By: Waldo Moraga, ECO2Mix, President
Acidifying irrigation water helps nutrient uptake from the plants. One of the most common characteristics of the Central Valley water sources, its high pH and high Alkalinity and it could be the main responsible for the excessive use of fertilizers, most of them applied through fertigation (fertilizers dissolved in irrigation water).
The best nutrient availability, where the plant needs less effort to absorb them, usually is between 6.0 to 6.5 pH, increasing the uptake up to 80% (in some micronutrients) more than a normal water pH of 8.5 (very common in well and district water).
For this reason, it’s extremely important to reduce irrigation water pH downstream the fertilizer injection, this is possible when you have a system that monitors the water pH constantly and adjust it according to the changes in flow and pH (chemical reaction from the fertilizers applied), besides that you need to choose a system that also helps soil pH and soil microbiology, for this the selected method needs to be eco-friendly and hopefully one that mimics nature, like the use of Carbonic Acid instead of mineral acids like; sulfuric acid or sulfur burners, these acids are responsible for poor bioactivity lack of organic matter in the soil.
Choose wisely and always think in the complete nutrition cycle of the plants, air, water and soil.