GreenTRX for golf and landscape, and ANUGREEN for home lawncare, visit www.anuviaplantnutrients.com.

This article originally appeared on Business Reporter.

Founded in 2006, Business Reporter is a long-established content marketing and events company. Through its business analysis content, Business Reporter now enjoys a key strategic relationship with the Telegraph Media Group and City A.M.; this has led to the company becoming one of the leading special interest reports publishers in the UK.

Source: http://www.forbes.com

Innovative technology from Anuvia Plant Nutrients helps agriculture sustainably feed a growing population. Our planet is tasked with producing food on a finite amount of land to meet the demands of a world population forecast to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. With recent data suggesting agriculture accounts for over 37 per cent of the Earth’s land use and two thirds of its water use, finding ways to maximize these precious resources in a cost-effective manner is one of the biggest challenges facing modern agriculture today.

When it Comes to Pesticides and Kids, The EPA Looks the Other Way

HOMESTEAD, FL – SEPTEMBER 09: Stephen Jenner, from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, sprays an insecticide under an avocado tree where some Oriental fruit flies were found on September 9, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. The discovery of the flies has forced the state to quarantine about 85 square miles of farmland in Southern Miami-Dade county until they have been eradicated. The flies have the potential to damage Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It’s easy to lose count of all of the pesticides that are sprayed on crops in the U.S., and well-nigh impossible to know all of the names (dichloropropene and pyraclostrobin and spinetoram and on and on). But it’s not hard to guess who gets hit hardest by all of these chemicals: kids, whose brain, nervous and hormonal systems are still developing at the time of exposure. What’s more, a new pesticide introduced today will have fewer years to build up in the tissues of, say, a 50-year old, compared to a child who will accumulate a lifetime load of the stuff.

That’s the biggest reason that, in 1996, Congress passed and  Bill Clinton signed the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The legislation represented one of the most effective crackdowns on pesticides in the food supply to date, requiring the Environmental Protection Agency not simply to establish a safe threshold of exposure for the population as a whole, but to limit permissible levels much further—10-fold further in fact—to ensure that children are protected too. The legislation benefits everyone of course: Ten times less pyraclostrobin on your apple is a good thing no matter how old you are, but it’s children who are the most important beneficiaries.

But a law is only as good as its enforcement and a new study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, —a nonprofit advocacy organization—and published in the journal Environmental Health found that when it comes to the FQPA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is laying down on the job. The group surveyed 47 non-organophosphate pesticides—a category that tends to persist in soils—and found that the 10-fold safety standard was being applied only to five of them.

“The FQPA was a revolution in how we think about pesticides’ effects on children,” said Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook in a statement accompanying the release of the study, “but it does no good if the EPA doesn’t use it.”

In response to the study’s release, an EPA spokesperson told TIME: “EPA takes our commitment to protect public health, including our most vulnerable populations, and following the law seriously. EPA uses the default 10X safety factor unless a wealth of high-quality, peer-reviewed data has shown an alternative safety factor can provide an equal amount of protection.”

The study, which stands by the the ten-fold standard as the true gold standard, looked back at FQPA enforcement from as early as 2011, during the Obama administration—generally seen as an environmentally friendly presidency—and saw the same spotty pesticide enforcement even then. But the Obama White House did take some proactive steps, seeking to extend the 10-fold standard to organophosphate pesticides as well, which break down relatively quickly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but while they are around can be even more toxic than other varieties of pesticides, affecting the nervous system in much the way sarin and other nerve gasses do.

Under the Trump Administration, however, the Obama ruling was reversed for the most widely used organophosphate, known as chlorpyrifos. Nonetheless, Corteva Agriscience, the nation’s largest manufacturer of the chemical, under pressure from multiple states that are banning its use, announced on Feb. 6 that it would voluntarily agree to stop producing it.

It’s a manifestly good thing that in that one case, market forces were sufficient to stop a bad chemical from getting into the food supply. But it’s a manifestly bad thing that in a far larger share of cases, apparently the health of America’s children does not have the same power in Washington.

“With the FQPA legislation, Congress clearly gave the EPA the power to protect children’s health from pesticides,” says Olga Naidenko, vice president of science investigations at the Environmental Working Group, and lead author of the paper. “The EPA should be able to fully use this authority without waiting for additional instructions, if the EPA leadership decides to do so.”

By Jeffrey Kluger February 12, 2020

Source: When it Comes to Pesticides and Kids, The EPA Looks the Other Way

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/do-we-reall… Annually, we shower over 5 billion pounds of pesticides across the Earth to control insects, unwanted weeds, funguses, rodents, and bacteria that may threaten our food supply. But is it worth it, knowing what we do about the associated environmental and public health risks? Fernan Pérez-Gálvez weighs the pros and cons of pesticides. Lesson by Fernan Pérez-Gálvez, animation by Mighty Oak.

Mexico’s Avocado Growers Increasingly Face Cartel Violence

Aavocado takes from farm to toast is increasingly punctuated by chain-link fencing and AK-47s.

At least, that’s become the case in Mexico, where the meteoric rise of the avocado industry has attracted unwanted attention and an increase in violence toward growers and their workers. The threats are perpetrated by cartels and vigilantes, looking for ways to capitalize off the money the trade has infused into western Mexico.

A lot of those avocados wind up crossing the border into the US, satiating a fast-growing appetite Americans have for them. Sometimes referred to as “green gold,” avocados have been rising in popularity in the US for years. Consumption of the fruit—yes, it’s not a vegetable—has increased significantly, from 2.2  to 7.1 pounds per capita between 2000 and 2016, according to the USDA data.

The regional problem with violence was catapulted onto the international stage earlier this year, when a spate of violence wound up threatening the safety of food inspectors from the US Department of Agriculture.

In mid-August a team of inspectors fell into danger in Ziracuaretiro, a town in the state of Michoacan. Local authorities told the media that an armed gang stopped and robbed a truck in which inspectors were traveling. There are close to 60 inspectors in that region, charged with checking conditions on the farms. The threat to them resulted in US officials saying they would suspend its avocado certification program if precautions weren’t implemented.

Now some Mexican avocado growers are hiring private security firms. A spokesman for Villita Avocados, a subsidiary of Mexican avocado exporter AgroExport Avocados, said this week that the company hired a firm to assess operational risk.

“There have been times when there have been upticks in the violence, and then we aren’t able to operate at 100% capacity,” said spokesman Aaron Acosta in a statement.

According to the Associated Press, many growers have erected chain-link fencing and hired guards armed with AK-47s to protect workers from violent thieves and cartel extortionists.

And while the US is the tenth largest producer of avocados in the world (they are mostly grown in Florida and California), Mexico is the dominant grower, supplying some 43% of world demand. In 2017, the US produced about 133,000 metric tons, a number that is dwarfed by the more than 2 million metric tons grown across the border.

Source: Mexico’s avocado growers increasingly face cartel violence

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Some Mexican avocado growers armed with AR-15 rifles are guarding against thieves and drug cartel extortionists in Michoacan, a state know for its production of the fruit locals call “green gold.” The region’s avocado boom, fueled by soaring U.S. demand, has raised parts of western Mexico out of poverty in just 10 years. Now, gangs and violent cartels are threatening the newfound prosperity.

This Fruit Company Sells Out Each Summer in 12 Crazy Weeks. Inside the Logistical Madness of The Peach Truck

Stephen Rose wouldn’t shut up about peaches. Specifically, the 32-year-old native of Fort Valley, Georgia, was stunned to find that nobody around him knew how a real Georgia peach, fresh off the tree, tasted. Not his neighbors in Nashville, just 300 miles northwest of his childhood home. Certainly not his Seattle-born wife, Jessica, who was growing tired of hearing about it.

Until, that is, the couple visited Stephen’s family in July 2011. Jessica’s first “real” peach experience was tart. Sweet. Just the right amount of messy. Summer incarnate.

It changed her life. Both their lives, actually: The revelation that out-of-staters like Jessica could be so easily evangelized prompted the couple to launch The Peach Truck in 2012. Georgia’s highest-quality peaches start to rot just days after they’re picked, and the fruits in grocery stores are usually bred for longevity, not taste. The company’s mission: Drive “real” peaches to deprived souls across the rest of the country.

The couple started out part-time. Year one featured 32 boxes of fruit donated by a family friend from a farm in Georgia’s aptly named Peach County; a ’64 Jeep; and $30,000 in revenue from a 12-week selling season. That was enough to convince the Roses to go all-in. Jessica shuttered her independent house-cleaning venture. Stephen quit doing sales for radio personality Dave Ramsey.

Jessica and Stephen Rose.Courtesy The Peach Truck

Seven years later, The Peach Truck is an eight-state logistics operation that sold roughly five million pounds of Georgia peaches in 2019 (the last day of sales, dictated by the growing season, was August 10). The company projects that will be more than any other U.S. vendor, including Whole Foods. Its extremely photogenic Instagram account boasts more than 85,000 followers. And the business is completely bootstrapped. The Roses have never sought or accepted external funding.

The company, with seven full-time employees and 65 to 85 seasonal workers, earned $7 million in 2018 revenue. The Roses expect 2019 sales will be 50 percent higher. And that growth should continue now that the founders have solved a tricky riddle: how to turn a high-risk seasonal venture into a year-round moneymaker.

The race against rot.

Georgia peaches really are different, their flavor more intense and their shelf life shorter than that of grocery store rivals. Most come from just five farms in Peach County, Stephen says. Off the trees, they last roughly three days.

That makes The Peach Truck’s mission difficult. Jessica, who runs operations, recalls waking at 4:30 a.m. each day during their first full-time year to wipe rotten, fly-infested fruit pulp off the warehouse floor. “When we first started and talked to people in the peach business, they literally laughed at us,” Jessica says. “They were right to laugh. It was a lot of work, and it still is.”

Such extreme perishability complicated the business model. Selling small bags of peaches meant the Roses risked massive daily inventory loss. But selling in bulk wasn’t an option. Few individual consumers would buy whole bushels of peaches that would quickly rot.

The couple landed on a three-pronged strategy. In summer, the Peach Truck sells produce daily at 50 locations around Nashville, where it is based. It also embarks on a 12-week, eight-state peach-selling tour that traverses Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, and Florida. And it ships small boxes of peaches across most of the country. (The company is unable to ship to Hawaii or Alaska for logistical reasons, or to California or Arizona because of state environmental regulations.)

Consumers who encounter the business during the tour can buy a 25-pound box of fruit–roughly 50 peaches–for $42. In Nashville, they also have the option of a three-pound bag for $8. Online, there’s a significant up-charge due to shipping expenses. That same $42 will get you just 13 peaches.

Data is critical to managing this short-lived product. The Roses communicate constantly with Georgia peach farms to learn how many peaches are picked each morning and how many fresh bins are available for sale, so they can control inventory and prevent fruit waste. They also analyze their audience. Stephen estimates that 95 percent of The Peach Truck’s customers come from outside Georgia, and the majority prefers in-person to online sales.

Transporting the peaches across country before they rot is, predictably, the company’s greatest challenge. The Roses hire truckers to handle the bulk of the trip. For the last mile the fruity cargo is handed off to Peach Truck employees operating locally rented vehicles. But the trucking industry is awash in regulations, including a new law mandating electronic logging of hours that has caused many drivers to quit. That’s made it harder to line up quality freight service. And drivers aren’t necessarily sympathetic to The Peach Truck’s need for speedy deliveries.

“It’s multiple trucks, all over the country, every day, getting to the right cold-storage unit for our local trucks to pick it up,” Stephen says. “Just a wild, wild nightmare. But it’s what makes all the difference.”

From disaster to discovery.

Attention to audience and data has become even more important in recent years, as climate change produces increasingly unpredictable harvests. The 2017 peach crop, for example, was a disaster: 85 percent was lost before the season even began.

It was a tough year for The Peach Truck. The Roses kept prices mostly stable, forgoing profit margin to keep customers happy. But Stephen, who runs the company’s marketing, learned an important lesson from that bad time: namely, that scarcity can be an effective brand-building tool. His stress over the poor harvest came through in all the company’s external communications, from email newsletters to online ads; and the personal note struck a chord with customers. So did his warnings about how rare peaches would be. “I’m not joking when I send these emails, that I’m not sleeping because [the weather is] legitimately a threat,” says Stephen. That summer, The Peach Truck sold out its entire inventory.

An effective level of tension is easy to maintain: Will there be peaches? Won’t there be? “We don’t have to create scarcity,” says Stephen. “We have 12 weeks of business every year.”

Courtesy The Peach Truck

And the company’s peach-loving customers make the most of that brief season. Stephanie Jernigan, a school librarian in Lebanon, Tennessee, discovered The Peach Truck six years ago on Facebook. She buys the three-pound bags weekly. Katie Baltas, an assistant principal at Cleveland Metropolitan School District, stumbled across the peaches at a Nashville farmer’s market in the summer of 2013. Now she partners with friends to buy 25-pound boxes each time the tour sweeps through Cleveland and orders the 13-peach box for her mother every Mother’s Day. “I honestly don’t buy peaches at the store,” Baltas says. “I just wait until summer, and I get my peaches, and that’s it. You’re just so disappointed when you eat a different peach.”

That kind of loyalty–and the closer connection with customers forged during the harrowing summer of 2017–made the Roses think: Could they do more than 12 weeks of annual business? Since the peaches themselves were un-tweakable, they set about developing a line of fruit-adjacent products including peach jams, Georgia pecans, apparel, tote bags, peach cobbler mix, and most recently, a cookbook that quickly became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. None have three-day shelf lives. “We’re in the process of training our customers not to just think of us in the summertime,” says Stephen.

The Peach Truck unveiled those offerings this year, and early signs are positive. E-commerce, which includes the new products, is projected to top local Nashville peach sales for the first time.

But both those channels pale compared to the eight-state peach tour. And that scares the Roses. If a crop disaster like 2017’s happened again–and it easily could–the tour would be most affected. They also worry about the slow decline of Facebook as an advertising platform, since Facebook ads created much of The Peach Truck’s early traction.

Fortunately, as the company grows, the Roses are finding it somewhat less difficult to distribute fresh fruits across the country. And they trust, so long as Georgia’s soil and sun continue to ensure the highest quality, that devoted customers will stick with The Peach Truck no matter what. “It’s a logistical nightmare,” Stephen says. “But we felt like if people could taste what a peach should taste like, it’s a game-changer, and they won’t go back.”

 

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch

 

Source: This Fruit Company Sells Out Each Summer in 12 Crazy Weeks. Inside the Logistical Madness of The Peach Truck

Coming off a couple of challenging years due to late freezes, peach growers around Georgia are in need of a good 2019 harvest. Damon Jones tells you how this year’s crop is looking and what kind of quality consumers can expect to see.

Can Blockchain Technology Make Agriculture Safer?

Smart contracts built on blockchain technology may eliminate the need for middlemen. Energy grids could use that tech to increase cybersecurity. And aerospace suppliers look to blockchain as a potential investment in keeping track of their supply lines and boosting efficiencies. But perhaps one of the most unexpected – and impactful – applications of blockchain may be in agriculture…………

Source: Can Blockchain Technology Make Agriculture Safer?

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