Soil salinity and water salinity in Brazil on a Melon crop
Melons are a big deal in Brazil, with production totalling 596,430 tons – up from 139,768 as recently as 2000 according to FAOSTAT (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Indeed, in some regions such as Rio Grande do Norte melon production is one of the most important economic activities, with huge export demand as well as ever-increasing domestic consumption.
In areas of the world where water is scarce, though, the use of saline water for irrigation is a common practice. Indeed, the largest fruit producer in Brazil, Agricola Famosa, uses EC 3.0-6.0 saline water to irrigate their crops, which includes melons, papaya, banana, passion fruit, and more. Several years of salts accumulation in the soil decreased productivity and prevented them from achieving more than one cycle per year. They were faced with having to cease activity on these lands and move melon production to a new area. In the year 2014 they began their first validation study with the Aqua-4D system, treating a flow of 150m3/h (660 US GPM) on one plot of 24ha (60 acres) in order to reduce soil salinity and increase productivity.
In the year 2014 they began their first validation study with the Aqua-4D system, treating a flow of 150m3/h (660 US GPM) on one plot of 24ha (60 acres) in order to reduce soil salinity and increase productivity.
One year later they began their second validation with Aqua-4D® on melons and watermelons, treated with a water flow of 150m3/hr (40,000 gallons/hr) on 3 plots of 24ha each (60 acres) in order to reduce soil salinity and increase productivity
The results were startling, but merely what growers all over the world have come to expect from the Aqua-4D system. Total production increased by between 7-17%, with better export quality and less rejected fruit. Meanwhile, due to the system’s leaching effect, Agricola Famosa could return to 2 cycles per year on the same land. Indeed, after the first results emerged, CFO Richard Müller was moved to write an open letter of thanks (see here).
- Total production increased between 7 – 17%
- Increased “export”quality
- Less rejected fruit
- Improved quality criteria
- 2 cycles per year on the same land (previously only one)