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Lucerne grower walking tall thanks to water treatment

Posted on December 6, 2016 lucerne, irrigation, cropping, water treatment, bore water, salinity, water treatment

Lucerne and sheep farmer Frank Cox is walking tall after our Australian water treatment company solved a major issue on his western NSW property near Narrandera.

Salty bore water was wreaking havoc on his 40-hectare irrigated lucerne paddock but his crop is now flourishing and his farming future is bright after installing one of our custom-designed DELTAwater units.

Reliant upon a salty bore for his centre pivot irrigated lucerne, Frank’s first planting after purchasing the property was a disaster. The irrigated oats failed to develop any higher than 600mm. Even more alarming was the oats he planted at the same time on non-irrigated land overtook the irrigated plants to grow to over one metre.

A water and soil analysis revealed high salinity levels and through his agronomist he heard about DELTA’s 100% Australian water treatment system.

I was significantly depressed that first year with the results, and I didn’t know what I was going to do to make things better.

In 2013 Frank planted lucerne which performed miserably. He then installed his DELTA water treatment system and within two cuts his lucerne went from producing one quarter of a tonne per acre to one and a quarter tonnes per acre. This meant that within a month he had more than made back his investment in his new DELTA. Results remain consistent, with his crops still averaging around one tonne per acre.

That’s excellent, anyone who gets a tonne to the acre is doing very well. Since installing the DELTA and changing farming practices I have more control over my farm and most importantly I have confidence. I have more confidence when making decisions because my income has basically turned around from $7000 a month to $30,000 a month. The DELTA has a huge part to play in that.

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Frank is averaging one tonne to the hectare since installing his DELTA

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Frank havests his 2016 lucerne crop

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Frank Cox at Narrandera shows off his lucerne crop in the background

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Another photo of Frank’s lucerne, November 2016

Alex and Dianne Panov, who both grew up on the land and had agricultural-based careers, founded DELTAwater more than 20 years ago to address common water quality problems such as salinity, scale, iron and corrosion. With a practical nature and hands-on experience adapting and improving agricultural equipment, Alex’s early development of the DELTA technology was inspired by seeing the impact poor quality water had on the agricultural industry. With no environmentally-friendly, high quality practical solution on the Australian market, he set about designing and manufacturing a solution.

“Alex and Dianne have very good understanding of what they’re required to do to make someone else’s business run successfully,” Frank says. “They have a lot of experience with conditioning water. They have clients all over the place who had unusable water because of its high salt and mineral content but because of the DELTA they are able to farm successfully now, including me.”

Their depth of experience meant they were able to look at my bigger picture. My situation is now working and it wasn’t before. For me it was money well spent and it more than paid for itself on my first cut (of DELTA-treated lucerne). The DELTA has more than paid for itself many times over.

Stock watering system

This year Frank has experienced much higher than average rainfall, resulting in a bumper lucerne crop. Instead of selling to his usual suppliers in the chaffing mill, dairy and feedlot industries, he is planning to use it on-farm for his own sheep and cattle. Knowing he’ll need extra water for stock over what is sure to be a hot summer, he’s planning to also hook up the DELTA to his stock troughs to help keep pipes and pumps clear of calcium build-up.

You don’t invest in something unless you’re going to be rewarded. My DELTA has rewarded me many times over and ever since I installed it, it’s been working reliably and going gangbusters. I’m rapt with it – every time I cut my lucerne I say to myself ‘this is the best I’ve ever seen it’ – and it is.

  • DELTAwater solutions is an award-winning manufacturing water treatment company based in Newcastle. In 2015 we were voted Hunter Business of the Year and most innovative company.