> Microbial products are almost always a bad deal for the farmer.
> Depending on how cranky I feel at a given moment, I tend to refer to
> them as foo-foo dust, preacher sweat, or squirrel piss.
That has been my experience with field trials of such things. But there
might be some niches where such things have value.
> The only product mentioned by my neighbors (as being produced under
> license) in relation to what we'll need was "ultradine", which they
> call a "disinfectant and sanitizer". This would be used for washing
> the fruit before waxing.
Apparently that is an iodine-based material, but it got me thinking about
microbial solutions to this problem. Some root-surface pseudomonads are
really aggressive against fungi. These generally produce either antibiotics
or siderophores (iron-removing agents). Although they often fail in the
field as agents applied to seed or soil (for a variety of reasons) they may
be good agents to control fungi postharvest. Or to benignly colonize
sprouts. Pseudomonads are pretty easy to grow in do-it-yourself mode. They
don't survive drying very well so are hard to commercialize.
There has been some promising work on this use of bacteria and yeasts. I
just did a quick lit search. If you are interested in these refs let me
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