Monday, May 8, 2017

Desert Fruit. No Extra Salt Needed.

So back to the Way-Out-West adventures with Carlos.  We left Yuma in the morning a few weeks ago and crossed the border into California.  It was desert for sure when he turned off the highway into this big melon farm.  It seems that he and Jeramie (remember the golf course Retail Partner?) had worked with this farm to run a comparison with their fertilizer on 12 acres of cantaloupe melons.  Here is a view to the North looking at the AgroLiquid side. 
OK, they weren't given the growers standard program being used, only a soil test and a rough cost.  And it wasn't a high cost program by any means. So they put together a blend of High NRG-N, PrG (hey it's California), Kalibrate, S-Calate, Micro 400 and FertiRain that was applied through drip irrigation.  Here is the West side of the Agro block.  See that road on the right?  That's the border.
 See that same road now on the left?  Well that's the same road as above, meaning we are now on the conventional side.  Good thing I took pictures because you can't describe differences like this.  The soil test was unlike any I've seen.  It was medium to high on P,  Low on K, Very Low on all micros except Boron that was Very High (3.5 ppm), high pH (8) and Very High sulfur from all of the elemental sulfur trying to lower pH.  But the shock was that it had over 20% base saturation of sodium!  Over 1000 ppm!  I have never seen anything growing in such conditions.  But here it is, and as is the case in most stressful soils: advantage AgroLiquid. 
 Here is Carlos looking under the vines for melons.
Here are some Agro melons.  The leaves are scorched from some mildew.  Plus there is blowing sand. They said a real bad storm blew off most of the first flowers earlier.
Want a better look?  Here are a couple to feast your eyes on.  They are a few weeks from harvest, which means by now they should be real close. So I am certainly banking on a higher yield on the Agro side.
In addition they grow watermelons here.  They were just now flowering.  No AgroLiquid here though.  Well not yet.
 Here is what it looks like just beyond the field edge.  They have this bedded up for a future planting.  Amazing what water will do in the desert.  Even in all of that sodium.  You can see sand dunes in the background.
 Sand Dunes mean dune buggies.  Or I guess Sand Rails is what they are called.  I took this from the highway as we drove West. I texted it to Albert who is a big-time Sand Railer (is that what they are called?)  His reply was brief: "So jealous".  Actually he has hauled his machine out to this very place. So he knows.  Never done that myself, and Carlos didn't want to take the F-150 over for a go.
Oh well.  There were more adventures ahead.  And it wasn't even noon yet.