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what is THE WATER RETAINER?

The Water Retainer is an organic soil-conditioning product. Generally, its effects last 3 months, during which period – pending appropriate application of the Water Retainer – the soil’s water retainment ability is substantially increased. Applying this excellent ability in the developmental stage of our plants, the benefits in better root development and better hydration will last for the whole cultivation period.

This also means substantially lower drought damages. The plants can survive twice the time in extreme drought conditions without serious damage, alleviating yield losses, while the lower stress level will show itself in better yield results.

The Water Retainer also reduces changes to soil condition caused by drought, which has numerous detrimental effects. Dried out soil might turn water repellent, reducing water uptake from rainfall, which in turn increases the chance of soil panning and it turning airless, resulting in less utilizable water for our plants, causing an overall yield loss. The detrimental effects may be felt for years.

Thanks to the Water Retainer, the treated soil is able to additionally trap air humidity during high moisture periods (dawn or night vapour formation).

Soil with ideal water content also means long term benefits in farming.
Irrigated water consumption may be reduced, since the Water Retainer reduces evaporation and stops water trickling deeper than ideal, trapping water in the top soil layer.

the process: in detail

THE WATER RETAINER can be applied by either spraying on the surface or solved in the irrigation water, with different levels of dilution possible.
In time, the Water Retainer will attach itself to both the roots of the plant and the soil grains, thus allowing water – either by rain or irrigation – entering the soil to trickle down to the water table, increasing our water reserve. The Water Retainer springs into action when vapour streams its way upwards though the capillaries, trapping vapour and transforming it into tiny droplets of water. These droplets can be drawn upon by plant roots to absorb water. Meanwhile, the product sprayed on the surface also traps air humidity. The product is hygroscopic, thus drawing water – in case of covering verdure or the plant itself, it shall be washed off by 2-2.5 mm irrigation – (barring this action, we might experience localised dehydration).

healthier plants

Our studies show that steadier moisture levels benefit microorganic life in the soil, resulting in better nutrient uptake through the root system.

Less imbalance in moisture levels – tending to the optimal – means more effective plant development. In this case, microorganisms in the ground provide a healthy, balanced soil life, helping more effective nutrient uptake and storage of essential elements like phosporus, et al. Our experiences show, that healthier plants exhibit increased stress resistance, promising better durability in case of extreme weather conditions.

helps all plant types - on all sorts of soil

With professional application, the Water Retainer works with all types of plants, on all types of soil.

save water

Your plants’ water consumption will decrease by up to 50%.
You can put the saved water to good use elsewhere.
No more worries about dying plants while on a holiday!

The Water Retainer saves up to 50% of irrigation water, either by halving water usage at every irrigation session, or increasing intervals between sessions. You may choose your preferred alternative depending on the state of your plants or weather conditions.

Water is an expensive, and believe us, finite resource. Responsible water management is not only financially frugal, but serves future generations as well.

steady water balance

by reducing evaporation the Water Retainer helps the ground in maintaining a more steady water balance.

uses air humidity

the Water Retainer uses air humidity to achieve results.

resistivity

By reducing fluctuation in soil moisture levels, your plant will be more durable, requiring less frequent irrigation.

The THEORETIC BACKGROUND behind the WATER RETAINER ®

The development of plants are determined by the principles of nature. As early as the middle of the 19. Century the German scientist Liebig discovered, that if certain substances are insufficiently available to plants, the yield will be determined by the least available substance. Water is of paramount imprtance among substances essential to plants. When it comes to supply – or substitution – of nutrients, we can go several ways: industrial or the traditional agricultural methods  (manure/fertilizer). As for water, there is no substitute.

Plants take up nutrients in solvent ionic form. In theor development, the initial phase is crucial. If quick root mass development is achieved, it will later reap benefits throughout the entire growing period. Recent extreme conditions caused by climate change make this  all the more important. The emergence of the first plant is the first, and most crucial moment, where the Water Retainer® can offer benefits. Empirical figures show that the use of both the plant density and the uniformity of emergence is an advantage.

In addition to the annual rainfall fluctuation, it also can be seen that the yearwide distribution of rainfall can also cause extreme situations .

WATER BALANCE OF THE SOIL:

  • The foundation for preventing drought damages are the conservation of utilizable water content of the soil, with rainfall directed into deeper soil layers.
  • In Hungary, 32-47% of non-ullage rainfall can be used by plants – irrespective of actual yearly rainfall be it 400 mm or 900 mm. A slightly larger percentage, 38-49% of rainfall will evaporate from the soil.

The Water Retainer® can deliver its effects – for several months in fact – in this very area, and the trapping of humidity from morning dew. It is important to mention, that trapping and tying up air humidity is different from the water droplets we can observe on the surface of grass, plants or soil originating from moisture condensation.

It is evident at first glance, that with the help of the Water Retainer, a significant amount of water reserve is available for the water consumption of plants – in the soil, and also partly in the air.

The Water Retainer ® does not make water, but helps keep and conserve soil humidity and can even trap utilisable water from the air. Naturally, the effect of evaporation stemming from incorrect agrotechnics cannot be nullified, but with our product, it might be lessened.

Several university and academical studies and publications have proved the links between water supply, nutrient supply and crop yields.

In case of the plants, links between nutrient supply and water needs can be easily interpreted through the previously mentioned „Minimum Law”. Plants evaporate approximately 95% of their water uptake. If any nutrient’s – taken up solely in solvent ionised form – availabilty is at an insufficient level, in compensation, water need is increased. In drought conditions, this may result in dramatic plant development failures and yield reductions. Insufficient water levels in the soil cause stress reactions for the plant. Lack of nutrients have the same negative results. The Water Retainer® improves water supply. To fully maximise the benefits of the Water Retainer®, we need the right agrotechnics and targeted nutrient supply. In this case, we can expect a significant increase in crop yield, making its use financially viable – with the added benefit of partly compensating the negative effects of rainfall fluctuation or drought conditions.

The role of microorganisms, soil bacteria and fungi, mycorrhizal fungi and enzymes deserve special mention.  While knowledge of this area is vast, there are many aspects still undiscovered. The number of living organisms in a small part of the soil the size of a rolling dice can be up to 1 billion. We have large knowledge about fungi in the soil – that created plant life on Earth -, and we also possess a large number of facts about soil bacteria. Several university and research institute studies show, that the existence of these organisms is the foundation of plants’ nutrient uptake from the soil, and also the sufficient decomposition of crop residues – all of which is dependent of the presence of water necessary for their survival.

Test results prove, that the amount of possible e.g. phosphorus uptake is increased by the application of the Water Retainer® – as a direct result of the ideal microbiological life in the soil. This depends on one condition: a sufficient amount of water. A separate study details the synergies of the Water Retainer and the microbiological life of the soil. (see Science Background lower on this page)

Our product was developed by the excellent researchers at ELTE Budapest and Szent István University in Gödöllő, with contributions from practical experts farming more than 30.000 ha, with experience in both traditional and bio/organic farming.

SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND: soil life and the effects of the Water Retainer®

Average soil consists of 50% solid, and 50% pore space. Reaching the typical plowland water capacity, the soil voidage is filled with 10-20% air, and 30-40% water.

Beneficial microorganisms of the soil play an important role in improving the soils’ physical-chemical and biological properties. Hence, all actions or interventions designed to preserve the microbiological dynamics and balance of the soil – indirectly – helps cultivation on a number of levels. Improving water storage levels with the Water Retainer® present indirect benefits as well.

Only a small fraction of bacteria possess the ability to survive unfavourable periods of decreased water activity by effectively building a fortress around themselves in spore state (e.g. Bacillus), or by forming a resistant cyst (Azotobacter). In both cases, increase in humidity levels allow the given bacteria to start a new life cycle. However, for most bacteria, drought means an irreversible process resulting in their death. In the world of fungi, we know of more survival methods, but drought periods decimate them as well. 

Presence of microorganisms in the soil is essential, since their strengthening  effect on plant root systems (stronger, more lush roots, higher acidity) provide the plants’ nutrient supply. Besides that, they they have a direct role in the mobilisation of nutrient elements. Most prevalent in the facilitation of macro element uptake are soil micro organisms responsible for trapping air nitrogen.

Micororganisms also play an important role in mobilising another important macro element, phosphorus. Other microorganisms take part in this by the enzymatic hydrolisis of organic phosphorus compounds. In summary, in case of water shortage, both macro elements suffer, with a detrimental effect on our cultivated plants. Besides all this, we also know, that microorganisms can only partake in ionised form in the plants’ nutrient element uptake.

Siderophores produced by plant growth promotion rhizobacter (PGPR) living in the soil tie up part of the iron stored in the soil, and drive it to the plant.

Apart from bacteria, further members of the soil community are fungi, and among them mycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhizae are microscopic fungi living in the soil, with the ability to live in symbiosis with the large majority of plants, providing a mutually beneficial co-existence for both parties. Fungi receive nutrients ready for consumption, while the plant gains the ability to take up nutrients and water normally inaccessible without the help of the fungi’s mycelium-system.

They evolved 400 million years ago, with increasing proof, that these fungi helped plants conquer dry lands. Fungi strings can increase the root surface active in nutrient uptake hundred-fold,  thus helping nutrient- and water uptake.

Fungi and the Water Retainer® exhibit synergies, their combined effect surpassing the separate results.

 

Hyphae of the fungi strings – among them mycorrhizae – are an effective agent in water retainment, thereby conserving and protecting our fresh-water supply. On top of that, thanks to the lower level of ullage, the amount of applied nitrogen fertiliser can be scaled back.

Mycorrhizae are considered the main element of soil microflora not only due to their role in plants’ water and nutrient uptake, but also due to the fact, that their presence provides increased stress resistance. This can be measured by studying the plants’ enzymes responsible for stress protection

The previous summary evidently underlines the importance of the conservation of the water levels – with the help of the Water Retainer®. By this, we can ensure the survival of microbial life, and a step further, processes such as nutrient element mobilisation, nutrient- and water uptake, plant protection, small-scale nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisation, and even fresh-water conservation.

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