Where fertigation comes from – Where I-Feeder is going
Fertigation can be traced back to the mid-1800s when plants were grown in water or sand cultures as part of basic plant nutrition research. A variety of water-soluble fertilizer solutions were used in these experiments but the first commonly-used recipe was known as Hoagland’s solution, and was developed by plant scientists at the University of California at Berkeley back in the 1930s as part of nutriculture experiments.
The composition of this solution was originally patterned after the solution extracted from soils of high productivity (Hoagland and Arnon, 1950). Subsequent research has shown that plants are not very selective in their nutrient uptake so a modified Hoagland solution can be used to produce a wide variety of container crops (Jones, 1983).
The chemicals used to make soluble fertilizers for fertigation are technically salts, which means they readily dissolve in water into charged ions. For example, potassium nitrate (KNO3) dissolves into two nutrient ions: the cation potassium (K+) and the anion nitratenitrogen (NO3-).
One of the benefits of fertigation is that all the mineral nutrients are already in an ionic form when they are applied to the crop. With other granular or controlled-release fertilizers, the nutrients must first dissolve in the ground water before they become available for plant uptake.
We have come a long way since then and are now able to precisely inject the desired amount of nutrition per time frame and even per plant. We are able to dose proportionally , control pH and EC, report and be alerted when there is a blockage and when a desired volume is to be dosed. But even with all this software and slick hardware, we are still missing a a key component in the chemigation world.
I-Feeder Technologies is excited to be in the field testing stage of a revolutionary application program in the water and chemical realm with the inclusion of sensing and data collection via remote control, in an effort to create a central control point for communication and control.
Our vision is one where technology is utilized to preserve natural resources, minimize the usage of expensive nutrients all the while increasing yields, which in return feeds our fast-growing population. This would not be possible without our staff, from engineers and designers to technicians and customer service representatives who ensure our systems do what they’re built to do.
Contact us to learn about the tech we are now testing and explore the opportunity of becoming a part of the eco-system we are building.