The company has been working with researchers at University of California, Santa Cruz, on the idea of creating anaerobic, or no air, conditions in the field to reduce soil disease.
The university researchers brought back this idea from Japan.
Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo has been working on developing the field practices for widespread use.
“Based on production we’re seeing on the 150 acres we treated last fall and by farmer response, we’re optimistic that this is a less expensive replacement for methyl bromide and with comparable results when done correctly,” Jacobs said in an e-mail.
Jacobs said developing and providing the agricultural community with these technologies will increase yields and reduce dependence on toxic materials.
“This gives farmers better tools to farm more sustainably into the future,” he said.
Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo also is collaborating with an entomologist and a semiochemist to find and use the signaling chemicals of beneficial insects such as ladybugs to be able to increase their populations in fields in anticipation of insects that feed on the crop.
“We’re in the embryonic stage of developing this idea but are confident there is much to learn from nature that will provide us powerful new tools and strategies for managing how we grow food,” Jacobs said.