Overcoming sodium and boron problems in Turkish orchards
Almula Tarim have been growing apples successfully in Turkey since 1999. The company’s 740-acre orchard is located in Ulukışla, in the south-central part of the country. The winters there are cold and snowy, while the summers are warm and dry – perfect conditions for growing shiny green Granny Smith apples.
What hasn’t always been perfect is the farm’s well water. Among other things, it contains high levels of boron and salt. Both are common elements found in soils and water supplies around the world, but too much of either can inhibit plant growth, and consequently fruit and leaf development.
Like growers everywhere, the owners of Almula Tarim have tried various methods of reducing the boron and salt levels, including leaching, but with limited success. They needed a better and more effective long-term solution.
After more than 60 years in business, Almula Tarim has developed a reputation for its willingness to test and implement new technologies in its citrus groves and apple orchards. It was this innovative mindset which first led them to Aqua-4D Water Solutions in 2017. Could Aqua-4D’s system provide an environmentally safe way to permanently address these boron and salt problems?
Aqua-4D in brief
Aqua-4D’s patented system uses low-level electromagnetism to treat water before it is applied to fields, vineyards or orchards. The methodology is complex, but the results are immediate: the physical structure of the water is subtly changed, allowing the plant to better absorb the minerals it needs, and leaching away salt and more harmful elements. Measureable reductions in soil salinity can often be seen in less than a month with continuous use of the system. Salt and other mineral crystals are gradually dissolved below the rhizosphere, allowing for sustainable cultivation. Considering these facts, Almula Tarim believed there was a chance this could be the solution they were looking for.
Validation process: quantifiable, reliable data
As it does with all clients, Aqua-4D arranged a side-by-side test, or validation study. One apple orchard would be irrigated with well water treated with Aqua-4D’s system; the other orchard would receive untreated water from the same well. The orchards were chosen for their similarities – EC soil readings of 8.9, boron levels of 5.44 mg/litre in water and 8.16 mg/kg in the soil, and sodium levels of 13.5% in water and 570 mg/kg in the soil.
The Aqua-4D system was installed on August 4, 2017. On September 28 – less than two months later – significant and important differences could already be measured between the orchards via a foliar analysis of leaves from the trees that received treated water and those in the control orchard that didn’t.
The results were outstanding – and surprised the experienced Turkish scientists who conducted the analysis. For the first time, they could observe a boron reduction of more than 70% in the leaves in the treated area. In stark contrast, boron increased by 122% in the untreated plants, after only two months of irrigation with poor water. Similarly, the quantity of sodium in the leaves diminished by 94% in the treated trees while increasing by nearly 300% in the non-treated orchard.
Scientists also observed increased calcium and magnesium – critical elements for plant growth – of 25% and 14% respectively in the treated orchard. Conversely, in the untreated orchard, there was a calcium reduction of 53% and a slight increase in magnesium levels. This demonstrates the capacity of the trees to select the right ions for its growth and to decline the absorption of the more toxic ions, thanks to the way the Aqua-4D system changes the water.
Aqua-4D has consistently shown its unique capability to transform the feeding conditions for plants – regardless of water quality – without adding or taking out chemicals from the water. The tested, proven results from around the world speak for themselves. Get in touch today and take your business up to the next level with this Swiss innovation, hand in hand with our team of engineers and agronomists.