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Smart Water for Agriculture

Soil Surface Tension & Charge Balance

Modified on 25 February 2021

A New tool to optimise Irrigation Strategies

Established agriculture practices call for the use of gypsum or lime to help modify soils, particularly sodic clays, through an ion exchange mechanism, to free the soil from exchangeable sodium, promote water infiltration, and reduce dispersion tendency for greater friability.  

This proposition appears to have limitations and the irrigation market is looking for alternative faster acting solutions. 

The uptake by those seeking new solutions to optimize their irrigation and fertigation processes together with the management of irrigation cycles include sugar cane growers in Far North Queensland (FNQ), apple & pear orchards in Shepparton, Victoria, almond farms and golf courses throughout Victoria. 

Whether your objective is lower nutrient loss, higher soil friability, less stickiness, lower dampness on harvest, or changes to water infiltration, it is time to think beyond gypsum, lime and humic acid.

POSTER OPTIMISING SURFACE TENSION 3Start thinking surface tension and charge balance. Once we do that, a whole new dynamic of soil management opens up for us to optimize our chemical and irrigation programs to reduce overall cost. See the Charge Balance graph of surface tension sweet spot for optimal soil health. 

If you really need increased calcium, then the use of lime or gypsum becomes much more effective with improved hydraulic conductivity of the soil.  

Of all the functions that water serves in irrigation, none is more important than its mobility through soil. Much effort has been expended optimizing and conserving water usage; Aqua-Sil is focused on the movement of water through the soil profile, speeding up water infiltration through clay soils or retarding water in filtrations in sandy loams. 

You are more likely to disperse and release retained nutrients much more efficiently if you manage the flow of water through soil. The ability to manage water movement through the soil profile gives you greater control of your chemical program, allowing you to reduce costs and strengthen your sustainability focus by reducing leaching behaviour. 

Field studies show it is possible to increase or reduce the infiltration rate of water, expel sodium from and through soil without increasing EC - through the use of our patented Siloxane chemistries.

Detailed information available in:
 Innovation in Water Movement and Soil Health (pdf) (21 pages)