Using Soil Surface and Linear Gradient Irrigation Methods to Provide Similar Corn Yield with Less Water
Corn is a vital crop in the US and other parts of the world. Much of the corn that goes to market makes its way into the hands of consumers, and some is grown specifically to feed livestock. As you can see, corn is a vital part of the farming industry, and farmers must ensure the highest yield possible with the least expenditures possible in order to turn a profit. AquiMax® irrigation technology can allow farmers to use less water to obtain similar corn yields.
Soil Surface and Linear Gradient Irrigation Methods
AquiMax® irrigation technology was designed to work with injection irrigation systems as a high-tech soil amendment that would increase available moisture to plants and assist in maintaining better moisture distribution throughout the soil. This makes more moisture available to plants as they need it, and it helps farmers avoid drought stress that can come from fast-drying soil.
In a 2015 study conducted at Colorado State University, the AquiMax® copolymer irrigation technology was simply sprayed onto the surface of soil hosting corn crops and then watered in using linear gradient irrigation. These treatments took place on August 3 and August 13 of that year at a rate of one gallon per acre.
To fully measure the ability of AquiMax® to amend soil appropriately for corn crops, the treated plants received irrigation designed to replace either 100% or 70% of the water lost during evapotranspiration. This would simulate real conditions farmers face when attempting to irrigate and boost overall yield. At the end of the study, it was found that AquiMax® could effectively boost yield at a rate of about 14% when applied on the surface of the soil and watered in at 100% ET replacement. Astonishingly, farmers got the same yield increase with 30% less water.
Drip Irrigation Methods
In another study conducted by SynTech in California during the same year, it was discovered that injecting AquiMax® could also enhance corn yield – though not as dramatically. In this case, the injections were used to help the corn plants avoid drought stress during the most important parts of plant development, thereby enhancing the overall health of the plant, improving yield, and reducing the number of unmarketable plants.
At the end of the study, the plants treated with AquiMax® produced 6% more corn than the plants that were left untreated. In fact, using AquiMax® gave farmers an average of 12 more bushels per acre for the plants that received 100% ET replacement and eight more bushels per acre for the plants receiving only 70% ET replacement. This is quite the improvement, particularly during high-stress periods.
AquiMax® irrigation technology will increase corn yields, even during times of drought when plants receive 70% of the water lost during evapotranspiration. It stands to reason that the technology can not only help plants avoid drought stress, but also vastly increase yield through better plant health. When farmers can use less water and get higher yields, they save money and improve their income each year.