Avoid the harmful effects of harsh pesticides by trying these natural alternatives recommended by Tommy Harwood.
Pesticides are widely used in farming to improve crop yield and productivity. However, pesticides are also known to have detrimental long-term effects on the environment. According to Tommy Harwood, a farming expert from Garberville, CA, adverse effects include groundwater contamination, toxicity to humans and animals, and soil fertility loss, among others.
With government regulations cracking down on pesticide use now more than ever before, what alternative options are available? Tommy Harwoodlists three alternatives to pesticides and chemicals used in agriculture.
1. Biological Control
This method, also called biocontrol, uses a pest’s natural enemies for extermination. Tommy Harwood explains that these natural enemies can either be a predator or a bacterial strain. Before introducing a new element to the environment, scientists conduct extensive research to ensure that the natural enemies don’t cause any unintended problems themselves. According to Tommy Harwood, the enemies specifically target pests without damaging the vegetation or surrounding wildlife.
As revolutionary as this method sounds, Tommy Harwood notes that it dates back to ancient China around 304 C.E. Biocontrol was first documented to work on citrus fruits, where ants were introduced to eat other insects. It is common for other organisms to be used today, including microscopic worms called nematodes.
2. Natural Barriers
Farmers can use various types of barriers to protect their crops. Tommy Harwood explains that instead of building walls or moats, farmers are building barriers of non-farming plants. For example, a farmer might plant grasses in their fields to attract beetles, spiders, and field birds to the area. According to Tommy Harwood, natural barriers can separate sections of crops and encourage beneficial animals to stay there that would not otherwise.
3. Companion Planting
Finally, Tommy Harwood explains the perks of companion planting, also known as polyculture. This natural pesticide method requires farmers to plant multiple types of crops in the field together instead of just one crop per area. This method is different from the natural barrier method listed above because you can naturally repel certain pests by putting partner-plants together. Strategic planting methods will help your plants support each other by fending off their partner-plants enemies.
For example, Tommy Harwood explains that tomatoes naturally repel diamond-backed moth larvae that are known to eat cabbage. By planting tomatoes and cabbage together, the diamond-backed moth larvae will stay away from the cabbage. Now you must be asking yourself: what is protecting the vulnerable tomatoes? Tommy Harwood notes that by taking your strategic planting method a step further, you can come full circle to protect the protectors. Planting basil with the tomatoes and cabbage will protect the tomatoes from its natural pests, including flies and mosquitoes.
Each of these pesticide alternatives can be scaled according to agricultural production needs. Tommy Harwood notes that it means you can also implement these methods in your backyard garden at home!
Farming expert Tommy Harwood presents a brief look back at the history of the California Farm Bureau Federation following news of its latest online impact survey.
With the California Farm Bureau Federation recently releasing the results of its latest impact survey, farming expert and entrepreneur Tommy Harwood takes a closer look at the figures and shares a brief look back at the history of the statewide organization.
“The California Farm Bureau Federation’s latest online impact survey has revealed that more than half of farmers responding to the study have directly lost business as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” reveals Tommy Harwood, a farming expert and successful entrepreneur from Humboldt County.
A similar number further reported that they or a family member had also lost indirect, off-farm income as a result of the global health crisis.
“The California Farm Bureau Federation survey clearly shows a significant strain on rural California,” suggests Tommy Harwood, speaking from his home in Whitethorn. “With many farmers and ranchers in California also relying on off-farm income to supplement their agricultural earnings, the figures are a stark reminder of the massive impact of COVID-19,” adds the expert.
The California Farm Bureau Federation was established to protect, promote, and problem-solve for the state’s farms, ranches, and rural communities more generally, according to Tommy Harwood. “Founded in 1919, the California Farm Bureau Federation was initially based on the University of California campus,” he explains, “where it would remain for some six decades.”
Humboldt County, Yolo County, San Joaquin County, and San Diego County had each established their own farming bureaus between 1913 and 1914. “As a statewide organization, however, the California Farm Bureau Federation would, as a collective, allow for the pursuit of broader legislation and other policymaking,” Tommy Harwood reveals.
In 1979, after 60 years at the University of California, Berkeley, the California Farm Bureau Federation relocated operations to Sacramento in order to work more closely alongside government agencies and legislators.
Today, the California Farm Bureau Federation can be found at 2600 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento, close to Willow Creek. “The California Farm Bureau Federation only recently relocated to River Plaza Drive, in fact,” points out Tommy Harwood, “making the move just last year, in 2019.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation, Tommy Harwood says, works tirelessly to protect predominantly family-owned farms and ranches across the state. “They do so,” adds the farming expert, “on behalf of more than 30,000 members, each of whom forms a part of a much larger, nationwide network of over five-and-a-half-million farming bureau members.”
As the ongoing global health crisis continues to maintain its grip on agriculture, the California Farm Bureau Federation will, says Tommy Harwood, advocate for all-new policies designed to help ease the strain faced by California’s farmers and ranchers at local, state, and federal levels.
“New policies, it’s hoped, will help to take some of the strain,” adds Tommy Harwood, wrapping up, “while the California Farm Bureau Federation continues, first and foremost, to protect the health and safety of all affected, including farm employees, retail consumers, and the general public.”
Farming expert Tommy Harwood shares incredible statistics behind California’s agricultural industry.
Worth a total of more than $100 billion in direct and associated economic activity, California agriculture is booming, employing millions, and providing food and further agricultural commodities to vast swathes of the United States. Also supplying fruits, nuts, and other crops to much of the rest of the world, California farming expert Tommy Harwood uncovers the incredible statistics behind the industry and offers an inside look at farming and agriculture in the Golden State.
“California agriculture currently produces more than 450 different crops,” explains Tommy Harwood, speaking from his office in Humboldt County, where the farming expert and entrepreneur runs a number of highly successful, primarily agriculture-focused businesses. This, he says, is thanks to California’s largely unique Mediterranean-like climate.
More than one-third of vegetables consumed within the wider United States is produced in California, according to Tommy Harwood. “More incredible still, more than two-thirds of the nation’s entire supply of fruits and nuts are produced in the state, too,” he adds.
“There’s an incredible economic bounty to be had for farmers and ranchers in California,” suggests farming expert Tommy Harwood. As a state, California’s agricultural value exceeded $30 billion for the first time 16 years ago, back in 2004. This number, Tommy Harwood goes on to reveal, has since grown to somewhere in the region of $50 billion annually. “California’s agricultural value is now more than double that of any other state in the U.S.,” he points out.
Not only does agriculture in California directly contribute roughly $50 billion to the state’s economy each year, but it also generates over $100 billion in related economic activity every twelve months, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture
It’s Tommy Harwood‘s belief that the state of California first truly became the agricultural powerhouse that it is today in the post-World War II era. “Post-World War II, California experienced something of an agricultural revolution which continued until the early-mid 1970s,” reveals the expert.
The post-war era, he goes on to suggest, delivered a brand-new generation of insecticides which, it could be argued, were fundamental in the success of farming—and the resulting farming boom—in the Golden State.
Tommy Harwood has previously spoken on an array of agriculture-related topics, including how urban farming is contributing to food security, innovation within agriculture, predictions for farming in the 2020s, Humboldt County’s sustainable cannabis farms, plans for expanded agriculture-based conservation programs in California, and more.
Late last year, he also considered how 5G technology could revolutionize agriculture and farming, and highlighted California winemakers’ fight against climate change.
“In addition to food and other agricultural commodities, the state of California is also among the world’s largest suppliers of cotton fiber,” Tommy Harwood notes, briefly getting back on topic. “What’s more,” he adds, wrapping up, “agriculture now supports in excess of 2.5 million jobs across the state, which is further vital to supporting California’s booming economy.”
California agricultural entrepreneur Tommy Harwood shares tips and recovery advice for farmers and the industry at large.
Agriculturists and farming experts like Tommy Harwood know that the agriculture industry has seen its share of challenges over the past several years. These include the trade war between the United States and China that’s affected the entire nation. Weather-related phenomena like record-breaking flooding, marathon droughts, and oppressive heat waves have added additional stress to specific areas of the United States as well.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented the agriculture industry with yet another set of challenges to overcome. Tommy Harwood and his peers know it will be difficult, but not necessarily impossible.
Tommy Harwood and How Coronavirus Is Challenging Farmers
With thousands of businesses across the country closing their doors to help stem the spread of the virus, farmers are faced with a surplus of product they can’t move. Prices are being driven down as the crisis develops. Businesses of all types, including those owned by Tommy Harwood and company, are facing labor shortages. Farmers are also being hit hard by a shortage of truckers and other essential partners.
Lenders have less money to help keep farmers afloat as they navigate their way through the crisis. However, there’s some financial relief in sight with the passing of the United States coronavirus stimulus bill. Roughly $9.5 billion has been set aside specifically to assist farmers who are struggling in the face of the pandemic.
Tommy Harwood on Emerging Trends in Agriculture
According to Tommy Harwood, there are some bright spots on the horizon for the post-coronavirus agriculture industry. Before the virus brought the country to its knees over the past several months, farmers were already optimistically looking forward to the tech-savvy advances in particular. These may well turn out to be the industry’s saving graces in the months to come.
With DNA testing becoming increasingly more affordable, Tommy Harwood expects soil DNA testing to help farmers take the best possible care of their soil and crops.
Smart sensors will assist farmers in detecting moisture and nutrient deficiencies in the soil. “Smart sensors look set to be game-changing,” says Harwood.
Tommy Harwood also sees self-driving vehicles taking the guesswork out of tasks like tilling and harvesting, as well as easing the burden of any possible virus-related labor shortages.
Introductions like the above will “revolutionize farming like never before”, according to Tommy Harwood, as well as boost profits and sustainability, especially in post-coronavirus America. Harwood is a community-minded entrepreneur from Whitethorn, California. He is the founder and owner of successful agriculture companies such as Southern Humboldt Farm and Redway Feed, Garden and Pet Supply.
Humboldt County farming expert and entrepreneur Tommy Harwood provides a professional look at the coronavirus pandemic’s impact upon California’s agriculture industry
A farming expert and entrepreneur from California, Tommy Harwood has spoken at length recently on topics ranging from local winemakers’ fight against climate change to how 5G could revolutionize agriculture in the state. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic currently dominating world news, Humboldt County-based Harwood considers the impact of the virus on the local agricultural industry.
“With limited rainfall so far this season already having a significant impact on agriculture in California, the state’s farmers have now been hit with the effects of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic,” says Tommy Harwood, speaking from his office in Humboldt County, located on the state’s far North Coast, around 270 miles from San Francisco.
With farms across California already taking all possible precautions as the virus continues to spread, according to Tommy Harwood, the true extent of the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is yet to be felt in full. “We’re only now seeing the likely extent of the difficulties posed, and which will continue to be posed, by the spread of the virus,” explains the farming expert and entrepreneur.
Difficulties in transporting produce, for example, Tommy Harwood says, even between neighboring counties, is just the start. “The same is true,” the expert goes on, “of transporting essential supplies, all of which are vital to maintaining the agricultural industry, not just in California, but nationally and internationally, too.”
Stricter-than-ever cleaning and hygiene processes are also impacting efficiency and driving up costs, according to Tommy Harwood. Farmers, he says, on the whole, are working hard to combat this, but cannot account for external factors – many of which have shown to be surprising as the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened its hold.
“People have complained that prices have increased at their local grocery stores, for example,” reveals Harwood. “This, however,” he continues, “is not a reflection of increasing costs, nor a simple lack of supply from California’s farmers.”
Instead, says Tommy Harwood, it’s a case of demand outstripping supply as people stockpile food, often unnecessarily. “People are stocking up, which is understandable,” suggests Harwood, “but many are doing so to an extent which is wholly unnecessary, and this is being reflected in what local communities are seeing on the shelves of grocery stores nationwide.”
It’s Tommy Harwood‘s belief that, as things stand, it’s impossible to truly grasp what will eventually become the full extent of the ongoing pandemic upon agriculture, both in California and across the United States. “Truth be told, right now, we ultimately don’t know what the future holds,” clarifies Harwood, “not just within agriculture, but within a huge variety of industries right across the board.”
“As it stands, this is a storm which we must continue to weather,” he adds, wrapping up, “but, rest assured, those of us in the world of agriculture are doing everything possible to tackle the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its spread at every junction.”
Farming expert and entrepreneur Tommy Harwood continues to promote innovation within agriculture amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Innovation within agriculture has led to a huge number of incredible advances within the field in recent years. Set only to become more incredible still, and now driven by necessity in the wake of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, innovation in the industry has never been more important, according to entrepreneur and farming expert Tommy Harwood. In his home state of California, across the U.S., and worldwide, Harwood continues to lead support in the promotion of now-accelerated levels of creativity and forward-thinking.
“A forward-thinking approach, creativity, and innovation have never been more important within agriculture than they are right now,” suggests Tommy Harwood, speaking from his office in southern Humboldt County, California.
Last month, Tommy Harwood closely examined the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic on agriculture in California. In fact, Tommy Harwood first contemplated the impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on U.S. agriculture back in January of this year. “As with the emergence of any novel virus, it’s important to pay particular attention to existing biosecurity measures,” he said at the time, “and to implement additional or increased measures where appropriate, in order to best protect ourselves and our livestock.”
The pandemic, he has since gone on to point out, will likely drive further accelerated innovation within agriculture. “Fifth-generation cellular network technology, or 5G connectivity, for example,” suggests Tommy Harwood, “looks set to completely revolutionize agriculture and farming.”
Effectively the next generation of the internet and already touted to revolutionize countless aspects of modern life, 5G will, Tommy Harwoodbelieves, also change the face of agriculture in the U.S. and worldwide. Part of wider—and now significantly accelerated—efforts to innovate in the face of adversity, the technology will afford farmers with internet-connected tractors, real-time soil monitoring, remote veterinarian care, and much more, says Harwood.
Tommy Harwood has previously spoken at length on related topics ranging from how urban agriculture is contributing in terms of food security to California’s ban on the widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos. Other areas of focus for the farming expert have included agricultural production statistics, predictions for farming in the 2020s, and the growing Jeff Bezos-backed agriculture startup, Plenty.
A resident of Whitethorn, California, entrepreneur and farming expert Tommy Harwood moved to southern Humboldt County almost 25 years ago. Today the owner and founder of Redway Feed, Garden & Pet Supply in the small town of Redway, California, Harwood’s other business ventures also provide hiring, accounting, licensing, marketing, business management services, and more to a range of clients in a variety of industries, including within agriculture, both in Humboldt County and further afield.
“As someone who relies heavily on the success of wide swathes of the agricultural industry,” adds Tommy Harwood, wrapping up, “I’ll continue to lead renewed support in promotion of ongoing innovation within the field, right across the board.”
Running a business can be a difficult task, no matter how experienced. Tommy Harwood discusses how he was able to make his farming businesses a success
Running a business is not an easy task, nor is it a simple one. No matter how experienced you are, the job will always require you to give it your all. Not just for yourself, but for your employees as well, which Tommy Harwood will attest to. He put a lot of work and sincerity into managing his farming business, and in turn, will impart onto you how he pulled it off.
Tommy Harwood: What goes into creating and operating a farming business
When Tommy Harwood started his farming and agricultural jobs, which spanned farm, supply, pet care, and more, he knew that he had to take it seriously. This industry is no walk in the park, after all, and so anyone who wants to get into it has to be willing and able to put the time in. Tommy Hardwood took stock of what, exactly, he had to offer with his businesses, which any business owner should be sure to do. It’s not enough to be good at your job; after all, lots of people already are. Rather, you need to be able to convince prospective customers that your farming and agricultural services are worth their time and money. Tommy Harwood was able to succeed in part because of the reputation he had already managed to build through his years in the community he started these businesses in, among other talents that he brought to the table.
Tommy Harwood: How to keep your farm and agricultural businesses thriving
Momentum is a quality that you want to have at all times. As Tommy Harwood notes, if you have no momentum with your business, you are not likely to retain any success that you may have had in the first place. Once the honeymoon cycle ends, if you are not able to keep up the pace you’ve kept, or cannot reach the level of quality necessary, your customers will simply go elsewhere. So when you think about your operations, ask yourself this: are you capable of doing this job for an extended period of time at a necessary level of quality? If you want this to be anything long-term like Tommy Harwood’s businesses have been, you literally cannot afford to treat your businesses lightly. Furthermore, you have to act as an example to those underneath you in your business, from managers to basic employees. If you seem emotionally or physically fatigued, this can be demotivating. However, if you keep your energy levels up to a solid standard, this will result in the opposite. In fact, a motivated workforce can even prove to be uplifting across the board, making things easier and less stressful for all involved, Tommy Harwood notes.
Entrepreneur and farming expert Tommy Harwood takes a closer look at a planned Senate bill designed to bolster California’s agriculture-based conservation programs.
Expanding incentive programs for local farmers, newly introduced legislation is being widely touted to benefit wildlife and the environment in California like never before. The basis for the anticipated all-new California Environmental Farming Incentive Program Fund, local entrepreneur and farming expert Tommy Harwood takes a closer look at the planned Senate bill focused on technical assistance grants for California’s farmers and ranchers.
“The proposed Senate bill would support hugely expanded agriculture-based conservation programs across the state,” suggests Harwood, speaking from his office in the community of Whitethorn in Humboldt County, California.
The Cannella Environmental Farming Act of 1995 already requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to oversee environmental farming programs to provide incentives to farmers who promote the well-being of local wildlife, ecosystems, and air quality through their practices, according to Tommy Harwood. “This is currently outlined in the text of Senate Bill 1028,” adds the expert.
“Planned changes to the Senate bill,” he goes on, “would call for the establishment of what will become known as the Scientific Advisory Panel on Environmental Farming.”
The updated bill would, Harwood says, require the Scientific Advisory Panel on Environmental Farming to assist government agencies in incorporating new and ongoing conservation standards in relation to local ecosystems and other natural resources. “These conservation standards would then be integrated into both new and existing agricultural programs,” Harwood adds.
If passed, the proposed changes to the relevant Senate bill would require the Department of Food and Agriculture, with advice from the Scientific Advisory Panel on Environmental Farming, to administer what’s being called the California Environmental Farming Incentive Program. “It’s hoped that the program would support on-farm practices designed to bolster environmental benefits,” explains Harwood, “while also supporting the ongoing economic viability of the state’s agricultural industry.”
“This would be achieved,” Harwood continues, “by offering educational materials, outreach, and other incentives to farmers and ranchers wishing to pursue the adoption of management practices intended to bolster the well-being of wildlife habitats and the environment more generally.”
The result, the expert says, it’s hoped, would be that the widespread adoption of such practices would provide a plethora of benefits in terms of overall environmental conservation, including supporting improved air quality.
How such expanded agriculture-based conservation programs, including the California Environmental Farming Incentive Program, would be funded, at this stage, remains unclear, according to Tommy Harwood.
“There is, however, a priority clause in the existing Senate bill in question,” he adds, wrapping up, “for so-called specified projects, including those that benefit socially disadvantaged farmers, which may provide a clue as to how the California Environmental Farming Incentive Program and other similar initiatives may be funded moving forward.”
Farming expert Tommy Harwood considers the potential impact of China’s human coronavirus outbreak on agriculture in the U.S.
As the ongoing Chinese coronavirus outbreak continues, Tommy Harwood, a farming expert and entrepreneur from Humboldt County, California, considers the potential impact on U.S. agriculture and calls for individuals in the industry, veterinarians, and healthcare professionals alike to take a cooperative approach to preventing further spread of the virus.
First identified after people developed pneumonia without a clear cause, and for which existing treatments were not effective, the current human coronavirus outbreak has been traced back to wild animals sold for food at a so-called wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Further to the human health risk from the rapidly spreading virus, the outbreak could also have a significant impact on U.S. agriculture, according to farming expert Tommy Harwood. “Although the virus has spread from wild animals to humans, it’s important to remember that coronavirus could transfer from one source or another directly to animals in agriculture,” he warns, “where viruses such as these are significantly amplified.”
Thankfully, Harwood says that no evidence of any such transfer exists for now in relation to the current coronavirus outbreak. “It is, however, vital that those in the agricultural community, veterinarians, and others who care for animals in farming remain alert at all times, particularly in light of the current human coronavirus outbreak,” adds the California-based entrepreneur and farming expert.
Tommy Harwood also advises following increased biosecurity measures until further notice. “As with the emergence of any novel virus, it’s important to pay particular attention to existing biosecurity measures, and to implement additional or increased measures where appropriate, in order to best protect any livestock,” he says.
Harwood is further keen to champion additional cooperation between those in the human health field and professionals in the world of agricultural health. “This could be critical,” suggests the expert, “in limiting the spread of the ongoing human coronavirus outbreak originating in China, and to preventing or reducing the spread of any future outbreaks.”
“Between healthcare professionals, veterinarians, and individuals in a variety of agricultural industries, we should, I believe, approach the outbreak of any virus in a cooperative and collaborative manner, both locally and nationally, as well as globally, to maintain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment alike,” adds Harwood, wrapping up.
Farming expert Tommy Harwood explores three promising predictions for the industry in 2020 and beyond.
From self-driving vehicles to soil DNA testing, farming expert Tommy Harwood, from California, looks at three highly promising predictions set to kick off a new decade of innovation within agriculture.
“We’re currently experiencing a new wave of technology within agriculture,” suggests Harwood, an entrepreneur and farming expert from Humboldt County, California, “which is a great way to kick off a brand new decade in the industry.”
“Take DNA testing, for example,” he continues, “which, for many years, had been confined largely to the world of medicine owing to its massive cost.”
Now, however, with so-called ‘agtech’ companies, such as Pattern, making DNA testing more affordable than ever, soil DNA testing is likely to revolutionize many aspects of farming, according to Harwood. From testing microbiomes to analyzing soil health metrics, farmers will, he says, be more able—and better equipped—than ever to take the best possible care of their precious soil.
Next, Harwood turns to smart sensors for his second prediction. “Something of a continuation from DNA testing, smart sensors also have their roots in medicine,” he explains.
Now developed and produced on a large enough scale to be affordable in industries such as manufacturing and farming, smart sensors, Harwood suggests, have the potential to further benefit and revolutionize the world of agriculture. “From detecting nutrient-deficient areas and dry patches largely invisible to the human eye, to continuously monitoring soil density, moisture levels, and much more on a massive scale, smart sensors look set to be game-changing,” says the expert.
“Also making farmers infinitely more data-aware, smart sensors will allow them greater control over their crops than ever before,” adds Harwood.
For his third prediction, Tommy Harwood touches on self-driving vehicles. “Unlike driverless cars, self-driving farm vehicles, such as tractors, present far fewer safety concerns,” he suggests, “thanks to the application of GPS geofences, for example, and because other autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles and pedestrians are not an issue, generally speaking.”
Allowing, then, for accelerated growth in the self-driving vehicle sector, driverless tractors and other farm vehicles will, Harwood believes, afford farmers with the option to scale operations faster and more easily than would’ve ever been possible until now. Estimates, he reveals, suggest that, by 2024, the market for self-driving farm vehicles and agricultural robots globally will have leaped from around $4 billion today to more than $10 billion, all in less than five years.
“Cutting-edge technology such as DNA testing, smart sensors, and self-driving vehicles will, in coming years, I believe,” adds Tommy Harwood, wrapping up, “revolutionize farming like never before, driving sustainability and increasing productivity and profitability in the process.”