Results & Facts Learned from the Buckeye, AZ Cotton Study with Plants Grown in Saline Soils and Irrigated with TGH2o Treated Low Saline Ground Water (1,500 ppm TDS).
Description of Study:
•In the spring of 2012 in Buckeye, Ariz., a few rows of cotton seeds were planted in a test bed where nothing had been planted in 30 years due to the high salinity of the soil.
•Also planted were watermelons, zucchini, and corn to assess the effect of irrigating them with low saline ground water. This was a screening test without “controls” or comparing it to plants exposed to untreated saline irrigation water for later comparison due to limited space.
•Fertilizer was not used while the test bed was watered weekly. The seeds did very well and produced crops far beyond what was expected.
Cotton and corn plants in saline soils irrigated with treated low saline ground water (1,500 ppm TDS) under arid conditions from 100º F to 116º. The photographs taken on 9/25/2012 where 50 percent of the cotton bolls should have been shed, reducing crop production to 2-3 bales/acre (Buckeye Average). The plants should have been under extreme osmotic stress in July and August and should have been showing brown leaves and been shedding cotton bolls, neither of which occurred.
Close-up photograph of healthy cotton plants producing five bales per acre when irrigated with treated low saline ground water, photo taken 9/25/2012 in a test bed.
The same cotton plants, photographed on 3/15/2013, after harvesting and surviving an unusually cold winter and before stub cutting.
• “Stub Cotton” is a historical method of cotton farming dating back to the 1950s. After the harvest, farmers would burn and cut off the plant growth just above the ground and leave it until spring when it would grow another crop. Thus, saving about 40 percent of the cost and 60 days time for the next crop. Some farmers were able to get five years of crop production from the same plant. It worked best in clean (no crop residues or impurities) and on previously unfarmed desert soils.
• Water treated with the AG1 unit has been found to increase disease resistance by making plants healthier. One goal of these tests was to see if the plants irrigated with the AG1 unit were indeed healthier as evidenced by the lack of diseases that would reduce crop production. The absence of root rot, that prevents the roots from growing another plant, would be another sign.
The cotton plants were stubbed in March, 2013.
This photograph shows the excellent health of a cotton root that had been irrigated the previous year with AG1 treated water.
This photograph shows new growth on a stubbed root that had been irrigated the previous year with AG1 treated water. The next questions were: Will these roots grow healthy plants in 2013 and, if so, will they produce five or more bales per acre of cotton?