John Baxter

The Benefits of Hydra-Hume

With water being absolutely the key resource in farming — cropland without it practically has no value — and water conservation a high priority in agriculture, a question among farmers and growers is this: “How can I get the most and best use out of every drop of water available to me?”
The answer lies in the science of soil water-holding capacity — how to help the soil hold less water for longer periods of time while keeping the soil moisture level adequate for the crop being grown. While several newfangled technologies and fad products have been introduced to address this matter, the Helena Agri-Enterprises team has chosen to stick with and recommend to our customers a proprietary product that has proven for more than 25 years to be a wise investment. A large body of research has been collected to support the use of Helena’s Hydra-Hume for more efficient use of water on the farm.
Hydra-Hume is a fertilizer efficiency tool designed to help farmers get more from the valuable fertilizer they apply. It increases fertilizer uptake and helps to retain nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil for greater utilization and less leaching. Hydra-Hume helps to prevent nutrient tie-up by improving nutrient availability while improving soil structure, soil aggregation, and water movement.
Hydra-Hume addresses a farmer’s need for:

  • Greater fertilizer efficiency
  • Better nutrient uptake
  • Enhancement of soil structure and biology
  • Greater agronomic conditions for stronger plant and root growth
  • Less nutrient tie-up
  • Greater nitrogen uptake by crops
  • Better retention of nutrients in the root feeding zone
  • Greater availability of applied nutrients
  • Better plant conditioning for less water transpiration

Use of Hydra-Hume has provided consistently good results. A two-year study conducted at the University of Idaho’s Parma Research Station showed the potential for up to a 15 percent water savings when Hydra-Hume DG (dry granular) was used. The testing showed that improvement in moisture content was statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level.
In another multiyear study commissioned by the West Stanislaus Resource Conservation District in California and conducted by Bill Powers of Mobile Irrigation Lab, Helena’s liquid Hydra-Hume improved water infiltration by 18 percent. A combination of PAM — a synthetic polymer used for water infiltration, enhancement, and sediment reduction — and Hydra-Hume improved infiltration by 48 percent.
One indication to growers that it’s time to irrigate is moisture stress, most often represented by wilting plants. An application of Hydra-Hume DG quickly helps the soil’s water-holding capacity, allowing farmers to stretch the intervals between irrigation sessions without damaging their plants. The product application has to be done early, though; once a plant shows signs of wilt, internal damage has already occurred and crop loss is possible.
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This column is sponsored by Helena Agri-Enterprises, Inc., and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or its advertisers.
BIO: John Baxter is the Florida Division Manager of Helena Agri-Enterprises. He has proudly served Florida growers at Helena for 25 years, and also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association. For more information about Helena Agri-Enterprises products or services, or to contact a member of the Florida team, call (813) 626-5121.

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