Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Famous T-22

I just answered a call from a farmer in Ontario who reads NAT. NAT stands for NewAgTalk, not the National Ag Talk he quoted. He wanted to know my thoughts on T-22 for his crop of Spanish onions.

I read about this discovery around 1995. I contacted my seedsman and he said he had heard of it too and wondered if it would help control our disease problems in crops.

Long story short, we took off for Geneva, New York to see what this was all about. We met with Dr. Gary Harman, then a research scientist at Cornell University and he had been trying to cross beneficial fungi in the lab to get a superior strain that could be used in crops.

T-22 is the twenty second attempt by him and his colleagues to cross a common northern strain of trichoderma with a southern strain. The 22nd attempt worked.

He found it increased root mass on everything he tested it on. Now good, healthy roots are a good thing but anyone can have too much of a good thing! Yet he found increased disease resistance resulting in healthier plants, increased yield and superior fruit and grain quality.

My mother couldn't raise potatoes anymore and she is Scotch Irish. I thought this would be a good place to try T-22 so I sprinkled it on the cut tubers and planted them. She had the best crop she had in years and called it Magic Dust!

Well, it is not Magic Dust but I use it on everything I plant including new trees in the yard. Over the years I get about 7 bushels more corn, 2-3 bushels more soybeans and 12 bushels on cereal grains. It really works well on sweet corn, garden vegetables and any root crop like potatoes and onions.

Finally T-22 is available already pre-treated on the seed. The wheat seed I bought last year had T-22 applied to the seed while the seedsman was putting on chemical pesticides. Now the farmer gets chemical protection to the new plant for 21 days and by then the T-22 has colonized, giving season long control and effect.

I still like to put some fresh T-22 on all seeds or planting and add fresh inoculant to pre-inoculated seed to make sure I have the seed properly inoculated. The benefits just outweight the costs too much not to.(More on soybean inoculants later.)

That is a little story on the infamous T-22 the farmer in Ontario called about.

I trust I sent him in the right direction.



  1. I wonder about products like this. Have tried several of these ideas in the past. Our soil is mostly heavy wet clay. Wapato it is called. Very black and very deep. It has very little microbacterial/microzical (i don't know how to spell this stuff.) activity. We have been no-tilling and leaving straw on the ground in an attempt to build the soil but it is a hard fight. Soil stays we and cold late into the spring. It has become especially depressing for me as I have no-till on a lot of other farms in the area. My opinion is that if you have good soil, have pH balanced, have some organic matter, then you can try anything and you will get good results. If you start out with muck, you must time everything perfectly, and you still will not get a good yield.
    What do you think of my fertilzer tubes. Think it will drip too much fertilizer right over the seed?

  2. I think you are OK on the fertilizer tubes but I would sure try them first time its fit and find out before planting a bunch of acres. That is my standard practice.

    A pound of T-22 will cost you $100 or so and think it would be well worth your time to investigate