On June 13, at the AGQ Labs USA headquarters in Oxnard, a seminar was held entitled Irrigation and Nutrition of Berries: How to Obtain Maximum Efficiency at Minimum Cost
Presentations at the seminar were made by Ivan Frutos, PhD in Agricultural Chemistry from the University Autonoma of Madrid and member of the AGQ Labs international team; Kenny Lam, Director of the AGQ Labs USA agronomy team; and Heriberto Muro, an agronomistof the US team.
Ivan Frutos, who has worked in AGQ Labs for more than 10 years and has served as General Manager of AGQ Labs in Mexico for the past three years, focused his presentation on basic concepts of irrigation, such as quality of the water available, control of soil moisture, and management of pH and electrical conductivity. Most notably, he analyzed which variables influence whether we are properly irrigating.
He then moved on to explore the nutritional needs of the different types of berries, principally strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, which are major crops in the Ventura County area. “The contribution of fertilizers should be adjusted in accordance with the crop’s needs over the course of its phenological cycle. For that, we have very practical tools, such as the Crop Nutritional Monitoring developed by AGQ Labs here in California and in another 20 countries,” he indicated.
Heriberto Muro focused on practical examples of irrigation in the area, using actual cases of water analyses from different locations (Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore, etc.). These examples clearly showed that irrigation water quality is quite poor throughout the area, with extremely high conductivities and heavy sodium loads. “We need to learn as much as possible about the water we have. Indeed, in cases such as these, failure to handle our water with due care could occasion severe problems to our crop,” he noted. Using chemicals from the laboratory, he demonstrated on-site how a certain quantity of potassium sulfate dissolves in water that has the right pH (around 6), and how, in water with pH 7.5, it remains solid and thus unavailable for the plant.
Finally, Kenny Lam presented practical cases on fertilization plans for berries, following an irrigation and nutrition methodology based on the plant’s own demand, and keeping track of the plant’s response through Monitoring and Nutritional Control.
Attending the seminar were producers from Reiter Brothers, members of the technical teams of companies such as Laguna Farms, and persons in charge of technical and business matters of USA AG Supplies and of Yara. Following the seminar, the attendees took a tour through our laboratory.
Contact us for further information about our agronomic services for irrigation and nutrition of berries.