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Enterprises: Jalapenos, pumpkins, wheat, and rye

Agriculture Issues: Very high salt, powdery mildew, and phytopthora

Farm Information: Farm in Southeaster, Arizona. 17 acres. Subsurface Irrigation.

Crop: Jalapeno "Dulce" (Capsicum annuum longum) transplants planted into winter rye grass cover crop

Soil Type: Calcareous Silty Clay Loam with moderate salt levels
Jalapenos on PlantJalapenos In FieldHarvested Jalapenos: Arizona


Input

Input Name

Rate (g/ac)

Cost/Unit

Cost/Acre

Microbes

Ag1000™

40

$2.50/gal

$100.00

Fertilizers

16-8-3-4 with Humate & Ca Lignonsulfate

25

$3.28/gal

$65.60

SuperCombo Foliar(w/Ag1000™)

6

$22.24

$133.44

Herbicides

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Pesticides

n/a

n/a

n/a

Other

Total Costs

$299.04


Input

Input Name

Rate (g/ac)

Cost/Unit

Cost/Acre

Microbes

Ag1000™

n/a

n/a

n/a

Fertilizers

16-8-3-4 with Humate & Ca Lignonsulfate

50

$3.28/gal

$65.60

SuperCombo Foliar

6

$22.24

$133.44

Herbicides

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Pesticides

n/a

n/a

n/a

Other

Total Costs

$199.04



Year

Field

Crop

Yield

Tons/acre

Ag1000™ Treatment/ac/yr

2011

Ag1000™

Jalapenos

20.5

40

2011

No Ag1000™

Jalapenos

16.5

None


Worldwide, chile peppers (Capsicum annum L) represent a huge market for several crop-­‐producing areas in the desert Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and northern Mexico). In the United States, over 24,000 acres of chilies are produced and equate to over $120 million in production value (E. Babcock and Silvertooth 2010).

In the desert southwest of Arizona, New Mexico, and California chili peppers are grown for both fresh vegetables and dried for a multitude of culinary products such as chili powder and paprika as well as seed for future production. As of the latest Agricultural census (NASS 2007), New Mexico is the leading state in chili production with 15,567 acres followed by Arizona with 5,510 acres.

Ag1000™ is made up of three types of microorganisms; lactic acid bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria, and yeast. In Ag1000™ treated soils, polysaccharides and other beneficial organic acids and enzymes in the soil help build stable aggregate and soil structure. Soils are then able to absorb and retain moisture as well as cycle nutrients more productively. Nutrients are held in the upper layers of the soil and are held there by the soil cation exchange capacity (CEC).

The CEC increases as aggregate formation matures because the aggregate are providing the surface area for the nutrients to adsorb. Ag1000™ efficiently breaks down organic matter into stable humus, a key component to aggregate formation, by reducing oxidative forces that primarily rob the soil of Carbon and Nitrogen in the form of methane and ammonia gases. Once you have healthier soils, healthier crops follow quickly. Microbes help in the breakdown of nutrients to plant usable forms,making plant uptake of nutrients quicker and more effective.

This case study was done to test the application of Ag1000™ through the 2011-­‐ 2012 growing seasons; two fields were tested (one with Ag1000™, one without). The fields were planted with Jalapeno Chile Peppers in 2011, followed by Wheat and Rye. Soil nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, boron, and organic matter were tested both pre-­‐planting and after harvest to compare concentrations. Five leaf analyses were also done throughout the season to test nutrient uptake by the plant. Irrigation and application of other inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and compost were done based on the grower standards. Yield between the treated and non-­‐treated were also compared.

Below the sodium (esp %) is compared for the full Ag1000™ trial, Years 2010 – 2012. Overall during the entire trial a decrease in sodium was observed in both fields, but more so in the Ag1000™ field, with the lowest being 4.4%. Organic matter is also compared showing the Ag1000™ being consistently higher than the control field and steadily increasing each year compared to no change in block 1.



Organic Matter Comparison

2011 Jalapeno Yield
Soil Nutrient Comparison
Soil Nutrient Comparison 2
Sodium and Organic Matter Percentage
2011 Leaf Sodium

2011 Tissue NO3-N and PO4-P

2011 Jalapeno Raw Data:

Soil Sample Comparison: 3/25/11

Field

Treatment

pH

Ca

Na

K

Mg

Nitrate

P

OM

ESP

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

%

%

Block 1

No Ag1000™

8.6

8800

900

680

6.6

8

6.2

3

4.4

Block 2-5

Ag1000™

8.3

9000

550

980

9.5

18

12

2.9

7.2


Tissue Sample Comparison

Date

N

P

Total N

K

Ca

Mg

Total Mg

Na

ppm

ppm

%

%

%

Ppm

%

%

6/13/2011

Block 1

12900

3000

5.3

4.7

1.5

94

.42

.08

Block 2-5

161000

3800

5.7

4.9

2.3

130

.69

.03

7/11/2011

Block 1

1600

2300

5.0

4.0

1.4

110

.41

.01

Block 2-5

400

2100

4.1

4.7

1.1

87

.32

.03

7/25/2011

Block 1

8900

1300

5.5

4.5

1.80

83

.50

.01

Block 2-5

11000

1200

5.5

4.9

1.70

63

.40

.01

8/8/2011

Block 1

2800

900

4.4

4.2

2.50

92

.55

0.00

Block 2-5

2800

1300

4.7

4.8

1.80

53

.50

0.01

At Coyote Farms, the 2011 jalapeno Ag1000™ trial showed an increase in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium as well as decreased pH and sodium in the soil samples. Leaf tissue samples showed an overall increase in all vital nutrients need for maximum yield, as well as a decrease in sodium concentration. It was also observed that jalapeno plants grew more bush-­‐like and grew multiple fruits per node, compared to one fruit per node. Little or no powdery mildew, phytopthora or bacterial leaf spot was observed in the Ag1000™ field, which are very common and hard to treat disease problems in peppers. In a study on the nitrogen fixing bacteria in Ag1000™ by A. Javaid, it was found that photosynthetic bacteria improved crop growth and yield by increasing photosynthesis, producing bioactive substances such as enzymes and hormones, and controlling soil diseases (A. Javaid 2009). Tissue nitrate was increased from the use of Ag1000™ from the enhanced decomposition of organic nitrogen by microorganisms into inorganic nitrogen that can be used by the plant.

The main issue Coyote Farms was running into was high salts and white crusting on the surface of the soil. Because of the microbes’ ability to add organic matter and better structure the soil, less water is usually needed in Ag1000™ and fewer salts are added from irrigation water. Microorganisms like those in Ag1000™, also work against high salts in the soil by keeping salts from ionizing.

Data Tables and Summaries for 2012 Wheat and Rye Trial:
Wheat Soil Nutrient Comparisons 2012

Wheat Soil Comparison

Rye Soil Nutrient Comparison

Rye Soil Nutrient Comparison 2

2012 Wheat And Rye Raw Data:
3/25/2012: Wheat

Field

Treatment

pH

Ca

Na

K

Mg

Nitrate

P

OM

ESP

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

%

%

Block 1

No Ag1000™

8.3

8000

870

580

460

5.6

7.2

2.9

7.7

Block 2-5

Ag1000™

8.3

7900

510

630

470

3.5

8.5

3

4.7


11/15/2012: Rye

Field

Treatment

pH

Ca

Na

K

Mg

Nitrate

P

OM

ESP

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

ppm

%

%

Block 1

No Ag1000™

8.6

7700

660

670

480

13

6.3

2.9

6.1

Block 2-5

Ag1000™

8.3

7900

600

1000

470

22

14

4

5.4


Following pumpkins in 2010 and jalapenos in 2011, the wheat and rye trials continued to show an overall decrease in sodium ESP (shown in first graph) in the Ag1000™ treated fields. Nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, nitrate, and phosphate were higher in Ag1000™ fields as well as a steady increase in organic matter throughout the three growing seasons. In 2010, when planted the pumpkins the Ag1000™ fields had an organic matter of 1%, by 2012 organic matter had increased to 4 when planted with rye grass (second graph)

References:
E. L. Babcock; J.C. Silvertooth. 2012. Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Relationships for Irrigated Chile Production. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 2012;43(20):2651-­‐2668.

NASS. 2007. USDA Census of Agriculture. http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/index.php