Monday, February 2, 2015

Guests from Saudi Arabia

A few days before the farmer field day we had surprise visitors at the farm.  They had come from Saudi Arabia, where they live and farm, to see the "foreigner farm" that has been set up in the Jordan Valley.  (The farm is near where some of their relatives live.)  They were most interested in our water saving technologies like the use of greenhouses, drip irrigation and plastic mulch.  These technologies serve to extend our growing periods because they reduce evaporation at the ground level, a key factor in how long our Saudi neighbors can farm before they have to stop for the summer.

Currently they are using a furrow (small canal) flood irrigation method that wastes over half of the water applied to a field to evaporation.   Flood irrigation also maintains a minimum amount of residual soil moisture which means that plants are often water stressed further reducing their productivity and lifespan.   

We were able to calculate with them what it would cost to run some trials of these technologies on a portion of their own land for comparison next year and we were even invited to visit and see how the new technologies are working. 

Guests from Saudi discussing water saving technologies

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