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DELTA boosts yields for SA lucerne, potato and clover seed grower

Posted on June 27, 2017

Western Flat farmer Mark Pridham turned to DELTA technology to tackle water quality issues on his irrigation land.

The potato, clover seed and lucerne grower is  happy with soil tests revealing the pH levels are continuing to either drop or hold steady on farm land watered with DELTA-treated supply despite heavy irrigation seasons.

Mark knows what a lower pH level means to his property. It signals healthier crops, improved weed control and better fertiliser delivery to plants. And he believes DELTA water treatment is delivering the goods.

“We’re happy with the way things are going with our DELTA units,” he says.

Bore water treatment

Mark started using the DELTA bore water treatment technology in 2009 on his farm in SA’s mid-southeast.  Almost 60 per cent of his land is now irrigated with DELTA-treated bore water.

While lucerne can handle his property’s alkaline water with its high levels of calcium carbonate, iron and sodium chloride, the high pH of up to 8.2 meant the soil was marginal for growing potatoes and clover seed despite winter-spring rain reducing the level to about 7.5. While crop rotations and added organic matter and clay helped counteract the problem, Mark turned to DELTA  as another way to boost his crops.

“Straight away the infiltration improved, the water was soaking in a lot better on our undulating country with less run off and rutting in the wheel tracks,” Mark says.

Excess minerals and salt

Despite summer temperatures up to 45 degrees and several low rainfall seasons, Mark’s clover and potato crops watered by DELTA-treated water continue to return solid yields.

The SA farmer is also positive about soil tests on new irrigation ground. The land recorded a pH level of 5.6 before the centre pivots first began turning and the farmer expected the level to shoot skywards in a similar fashion to the rest of the farm.

“But it’s showing a pH level of about six and that’s absolutely fantastic for sub-clover and potato production,” Mark says.

“I expected that ground to go up to 7.5 or eight with water quality. And with the DELTA unit I put in, I’ve grown spuds on it with yield average to above average and really good quality.”

“It’s also helped reduce the scale build up in pipes and it’s got to have helped with the friction loss. We’ve broken the surface tension of the water so we’re getting very good penetration in the soil too.”