The extreme weather is really hurting agriculture all over Texas and the Southwest, including the Houston area. Where these areas would currently be experiencing typical seasonal showers, these areas are now under a prolonged drought. The last eight months have been some of the driest in Texas history, changing record books, setting the stage for massive wildfires, wiping out livestock and crops and wreaking havoc with planting schedules.
Recent plant testing of even the most established plants that have died in the last few weeks have determined drought to be a factor. Soil testing here at Texas Plant and Soil Lab confirms what we already know as Texas continues to suffer from an exceptional category four drought – devastating dehydration in the soil. But it can get a lot worse.
In drought times, growers are frequently forced to use alternative water sources – well water, river water, water from canals or effluent sources, any of which are of questionable quality. Water high in Total Soluble Salts – bicarbonates, water with high saline (Sodium) content, water with heavy metals or deposits, water with chemicals, or run-off waste – is poor quality water and may actually cause serious long-term damage to your soil. This means spending more money on more water and getting lower plant / crop performance in these dry times.
See our Water Guide sheet for details – and watch for a new paper, irrigating with Salty Water, coming soon.
It is times like these when it is absolutely crucial to make sure that what water you have is being used most efficiently – both to limit usage but to also limit soil contamination from what is in the water. Research shows a 3 to 5 time yield increase per every inch of water applied following a well balanced soil fertility program.
Texas Plant and Soil Lab not only performs water testing but will tell you how to treat your water to optimize the usage. Use less water and get better performance with Texas Plant and Soil Lab’s water test and soil test analysis and recommendations.
If you are having to use “bad” water, you will need to have a Comprehensive Soil Test done by Texas Plant and Soil Lab on a regular basis to monitor your soil’s condition. Even if your soil has been “poisoned” by the use of poor quality water, we can almost always provide remedial solutions.