Introduction to the "Bill Bader Interview" conducted by Lawn Care Academy Owner, Russ James.
Bill Bader's Peaches in SouthEast Missouri
I have had the great pleasure recently of conducting a telephone interview with Billy Bader, owner of Bader Peach Farms in Campbell, Missouri. Mr. Bader owns the largest peach orchard in the Mid-West with over 1000 acres and 110,000 peach trees that consistently produce some of the finest peaches available. (Here is the link to Bader Peaches.)
A key element in his peach production, and the topic of our discussion, has been his 20 plus years of using AgriGro Foliar Blend Biostimulant as well as Super-Cal Calcium on all his peach trees and other crops.
Super-Cal Calcium and Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant
Note: The photo at right shows AgriGro's Super-Cal and AgriGro's Bountiful Harvest Biostimulant. AgriGro's Foliar Blend (mentioned above) is the name given to its commercial line (the product Bill uses) and comes in 2.5 gallons, 55 gallons, and 275 gallons. Bountiful Harvest, by AgriGro, is much like Foliar Blend, but comes in smaller containers up to one gallon. All products are available to homeowners and commercial growers.
A Peach Tree on the Bader's Farm in Missouri
Russ: Good morning, Mr. Bader. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about your peach orchards and how AgriGro has played a part in producing some of the finest peaches in the U.S. I will try to keep it short since it is close to harvest and I know you have a lot of work to do.
Bill: It is my pleasure.
Russ: First, please tell me a little about your farm, Mr. Bader.
Bill: It began in the 1980's when I bought a small farm and started growing peaches. Now I have well over 1000 acres and the largest peach orchard in the entire Mid-West. We sell peaches throughout the country. We also grow corn and wheat, as well as peaches.
Packing Peaches on the Bader Farm
Russ: You were one of the first people to use AgriGro. How long have you been using AgriGro Biostimulants?
Bill: I actually used the product in 1984 before it became AgriGro. However, after the meeting with Ron Smith in 1992, I have been using it on my peaches and my other crops every year since. Its been over 20 years now.
(Note to my readers: Ron Smith is the founder of AgriGro Marketing Inc., a family buisiness that also includes the product's manufacturing. Ron is now retired and AgriGro Marketing Inc. and manufacturing is now owned by his sons in Doniphan, MO).
AgriGro Products and Their Use on Bader Farms
Russ: Tell me about your experience with using AgriGro's "Foliar Blend".
Bill: It is a fantastic product. The Foliar Blend has helped produce the best soil around. You can go out with a spade and dig in the soil and see hundreds of earthworms - earthworms galore! Wonderfully aerified soil full of nutrients due to increased microbial activity. The product is loaded with great things. I have more and better blooms, larger fruit, better color, with less insects. I haven't had to spray a miticide in over 17 years.
Russ: Many people will be reading this "Bill Bader Interview" and will ask how you use the product. Can I ask you how you use the product on your peach trees? This would be of great interest to my readers.
Bill: I spray the entire tree and the soil under the tree. I begin by spraying in the spring before the bloom and then again 2-4 weeks after the bloom. To do this I mix 1 to 1.5 pints Foliar Blend with 1 pound sugar and about 30 gallons of water per acre.
I spray the trees again 3 weeks before harvest using Super-Cal Calcium and Foliar blend with sugar. I use 1 gallon Super-Cal Calcium, 1 pint Foliar Blend, and 1 pound sugar to 35 gallons of water per acre. (Do not spray liquid calcium if the temperature is expected to be above 95 degrees.)
I then spray Super-Cal Calcium after the harvest in September and again in the dormant season around December or January. I use 1 to 1.5 gallons of calcium to 35 gallons of water per acre.
I also apply a fertilizer in September: 3-18-18. (**Important**: You cannot mix liquid Calcium with "phosphates", they are not compatible. It has a reaction that causes the solution to gel and will clog your sprayer. It can be safely mixed with most other liquids and all of AgriGro's products. An example is Round-Up Vegetation Killer with the active ingredient: glyphosate)
Using AgriGro on other Crops
Russ: Do you spray AgriGro Foliar Blend on your other crops as well?
Bill: Yes. It works great! For example, I spray my wheat twice a year. My test weight for wheat is 65 lbs per bushel. Compare this weight to my neighbors who routinely get 54 to 58 lbs per bushel, but do not use this product. One person asked me "What the hell are you doing to your wheat to get 65 lbs?!" It told him what I have been using. I would never get that weight without AgriGro.
I even spray it on the wheat straw after harvest and have increased my soil organic matter by 2% due to breakdown from the increase in soil microbial activity.
(Note: AgriGro's Biostimulants can be used on all plants from flowers to trees to garden vegetables. The exception is African Violets. African Violets are the only plants found that do not respond to these biostimulants.)
AgriGro's Biostimulants and Calcium on Turf
Russ: What about turf? Do you have any experience with using AgriGro on grass. I know that wheat is a type of grass, but I am speaking of turfgrass in this question?
Bill: It is great on turf. I have a friend who is a golf course superintendent. He told me about a calcium product he was using (product name withheld) that was quite expensive. He was paying 30 to 40 dollars per gallon just for the calcium. So I told him about Super-Cal and AgriGro Biostimulants. He mixed 2 gallons Super-Cal, 1 pint Biostimulant, and 1 pound sugar per acre, as was suggested, and couldn't believe the results. He has never gone back to his other product.
Russ: What would you say to the person who is using an AgriGro Biostimulant and Super-Cal for the first time?
Bill: This has been a bad year with a dry, hot spring. Yet, we have a great crop due to the years of using this product. I would tell the first time user to try it and keep using it. It works! Don't use it once and quit, especially in difficult conditions. You will benefit no matter what. Your soil will be improve due to increased bioactivity. Your plants will be healthier, have better fruit with increased yield, less insects and greater disease resistance to fruit tree diseases [or tree diseases and plant diseases in general.]
What First Time Users of AgriGro Products Can Expect
Russ: What can a first time user expect to see?
Bill: In the case of fruit trees, in 3 or 4 days after application a person can expect to see a darkening of the leaves and later improved blooming in spring. Root growth is increased. Some of the problems you may have been experiencing in plants will go away.
If you use the product as a root dip before planting, mix a 1% or 2% solution and soak the roots in the solution.
If you would like to see the whole Interview, please take a look at http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/bill-bader-interview.html. You can also visit Billy Bader's website at http://www.baderpeaches.com/.