Renewable Farming

Ken Hamilton and Salam Awada help fit the biological farming pieces together

When Ken Hamilton and Salam Awada flew from Idaho to attend a farmers’ meeting in Iowa Aug. 20. It’s a signal of how important they see you as a farmer whose soil stewardship matters to our future. You’re the key ingredient in their professional goals.

August 23, 2018 — This report on the farmer field day Aug. 20 is less about products and more about the mission of two companies dedicated to helping growers fit the biological ingredients together for soil health and nutritious crops. 

Ken Hamilton updated farmers on a product called Bio Empruv, which corn growers use to battle Goss’s wilt. This bacterial disease has spread nationwide. Its visible impact varies from season to season, but it’s always ready to strike when storms, temperature and moisture accelerate it. Goss’s also imposes subtle damage.

Crop consultant Bob Streit, who with Dave Schwartz assembled the presentation teams for Aug. 20, has been working with Ken Hamilton several years. Bob asked us at Renewable Farming to test an early formulation of Bio Empruv four years ago. We received the product in late August and applied it on corn with a high-clearance sprayer Aug. 26, 2018. We presumed that would be too late to make a difference. But replicated pairs of strips showed a 10-bu. yield gain when Bio Empruv was sprayed alone — and a 17-bu. gain when we tank-mixed the Bio Empruv with WakeUP Summer


Our Bio Empruv test patch in July 2015

We gave it a more deliberate research effort in the 2016 season, spraying Bio Empruv along with a micronutrient, 42PHi, on test plots in a very healthy field of corn July 18. The control plots averaged 182.5 bu., the Bio Empruv and 42PHi plots only averaged 185.7, and the plots with Bio Empruv, 42PHi and WakeUP Summer averaged 193.7 bushels.

With WakeUP Summer as the surfactant/penetrant to get Bio Empruv into the corn, we had an 11-bu. yield increase over the control. This corn didn’t show any clearly visible stress signs throughout the growing season. In the stalk cross-section photo nearby, you’ll see that the pith is clear, free from the gummy disease substance emitted when Goss’s wilt is rampant. 

Stalks show a clear vascular system,
but a few light lesions outside





There were a few lesions on the outer rind of the stalk near the ground. An Agdia test strip indicated a faint signal of Goss’s wilt. Even when cornfields in late summer look like “there’s no problem with Goss’s wilt,” some subtle impacts may have constrained yield. In this test, the slippage was about 11 bu. per acre. This is the kind of shortfall that’s hard to detect without precise weigh-wagon measurements and replicated test plots. 

In 2017 and this season, consultant Streit has been encouraging early application of Bio Empruv on Iowa corn, with four ounces per acre as part of your in-furrow treatments, then 6 to 8 ounces at V4 and a foliar application a week or two pre-tassel. The progression of learning the most effective use of this biological is another example of how several consultants, scientists and farmers are piecing together several types of yield boosters and yield preservers to gain synergism. It’s no longer a formula of so many pounds of NPK to achieve a certain yield goal.

Ken Hamilton, Bio Minerals Technologies

That’s the overall aim of Ken Hamilton and his firm,  Bio Minerals Technologies, Inc (BMT). We encourage you to visit the Bio Minerals website to browse the lineup of Ken’s team. Also, the home page has a revealing 11-minute video, “Taking Back Your Farm,” which sums up Ken’s mission.

BMT consults with farmers for soil restoration using biological products, cover crops and crop nutrient plans. Over the years, the firm has been helping growers in Canada, all Western states, and most Midwestern states. BMT is gradually growing into the South and East coast. They’re an example of a research, development and educational company that’s willing to work with other consultants like Bob Streit, and other firms like Verdesian. 

An example of this synergism between enterprises which might otherwise appear highly competitive is the teamwork between Ken Hamilton and Dr. Salam Awada, who joined Ken at the Guthrie Center field day Aug. 20.

Dr. Salam Awada


Dr. Salam Awada is the founder and president of Agscitech Inc., based in Lewiston, Utah. He’s the original formulator of Bio Empruv. He brings 30+ years of experience in plant nutrition, soil fertility and biological fermentation to agriculture. His doctorate from Utah State University was in Soil and Water Chemistry, focusing on the interactions of nutrients and heavy metals. 

Dr. Awada holds worldwide patents on the use of biological surfactants and metabolites for disease prevention. It’s this depth of knowhow which equipped his firm to develop Bio Empruv. It’s a concept he keep refining with field experience. At the Aug. 20 conference, he summarized several key points of what makes Bio Empruv work. For the details, we suggest you watch the videos on the Central Iowa Agronomics site at this link. He stressed that Bio Empruv is fermented in a controlled process that builds biological extracts and nutrients which stimulate the natural defensive systems of crops. The extract molecules “are small-sized so they can penetrate into plant metabolism,” he noted. He also stressed that “Bio Empruv is not a bactericide or fungicide.”