The potatoes from our first Water Pal Agriculture test have been harvested. And while we must admit this was not a totally scientific side by side test, there were a lot of things we did learn.
There were differences between the two fields that wouldn’t allow us to do a controlled, scientific, side by side test.
1 The untreated field was a “Seasoned” field. That means this particular field had grown potatoes in years past. The treated field was a “Virgin” field which means that it had never had potatoes on it at any time in the past. Depending on who you talk to it is up for debate whether the Virgin or the Seasoned field would perform better. This difference meant that one field was expected to perform better than the other even if opinions on which field would outperform the other were different.
2 The treated field had been used for grazing cattle the previous season. The expectation was that the ground would be hard and would need a considerable amount of mechanical preparation to make it “Good” soil which could decrease the yield for this growing season.
Other than that all conditions were the same.
1 The two fields were roughly one quarter mile apart.
2 The soil composition of each field was the same.
3 The two fields were watered from the same source.
4 They both contained the same variety of potato.
5 They were both given the same chemical treatments’
The differences that we were able to notice are displayed in the pictures above:
1 The blooms of the treated potatoes had a noticeably more vibrant color.
2 There was no standing water in the treated field. There was no ponding in the middle of the field. The road into the center of the treated field never accumulated puddles that lasted more than a few days. The road into the untreated field was not drivable for many weeks because of the puddles.
3 There was a noticeable difference in the green foliage of the treated potatoes verses the untreated potatoes. The treated potato foliage was also 5-7 inches taller than the untreated foliage.
4 There were many many more blooms in the treated field compared to the untreated field.
5 There was NO standing water crop loss in the treated field. (That actually surprised everyone) While there were areas in the untreated field where water would stand and eventually kill the potatoes that didn’t happen anywhere in the treated field.
What we saw in the test of the first Water Pal Agricultural unit is exactly what we have seen in other tests using current Water Pal models. More leaves, more buds and an overall healthier appearance. However, standing water crop loss is factored into the profitability of farming potatoes. We were also told that the cost to plant these potatoes was about $4000 per acre. Because there was standing water crop loss in the untreated field and not the treated field, the Water Pal Agricultural Unit has already paid for itself in one season.