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With California facing an ongoing drought that is squeezing already limited surface water supplies, farmers are extracting groundwater to continue growing food as usual. Unfortunately, ground water can contain high levels of sodium from soil leaching.
Water with a high salt (NaCl) content can be a big issue for growers once it is deposited into the root zone. Once there, the sodium and chlorine ions separate when dissolved in water. These ions can then displace other nutrients necessary in the plant such as phosphorus and potassium. As a result of this high soil salinity and displacement of key nutrients, some crops are unable to develop properly. This can potentially lead to the costly decision of walking away from a crop. This was the exact situation a local Miller Chemical and Fertilizer territory manager witnessed. After taking some time to discuss potential solutions, a local strawberry grower and the territory manager concluded that this would be a great opportunity to test one of the products in the Miller portfolio; C.F.O.™
C.F.O. is an organic compliant proprietary blend of carboxylic acids (40%) designed to release soil nutrients for plant uptake during critical growth and development stages. They key reason for selecting C.F.O. though is the ability to enhance calcium, phosphorus, and micronutrient uptake while also solubilizing and leaching harmful salts out of the root zone, thereby reducing plant stress. The addition of C.F.O. to the soil surrounding the root zone can release these nutrients to be utilized for plant development and improve overall plant health as a result.
For this challenging situation, one gallon of C.F.O. was applied per acre via drip irrigation. Soil tests were taken at the start of the trial and 21 days after treatment. With 1 application of product, soil salinity was reduced 94%, from 11.5 meq/L Na to 0.75 meq/L Na. The difference is clear from a soil and crop perspective.
To learn more, please visit Miller’s C.F.O. product page HERE.