December 2020
Healthy Soil Solutions Monthly
Read below for more info!
Good Morning All! 

Welcome to the December edition of Healthy Soil Solutions Monthly. Our regular readers might’ve noticed a recurring theme in these newsletters in which we often refer to the critical role microorganisms play in optimizing soil health and crop fertility. Every product we offer and every management practice we encourage growers to adopt is in service of them, our microscopic miracle makers, whose capacity to solve so many problems has been unrealized for so many years. One of the most exciting things about this work is that we are constantly discovering new ways in which we can harness the power of microbes to do some pretty remarkable things, and the latest of those “things” we’ve discovered is their ability to remediate reservoirs more cheaply and effectively than harsh chemical alternatives.  

Quite a number of CA growers maintain irrigation reservoirs at which they can store their water allocations and pump from on an as-needed basis. Since that water often remains stagnant for such long periods of time, it can create an anaerobic condition (this is pretty much always a bad thing) and that often leads to massive algae blooms, which cause a whole host of problems if nothing is done to remediate them prior to irrigation. The status quo solution for remediation has been to utilize expensive chemicals, as is often the case when we’re faced with an urgent problem on the farm, and they only provide what is, at best, a short term solution, one that is going to have to be deployed again and again until it gets perceived as just another “cost of doing business”. Not to mention, these go-to chemicals like copper sulfate and chlorine are often deployed at levels that introduce toxicity to your crops (these chemicals are non-specific biological killers; they’ll kill the good microbes along with the bad). Well, it goes without saying that we’d hoped there’d be a better way to solve this problem, and turns out there is. We’re proud to introduce the solution we developed by way of collaboration with our partners at Aequion Water Technologies.

We started utilizing Aequion’s EMOH System simply as a means to treat irrigation water when we realized it performed a handful of very critical functions: (1) it weakens hydrogen bonds between H2O molecules, which drastically increases infiltration (by as much as 45%!) and absorbability to the plant, (2) it infuses water with dissolved oxygen nanobubbles that actually remain in saturation over extended periods of time, and (3) even produces trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide (naturally, with only introducing atmospheric oxygen) in a manner that breaks up hard water/scale to the degree where the need for drip line cleaners is completely eliminated. That second function, the oxygenation of the water, is critical to the solution being introduced in this newsletter. By simply circulating the water at an irrigation reservoir through an EMOH system, you’re creating a vastly more aerobic (oxygen-rich) condition in the pond, which ultimately creates an environment in which aerobic microbes are able to propagate and outcompete their anaerobic evil twins. Aerobic microbes are very good at consuming solids and mitigating contamination issues like breaking down nitrates and salts. Generally speaking, the aerobic guys are the good guys…..the more of them, the merrier. So when you take a look at the before/after photo at the top of this newsletter and think “wow, that was simply accomplished by introducing oxygen?”, just know that it was the microbes, not necessarily the oxygen, doing all the hard work. The oxygen just created an environment that was more suitable for their survival.  

In addition to the oxygen, we like to give those aerobic heroes another boost in the form of the additive we developed to help further facilitate their propagation, the aptly-named ClearPond. ClearPond is a naturally-derived energy source containing highly-available carbohydrates, amino acids, and other organic acids that work in conjunction with the oxygen introduced by EMOH to allow the aerobes to thrive.  

Apart from how effective and affordable this solution is proving itself to be, there are a couple of other elements that are a bit refreshing: (1) the results are immediately visible, and you’ll know it’s working almost immediately after it’s been deployed and (2) it validates that we can harness the power of microbes simply by creating an environment more suitable to their survival. The latter is one of the core themes maintained by our division, as we see more and more expensive microbial-based products coming to market (often referred to as the “bug in a jug” category of products) and we maintain there is a bit of an oversight on the part of folks trying to introduce these laboratory-produced microbes to an environment rather than simply focusing on improving the environment itself. EMOH+ClearPond really underscores the resilience of natural systems and their ability to restore themselves if only given the right conditions. There is a simple beauty in that fact we find very fulfilling and are very excited about sharing that experience with our customers.  

In addition to treating irrigation ponds, EMOH has the power to remediate wastewater from any source: dairy lagoons, wash water from processing plants, effluent water, etc. So if you’re interested in seeing the results for yourself, please contact your Penny Newman sales rep or drop us a line at We look forward to helping your water and soil breathe better! 

-The Team at Penny Newman Farm Products Division
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Tune in and listen to The Toast's FIRST episode, kicking off season 3! In this episode, we are happy to have one of our affiliates, Matt Nicoletti with Penny Newman, and their two partners from Aqua Yield. Listen as we hear about the collaborations between Penny Newman & Aqua Yield in their products, what they do for farmers & growers, and the science that makes it all happen.

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Sign up for Live Earth Products "Improving Soil Health & Water Conservation with Humates" Webinar
December 18, 11am PST
Soil organic matter impacts all aspects of soil, including essential topics like nutrient availability and water conservation. Join us for a free webinar on using humates in soil applications that will provide you the information you need to help improve soils.

Topics Discussed
  • How humic acid is formed, and why you would add it to your soil
  • Solutions for improving your soil structure and fertility with humic acid
  • What happens in your soil once it is incorporated
A blog from our Ag Center affiliates, Ceres Imaging, about optimal soil health and irrigation. We agree!
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“The single most limiting factor for agriculture producers is water,” says Dr. Samuel Sandoval, an associate professor and water management specialist at the University of California, Davis. “You can grow many things without soil. Without water, nothing grows.” 

After a statement like that, you might think Sandoval isn't much interested in soil health. But there's a catch: in practice—especially for growers where water is scarce—water management and soil health are inextricably intertwined....
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