by Bill Schwoerer and Kort Holzwart

The most obvious impact from the prolonged California drought is idle ground. Estimates are that some 800,000 acres of crops weren’t planted because of a lack of water, double the 2021 figure. (Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-16/california-s-idle-crop-land-may-double-as-water-crisis-deepens)

Unfortunately, problems from nearly three years of sub-par rain and snow extend into many areas.

Along the Central Coast, some of the key issues growers face include salt management and plant nutrient deficiencies, leading to reduced plant vigor and a drag on yield.

The last things growers need are more hurdles to clear in an already difficult year.

Tractor in field

Here are some of the problems seen in the field and how Redox is helping:

Salt Management
Less rainfall has led to less water available to naturally flush out salt levels in soils. Adding to the issue is the increased use of groundwater, which can have higher levels of nitrates, salt, and bicarbonates. The excess salts limit plant roots’ ability to absorb soil moisture and soluble nutrients leading to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.

Redox Bio-Nutrients Tools for Salt Management:
PeneCal™ is a soil surfactant reacted with microencapsulated calcium. It reduces water surface tension while delivering calcium and water throughout the soil profile. PeneCal™ improves soil structure, air/water relationships, and overall soil health.

Soilex™ provides the agronomic benefits of PeneCal™, as well, with the added benefit of reducing soil sodium. Soilex™ is our proprietary combination of surfactant, humic, fulvic, and soluble carbon compounds. This has strong value for berries, leafy green and vegetable crops, to help flush out the root zone.

Calcium and Potassium Deficiencies:
This is especially concerning for berries, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, and celery, and can lead to numerous problems such as blossom end rot, black rot, and tip burn.

We recommend Mainstay™ Calcium (available both in organic and conventional), Mainstay™ Si (with the added benefits of silicon), OXYCOM® Calcium (also helpful for plant stress), diKaP™ (great to alleviate heat stress) and Rx Platinum™ (efficient delivery of phosphorus and potassium that reduces abiotic stress, improves root growth, and increases soil microbial diversity).

white flowers

With input costs at a very high level, efficient nutrient delivery is more important than ever. Instead of the traditional high-volume, high-salt fertilizers, Redox products provide the same or improved benefits in a lower volume, high efficiency, lower-salt index that reduce salt accumulation, strengthens plants and guards crops against heat stress that may be coming on the back end of summer.

Questions? Want to know more about Dealing with Salt in Drought-Parched California?

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Bill Schwoerer
Bill Schwoerer has extensive experience in the agricultural industry including roles focused on crop nutrition, biostimulants, and vegetable seed. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University. His track record includes building mutually successful relationships for several agriculture companies including AlgaEnergy, Concentric™ Ag Corporation, Valent® USA, Harris Moran® Seed Company, Seminis® Vegetable Seeds, Inc., Abbott® Laboratories, and A. Duda and Sons®.
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Kort Holzwart
Kort was born and raised in the Salinas Valley and is a proud Fresno State Alumni. He has been in sales for most of his life selling vegetable seed to farmers and distributors. Most of his sales were in the Salinas Valley but he has also lived in Syracuse, New York where he sold seed through distribution in the Northeast. The rest of Kort's agricultural experience has been through working for an irrigation fittings manufacturer and soil company.His career passions include building long-lasting relationships and seeing growth with his customers and company. In his spare time, you can find him on the golf course, playing with his nieces and nephews, catching a sporting event, or traveling to new places.Kort will support Redox customers in the Salinas Valley and Paso Robles areas. Dr. Danny Klittich will continue to support customers in the Santa Maria, Oxnard, and Imperial Valley areas.
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