Drought is no longer exclusive to the arid regions of the planet and is now becoming a more common phenomenon in many traditionally “green” areas of the globe.
Drought can be defined as “a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall leading to a shortage of water”.
No matter what the actual cause prolonged periods of water scarcity are now a factor in many geographies previously unaffected. Increased numbers of Growers now require water management strategies to mitigate the detrimental effects on crop yield and quality.
The Importance of Water
Water in its many forms provides the life blood for most living creatures. Its dipole moment allows it many guises as a vapour, solid or liquid adapting to its environment. This universal solvent enables the movement of nutrients into plants via roots or shoots. Without adequate water availability for the growing plants will simply wilt and die.
Water is essential to plant metabolism Plant cells hold valuable organelles and sap solutions enables them to retain moisture turgidity and perform metabolic functions. Available soil moisture in the rhizosphere enables the whole process to allow uptake and transport nutrients from the soil.
Certain plants which have evolved in arid maritime climates have increased tolerance due to their genetic makeup, allowing survival at the low extremes of water. Unfortunately many cultivated crops do not have the same efficiency and protection to cope with such a deficit.
There are many solutions employed by growers to prevent the impact of drought such as flood irrigation, drip irrigation, protected crops. The result is generally that “the can is purely kicked down the road” and soils can deteriorate creating salinity, acidity or alkalinity which in turn cause nutrient availability issues.
Nutrient and Water Use Efficiency
Abstraction of water is now a global issue with concerns over the available levels and reduction of inland lakes and watercourses. Therefore maximising water use efficiency is a key driver for many production systems and its impact on the cost of production.
There is a wealth of well documented proof highlighting the wholesale waste of irrigation water with the main cost to the grower of continued inefficient uptake by the crop and uneconomical nutrient use efficiency.
The chemistry is available to increase both water and nutrient use efficiency and reward the grower in both quality crop production plus a reduction in waste nutrients that are continually increasing in cost.
A new generation of biodegradable adjuvants that increase the wetting ability of the soil to enhance the surface area of the soil particles coated but also the ability to maintain that water with the use of reverse co-block polymers thus providing a more consistent layer for root interface and nutrient movement.
These have been proven to reduce water requirements by over 20% a massive reduction when considering the billions of gallons of irrigation water per annum.
There is also the use of naturally plant derived lignosulphonic acid, found in Monsoon LS, which can reduce alkalinity and carbonate content of water and soils to increase both the water and nutrient use efficiency of crops. Along with this they can provide a flushing mechanism releasing much needed available Calcium for cell structure and allowing the unwater Sodium content to leach away reducing salinity stress.
Monsoon LS is a water treatment product, specifically designed for the treatment of poor quality water sources. It helps to remove all unwanted carbonates and bi-carbonates from the water source. Monsoon LS is an organic alternative to dangerous sulphuric, nitric and phosphoric acids, manufactured from a modified organic acid derived from lignin, a natural and renewable raw material.