With California’s current drought it is critical that we find ways to conserve water and maintain the quality and quantity of vegetables we have produced in the past. One option we have to conserve water while maintaining the soil moisture is a soil additive in the form of a gel.
The objectives of this project is to evaluate the effects of mOasis BountiGel® on soil moisture in the root zone of vegetable crops, and investigate its influence on crop yield of processing tomatoes under regulated deficit irrigation.
“The valley’s temperatures have just reached 100 degrees plus, and as summer is upon us, thirsty crops will be requiring lots of water. CIT’s research of the gel should provide an option for water conservation while maintaining yield.“ Kaomine Vang, Project Manager
The experimental trial is running in a field site east of the Center for Irrigation Technology main office using subsurface drip as the main source of irrigation on tomatoes. Previous work has been done on bell peppers. The size of the study area is approximately 14,400 square feet and contains largely sandy loam soils. The field was split into 150 square feet plots divided evenly into control and treated areas.
Fresno State students experience a variety of different tasks working on this project. The tasks include data collection, irrigation scheduling, irrigation system maintenance, irrigation design, and plant physiology among others.
The project is funded in part by mOasis who is a member of the WET Center. mOasis has a close relationship with Fresno State and currently employes a former Center for Irrigation Technology student research assistant.
Final results of the project are scheduled to be published in October of 2015.
Principal Investigator: Kaomine Vang