Noel Garcia: Crop Testing to Support In-Season Intervention
Wet spring? Summer drought? What to do? Noel Garcia will explain and illustrate how leaf and petiole testing, in conjunction with soil fertility testing, enables growers to manage crop nutrition needs to a high level and to rapidly respond to changing growing conditions and stressors. Drawing from real-life examples of slow, wet springs and lingering drought, see how some growers correct for erratic weather using proper testing and foliar feeding, fertigation, and other methods of in-season action. Building on the agricultural lessons in K Chandler's book Ask the Plant, Garcia and team advise growers of high-value crops during periods when hours count. But those same lessons apply to mainline growers of commodity crops as well.
Noel Garcia, CCA, joined Texas Plant & Soil Lab in 1991; he now serves as vice-president, operations and technical director. He is a Certified Crop Advisor under the American Society of Agronomy. His career started at the USDA-ARS, developing imagery acquisition software involving video and satellite images, image processing and geographical information systems. He was recruited by E.K. Chandler, the lab's previous owner, to write computer programs to manage and report raw laboratory data. Reporting laboratory data soon escalated to converting Chandler's interpretive abilities to intuitive software. Garcia also conducted field trials on various pop-up fertilizers, humic/fulvic acids, hormones and other adjuvants with a variety of crops. Writing interpretive software required him to gain intimate understandings of soil and water chemistry, soil microbiology, plant physiology, how fertilizer compounds affect plant uptake and how to maximize plants' genetic potential with nutritional balance at specific stages of growth. He consults widely with farmers in North America and internationally, on a wide variety of crops, and on conventional, sustainable and organic operations.
Recorded Friday, December 12, 2013