On crop farms throughout the U.S. where the government has restricted water use due to drought conditions, and nutrient run-off is closely monitored, water management practices have become increasingly important to growers.
O’Fallon, Illinois-based Brookside Agra has developed an all-natural water conservation agent called H2OExcel™ that is seeing promising results in multiple university research studies and recent field trials on corn, soybean and wheat crops in Illinois. Coupled with its new Agronomy Division (Cardinal Agriculture Services), Brookside Agra is helping some Illinois farmers realize an average net gain of $28.00 on their crops through its unique water management program.
Five farmers, each with 20 acres, participated in the Brookside Agra/Cardinal Agriculture Services field trials held during the 2015 growing season. The farms are located in the Illinois counties of Washington, Greene, St. Clair, White and Monroe, with the crops consisting of 70% corn, 20% soy bean and 10% wheat.
“We worked with several Illinois farmers during the trials to determine the specific composition of their soils, the mineral interactions and soil food-web present in each of their fields,” said Ben Elliott, Vice President, Agronomy Operations at Cardinal Agriculture Services. “With the information we gathered, we were able to establish the use rates for using Brookside’s H2OExcel, plus provide detailed instructions on how and when the water conservation agent was to be applied. The results were quite significant.”
Elliott and his research team observed the following field study results with use of H2OExcel:
- Slightly reduced disease pressure throughout the growing season
- Greater leaf and root mass where H2OExcel was used as part of a starter package
- Cleaner internal structure of the corn plant, monitored at three different growth stages (V4, V8, VT)
- Higher test weights throughout harvest by an average of 5%
- Noticeable differences in the stalk diameter throughout the corn growth cycle
- Yield response in wheat was best when H2OExcel was applied both at early green-up and again mixed with a fertility product at mid-vegetative growth
- H2OExcel responded best when applied early as a ground or in-furrow application
Elliott recommends using H2OExcel on any crop as part of a systematic approach to nutrient, pest and water management.
H2OExcel is a proprietary blend of desert plants containing biologicals and nutrient enhancers to change the polarity of water, increase biological activity, interact with soil capillarity and defend against dehydration of both the soil and plants by keeping water available deeper in the soil profile.
When water is depolarized by using H2OExcel, it more easily moves past the soil components that normally slow the infiltration of water. H2OExcel is formulated so that it increases the speed and volume of water into the soil profile, along with the depth it infiltrates especially when hydrophobic soils that cause water to collect on the soil surface rather than allowing it to infiltrate into the ground are a problem.
Extracted from the leaves of desert plants in the Agaraceae family, H2OExcel aids in the movement of xylem and phloem around and through nodes or obstructions in crop roots and helps prevent stunted plant growth caused by an irregular flow of nutrients and water essential to plant vigor. Additionally, H2OExcel is highly antagonistic to non-beneficial microorganisms and moves them away from the root zone.
“University trials have proven a 30-50% decrease in water usage and a corresponding increase in dry root mass in soybeans, tomatoes and turf when treated in a controlled environment with H2OExcel,” said Elliott. “H2OExel has also been proven to out-perform most other products on the market as a post-harvest biomass digester.”
H2OExcel is safe for use on any growing plant and soil type. It can be safely tank-mixed with 90+% of pesticides on the market today and used in all types of irrigation. It is also compatible with fungicides, herbicides and other nutrients.
Elliott said his team will be shifting their research efforts this year to working with just a few key growers to test situations that they did not get to test in the first trial. They also plan to expand their field trials in 2016 to include turf applications.