Because of the ongoing, and sometimes severe, drought conditions affecting many areas of the country, farmers are faced with learning new strategies to save water and reduce dependence on fertilizers. In many cases, the technologies they are turning to now have actually been available for many years but weren’t considered cost effective until farmers faced losing their crops to drought.
In California alone, farmers are leaving half a million acres of cropland fallow because of lack of the water necessary for conventional farming methods. The Center for Watershed Sciences, at the University of California-Davis, estimates this will cause a loss of $2.7 billion in farm revenues. This is a significant reduction in the state’s normal $45 billion agricultural revenues and is potentially devastating to the farmers involved.
By turning to alternative methods of watering and fertilizing their crops, farmers can avoid such a devastating loss of income and reduce the potential loss of valuable topsoil through wind erosion of vacant fields.
- Some are adding polymer gels to their soil; these work by holding up to 500 times their volume in water and releasing it to plant roots on demand.
- Using sensors in the soil allows farmers to keep track of how much water plants are actually using each day in order to cut down on unnecessary watering.
- Installing monitoring devices on irrigation systems can help farmers detect, and repair leaks earlier.
- Others are investing up to $50,000 in chemical delivery systems like the On Target Sprayer which, according to Progressive Grower Technologies:
"Use an electrical charge to create a fine mist of uniform, electrostatic droplets, which are attracted to the surfaces of the crop like a magnet. The result? Complete and uniform coverage, highly potent drops and up to 85% less water usage.”
In order to comply with EPA regulations regarding dust control, using a product like BaseBind® to control dust on roads allows more precious water to be used for crops and livestock. Whether added to road base or used topically, this soil stabilizer controls dust while also greatly reducing water usage. It’s also an excellent surface stabilizer.
To learn more about BaseBind®, and to see if it is the right solution for your dust control needs, click here.
EnviroTech Services, Inc., a Greeley, Colorado based Small Business manufacturer of problem solving products for the de-icing and dust control markets. Over 26 years of "People Helping People Help the Environment".