Marcos Moore, Jr. did not have jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) or kosher wheat in his business plan. But the enterprising agribusiness entrepreneur does now.
Moore, a University of Arizona (UA), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduate, is a soil fertility and plant nutrition specialist and founder of Moore Ag Logistics, based in Yuma.
He's built a reputation as the local "soil doctor," according to Kurt Nolte, UACE Yuma County Extension director, who's known Moore since he was student. "He's the go-to person for problems. He tells the grower what to purchase so the crop is not over fertilized and not under fertilized. He's a vital piece in the agriculture here in the county."
Nolte and Moore have known one another 15 years. The two collaborated on anti-lodging chemistry for wheat. A combination of untimely wind and water can cause wheat to lodge, or lay over and not get enough aeration. This isn't a major problem, Moore said, "unless you're growing kosher wheat," which cannot be allowed to fold over and touch the ground.
Folks in New York contacted the UA with an interest in growing kosher wheat in an arid climate. That ultimately led them to Moore. Working with UACE, "we put together a system that works very, very well. It's a huge hit," Moore said. "The right amount of fertilizer at the right location increases uniformity. With this technology we were able to minimize the variation." As a result of this success, farmers in Yuma are growing more and more kosher wheat.
Moore said, "I've benefited from the Cooperative Extension quite a bit. There's a lot that I've learned from Kurt.