Growers across the world are dealing with a variety of challenges - from increased costs on farm inputs to drought to trying to improve the yield and quality of their crops. “In a cost-efficient way, they want to deliver a high-quality product to customers who make budget-driven decisions in the grocery store,” says Paul Goldberg, CEO of Carbon Neutral Ag Sciences. His company brings to market BountiGel®, an ag-specific, next-generation soil amendment that helps growers increase yields with less water and less fertilizer.
“Water and fertilizer are the two most critical inputs for yield, and they happen to be the two that are most impacted by today’s global warming issues and supply chain challenges,” Goldberg said. By holding water and nutrients in the root zone, and preventing downward migration of these essential elements, plants survive better, grower larger and yield more. That’s the effect of BountiGel in a nutshell and tests have consistently shown positive results, even with reduced irrigation and less fertilizer.
BountiGel repeatedly absorbs up to 250x its weight in water and releases it to the root system as needed, saving water, fertilizer, and nutrients by preventing migration.
How does BountiGel work? The product repeatedly absorbs up to 250x its weight in water and releases it to the root system as needed, saving water, fertilizer, and nutrients by preventing migration. “Unlike legacy hydrogels, its mechanical strength helps it stay effective for up to three years until it safely biodegrades. It also contains no polyacrylamide,” commented Goldberg. He added the product can also help prevent transplant shock and help improve plant survival rates. The product, which comes in granular, powdered (for slurry applications) and mineral-coated forms is being applied via conventional equipment. It has been tested by University of California Davis as well as State University Fresno and independent pilot studies.
Growers using BountiGel see many benefits. One customer says that with every planting the return on investment is achieved in the fertilizer savings alone, but the savings are even bigger due to the higher survival rate of trees and crops. Another customer says the savings generated by the improved survival rates offset the cost of soil amendment and in addition, greater yields are provided. “Customers come for the water savings and ultimately stay for the savings on fertilizer, survival rate, and increased harvests,” said Golderg. Click here to learn more about crop data after applying BountiGel on several different fresh produce varieties.
Left: Strawberry controlled trials with 100 percent irrigation/fertilization. Right: BountiGel with 80 percent irrigation/fertilization which produced 33 percent higher fruit weight and size.
BountiGel was initially launched about eight years ago by a venture-backed organization. “They didn’t address the basics of bringing the product to market and focused on trials and establishing its effectiveness instead.” After acquiring BountiGel recently, Carbon Neutral Ag Sciences has been able to resolve manufacturing, logistics, and storage issues and is now working with growers worldwide. Currently, the product is being applied in the US, Mexico, India, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, and most recently the Middle East was added.
Control (left) versus BountiGel (right).