Take-home message: Through demonstrations in California’s Central Valley over the past 12 months, AQUA4D® has shown it is the most efficient soil salinity solution currently on the market. Let’s take a look at some insights from recent success stories at almond and pistachio orchards.
In many parts of the Central Valley, as indeed around the world, growers have one common enemy: water and soil with high salt content. This excessive salt crystallizing in the soil over time is problematic for sensitive crops. Among these are almond and pistachio trees, which suffer the consequences with stunted growth, burnt leaves, and ultimately lower yields. Considering the importance of these crops to the region’s economy, any avoidance of loss is hugely beneficial.
Treating water to regenerate soils
Over time, repeated irrigation of crops with saline or brackish water results in a build-up of soil electroconductivity (EC). Recent studies involving AQUA4D® technology have shown an ability to stunningly reduce soil salinity levels, regenerating soils and allowing trees to recover – and thrive.
At a large pistachio orchard in Fresno, for example, the EC went from 7.9 to 0.9 within 2 years, while in a nearby young almond plot, after just 5 months of irrigation the plot treated by AQUA4D® had salinity levels two times lower than the untreated plot. Given the role of excess salt in harming tree development, and increasing salinization worldwide, a solution like this – solving the problem without water-intensive leaching and without chemicals – could be a true game changer.
Treatment by AQUA4D gradually dissolves such crystallizations, opening up these finer pores and thus increasing water retention. “We see how saving salt issues and water are inextricably related,” concludes Thut. “Our technology increases the capacity of the water to transport salts in ionic (dissolved) form, meaning the water does not lose the salts into the soil the moment it touches it, but rather moves salts below the root area.”
He calls this process the dynamic movement of salts in the soil. This animation provides a visual illustration of this process at work: