Mike Morris Tag

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the polar vortex that hit the United States in mid-February: leaving people in Texas without power for up to two weeks, coming within five minutes of crashing the entire Texas power grid, and devastating farms and ranches across the state, including some good friends of mine. It was a “teachable moment” for sure, offering lessons about climate disruption and power industry deregulation among other things. As someone who spent several years working on improving crop insurance for organic farms, the storm also got me thinking about safety nets: who has them and...

In 2014, my colleagues and I held an evening reception at our office in San Antonio for the members of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). We wanted to show our appreciation to these volunteers and organic champions who do the often-thankless job of interpreting and defending the USDA organic standards.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office ...

In this episode, Mike Morris, NCAT’s Southwest Regional Director, talks with Dr. Barbara Bellows about her new ATTRA publication, Microbial Inoculants. Also known as biofertilizers or biostimulants, microbial inoculants contain beneficial microorganisms and are intended to stimulate plant growth, reduce pest and disease problems, and protect plants from various stress conditions. Dr. Bellows is a soil scientist with the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University. She has been researching production methods for microbial inoculants and the various factors that can make them effective or ineffective. In this podcast, she explains how microbial inoculants work, offers practical advice...

In this episode, Mike Morris, NCAT’s Southwest Regional Director, talks with Dr. Barbara Bellows about her new ATTRA publication, Soil Health Indicators and Tests. Recent years have seen an explosion of new soil health tests, measuring a wide variety of indicators that depend on the activity of soil microorganisms. Dr. Bellows is a soil scientist with the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University. In this podcast, she explains how more than a dozen soil health test procedures actually work and offers practical advice on choosing a test that will meet your needs. Related ATTRA Resources: Soil Health Indicators and Tests Microbial...

In my work on NCAT’s Soil for Water Project, I’ve tried a lot of different ways of monitoring land and soil health. For years, I’ve been hearing about LandPKS (Land Potential Knowledge System), a mobile app that has been under development by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) since 2013. I was excited to hear that a full version was released earlier this year, and a couple weeks ago I finally got around to installing the app on my phone and running it through some tests.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office ...

Value-added enterprises are one way to increase the profitability of growing those vegetables. And, in fact, in a recent survey of 400 ATTRA clients, the number one topic they wanted to see covered in more detail on our website was value-added products.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office...