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90% Cotton Germination Rate With WaterSOLV™ and 10% Without

Kipp Colville – C & C Agriculture Services

43 years in Agriculture

Arizona


"My dad was a manager for Acme Gin Company for many years, so I was brought up around many cotton farmers." I think I was about nine years old when I started chopping cotton and when I was thirteen, I was working on a small 120 acre farm and I've pretty much done everything on the farm; cultivating, irrigating, planting. Long story short, I fell in love with agriculture when I was very young.


My senior year in high school I went to work for a chemical company as a shop foreman and did some deliveries here and there. 



I did that for a year and then one of the guys I was delivering to up in the Parker Valley, a salesman, got to know me really well and he said, ‘Why don’t you come work with me up here for Rainbow Industries?’ and I thought that sounds good! He said, ‘you can help me check and do deliveries and you can get both sides of it’. So, I did that for about three years and then went back to central Arizona and started checking citrus trees, cotton, alfalfa and other crops for Rainbow Industries. About a year later Wilbur-Ellis hired me and I became a fieldman from down south as far as Dateland. Then I moved more towards the eastern part and then back to southern Arizona in Maricopa and Marana. About 30 years ago I started checking a whole bunch of stuff in southeastern Arizona as well.


I worked for Wilbur-Ellis for 32 years and about 9 years ago I decided to go out on my own. I have three boys and they were always really interested in agriculture. All three of them have worked for me and moved on, except for my youngest who still works with the company full time. The other two are doing the same thing in Texas now.


I was more into the fertilizer, bugs and harvesting sides of agriculture. I also had a ground application business for several years that I ran on my own. But pretty much anything to do with agriculture, I’ve been involved in a lot of it. 


I got a call from a fertilizer guy, Grady Hicks, he and his dad have been wholesale ag suppliers since the 1800's. He was telling me about HCT and the products. He told me about his other frineds successes with the program and asked if I would be interested in meeting up with the CEO Todd Eden and I said sure. I like new things. We have tried a million things, and they very rarely work but you’ve got to keep trying. You never know when you may find something that works really well, so I said; ‘sure! We’ll do it”. I met up with Todd and in our first conversation I thought man this guy knows a lot about water and soil! It’s the basis of my business but I thought this is going to be a learning curve for me too. And a lot of the things that Todd said I related to the issues that we have in our fields and our farms and everything.

One thing I’ve always tried to do when I’m taking care of farms is always try to pretty much pretend that it's my money because if I wouldn't spend it, I’m not going to try and get them to spend it. So, it had to be something that we could prove that it works and then go through those processes. 



A lot of times you have new products that may work a little bit but they don’t bring back a return on your investment, so they are not worth the time. But from everything that my first meeting with Todd brought out it really sparked a lot of interest in the issues that we had in farming with our waters and soils.


I go very in depth with field report sheets and record keeping but it’s something I think that the more you graph and keep writing down your history it just helps your learning curve as you go. You can compare to years past to see how you’re doing in a lot of stuff. And everything I’ve learned in the past two years has been eye-opening. There are things that you do as farmers and PCAs because ‘this is the way it’s always been done,’ and you learn real quick with some of the things that HCT is doing, that they’re on the leading edge of a lot of technologies for waters and soils and what the WaterSOLV™ product can do, and how you can do and read soil samples differently; we can get so much more information now. It’s all more realistic and makes sense. 


We have done soil samples for years and they kind of just get us in the ballpark and that’s about it. And then we are doing tissue samples and everything like that. But with the way that HCT is doing things it’s just getting there a lot quicker and more in depth about what really is going on in the soil with our nutrients and what’s available and what we are actually going to be able to have once you start using the products. 


We have had these problems for years. We knew we had a Fort Knox of nutrients in the soil that were locked up and it was always about trying to find that magic bullet to figure out the key to unlock all that, versus putting more on and that is one of the things that was huge for me when I started using the WaterSOLV™; we finally found the holy grail; the keys to Fort Knox.



When you go through everything initially and hear that the product does this this this and this, it’s fixing all your problems with water and soil, releasing nutrients and dissolving salts, putting oxygen into the soil, it makes sense you would be doing all the things that you need to do. And you hear these kinds of things and it’s like yeah, I’ve been there before, ya know? It’s the ‘one item fixes everything’ type deal and they very seldom work. But when I first met Todd, he was very knowledgeable and that sparked my interest, and I thought well this sounds really good. Let’s go out and prove it right or prove it wrong. My thought was we will go out and prove it wrong and then move on to something else. So, I decided to try a little bit and start with a five-gallon bucket. It was just something my son and I wanted to see what it could do immediately.


So we just took 2 five-gallon buckets, went out and got the same identical soil on a farm that we know is tough soil, and the water penetration is very low. It has a lot of sodium and bicarbonates in the water. It’s a good farm, we do pretty good, but it could be a heck of a lot better. The ground is tough. 


We filled two buckets up about halfway with dirt, drilled ten holes in the bottom of each bucket and planted ten cotton seeds a fingernail deep through the bucket and watered one with just water and the other with water and a half ounce of WaterSOLV™. And we put two gallons of water in each bucket. The one with WaterSOLV™ sure came out the bottom of the bucket real quick, within a half hour and it was an hour later before the water alone penetrated through the bucket. We were moving water through the soil quicker!



We continued to watch the bucket every day and noticed how it was drying. The treated bucket was drying really mellow, and the untreated is doing what it normally does; it slicks over and cracks. You’ve got cracks about a half inch thick that go about 6 inches deep and we said, this is crazy!


And then this cotton started coming up. We had a 90% germination rate with the WaterSOLV™ and we got a 10% germination rate where we didn’t.


This stuff was really doing something! So, at that point I was really thinking that there is something to this, so I wanted to get some farmers involved. So, I got about four farmers to buy a tote each and we started doing test spots. We started with the bucket and then went to three acre borders or a ten acre set and we started running it on that same farm that we took the bucket test soil from and we started a comparison where we were running the WaterSOLV™ versus not and my son and I agreed, you could see the difference, it looks almost like the bucket test in the water furrow. It was getting me excited.


We started doing a lot more with corn and alfalfa. We started really slow with the alfalfa just doing a border here and there and most borders are around three to three and a half acre borders with about 15-20 borders through a field. So, we would just pick one and bring these little five-gallon buckets so we could mix the amount of rates and it’s got a little ‘dripulator’ on it so we can get the exact amount that we wanted to apply. We started putting these plots out everywhere. And very seldom there were just a couple of times that we didn't see an improvement after a couple irrigations. I think it was because the water quality was really good, and the soil was really sandy and gravelly, and the water was going through, and we just didn't see anything but everything else we were getting anywhere from 300-400 lbs. more per acre, per cutting. That adds up fast with 8 to 9 cuttings per year.


One of the growers that was doing this irrigates his whole farm himself, so he has a lot of hands-on experience when it comes to irrigation. We were walking across one of his fields one day using my soil probe and we picked out the border he was running the WaterSOLV™ on just by how deep the probe went in the ground! Where we weren’t running any you couldn't even hardly get the probe in the ground and then where we were running the chemistry we could get 4-6 inches easy. He said, ‘can you feel the difference as you walk across this ground?’


So, he was just about sold on it, so he started using it on quite a few more fields. Now we’ve moved from buckets to borders to entire fields. And he told me, ‘Kipp, this water is going in the ground like you wouldn’t believe! I usually have enough water to irrigate my Bermuda grass pasture below the fields, but I don’t have any tail water anymore!’


So, we were really interested in the dynamics of it. This was in March or April, and I thought this is the real ticket for us in the alfalfa market when we get to the summer slump in July, August, September. We can drop to a ½ to ¾ ton per acre in what we call summer slump. It's hot, it’s 120 degrees, it’s 95 degrees when you get up in the morning and the alfalfa is struggling to take a breath. It can't get everything it needs to keep it growing. So let’s see how the WaterSOLV™ helps the alfalfa get through the summer slump. 


By this time, he had ordered another tote or two and had it on pretty much the whole farm. And we went through the summer slump and his lowest field dropped down to 1.1tons per acre and he had many fields that had 1.4 tons to 1.6 tons, where our neighbors around us were anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 tons. So, we were very happy with the results. Like I said I have been in this industry for 43 years and we have been trying to figure out what to do for the summer slump and we have never figured out anything, until now. 


I think Todd and I talked about how that was one of the key things that I thought might really help our slump and it really did. It’s a game changer for us.


We can potentially make a ton to two tons more hay per acre per year at $200-300 per ton. That’s almost a $600 per year increase in yield, per acre. And we are not going to spend near that amount of money so the return on our investment is very nice.


We have also seen this with corn. I have another farmer that has about 700 acres of corn. We started out the same way just doing a border here and there. We did that for a year and after seeing our borders put out corn that was approximately a foot taller. The leaves were looking healthier and bigger. He got on board and now he’s running it across his whole farm. 


It’s doing everything that Todd talked about. And it must be because it’s releasing all those nutrients in the soil that we knew we had there. We didn't change our fertilizer program. But our yields are going up and the water; everybody talks about water and everywhere we are using WaterSOLV™ the guys are talking about how it's taking our water longer to get out. 


The alfalfa grower had to stop using it for a cutting or two because he couldn't get the water out. It was just going straight into the ground. You know you get to that 4/5ths zone, and he couldn't hardly get the water past it.  But that’s a good thing to have when you’re getting your water in the ground. Usually, it runs out so fast at the other end of the field and you have so much tailwater that you’re just giving it to your neighbors. And with the cost and availability of water and the way it’s going to get years from now: that’s huge. It's a real game changer.


So, we are at the point now where my son and I and a few growers were on board. We believe that it’s doing everything Todd and I talked about.


Now we are just going to go out and spread the word and see how many farmers we can help with this program and change the dynamics of agriculture in central Arizona and anywhere else.


We also have some tree crops. We have the material on the farm, but we haven't started. He was concerned that it was too late, that we might release a bunch of fertilizer and he didn't want his trees to get any new growth just before winter down in the Elfrida area because it would freeze and it really hurts them. And we didn't want to do that because I can guarantee you, we are going to start releasing nutrients. So, we just held off, but we have the WaterSOLV™ ready to go and we are going to start next spring, but he’s all set up and excited to do it. He’s a big tree crop grower and we have a couple meetings in the next month or so with tree growers down in Yuma and Wilcox. 


Hearing what it does to citrus and grapes will be mind blowing for people to hear that they can get a 40 to 60% increase in yield. That’s going to be fun to see those kinds of numbers come out and I truly believe now with what we are doing that those kinds of things are going to happen. We have seen it in the alfalfa, we’ve seen it in cotton, it has happened over the past few years throughout California.  


We treated almost the whole ranch, 800 acres of cotton, and he told me after he finished injecting and cultivating that he usually goes through three sweep points, and he’s still got the first set he started with. And it’s because this ground is just so much more mellow. It’s just unheard of. He said he had a couple fields that were notorious for 20 or 30 years that we couldn’t get the injection rig in the ground unless it was almost full of 300 gals. of material. And he said now it can be half empty and it will still go in without and problems.


When you look at the pictures of the soil from when we started treating you could see the huge cracks and curling layers of the topsoil. It looked like it was all sealed over. And right next to that where we ran the WaterSOLV™ it goes back to that bucket test.


You’re getting so much more water into your water profile and your water is so much healthier with the oxygen and it’s all going down. When you have good moisture depth, and it keeps coming up every night it's very similar to irrigation. It's just like when you water up a field of alfalfa. You can look at it in the morning three or four days after you water it and it looks like you just irrigated it.  In the afternoon it's totally different but the next morning you get out there early and it's amazing how much moisture does come up. So that deep moisture is very important for a lot of our crops. They are what they drink, that’s for sure.


Todd tells us the other significant aspect is what the plant is drinking, that the chemistry makes the nutritional insoluble elements, just as soluble as sodium. In turn, the plants drink mineral sand metals just as easily as it can drink sodium. In turn the amount of toxic sodium taken up by the plant is significantly reduced by the percentage of beneficial nutrients taken up, and just as important, the availability of oxygen from the soil and in the water.


I have used lots of sulfuric, n-phuric, phosphoric. I’ve always tried to stay away from sulfuric, but we’ve had farms where we had to use it. Well, we say we had to use it, but we haven’t changed those farms in 30 plus years and even after using it, we are still fighting the fight, which gets tougher year after year. 


We had a deal in Arlington, AZ where we started running side by side and we were doing WaterSOLV™ on one field and two fields on sulfuric acid. After the first two irrigations it was just amazing the difference in soil texture. Since then he quit using it, and it showed us how quick it can end up going back when you’ve got really low quality water. The salts are unbelievable. We are putting around a ton of salt back into the soil for every ft of water. So you can only imagine that it's something you have to keep up on. When we did it with first year irrigation just the pictures of the ground and the stand difference was amazing. But they almost look pretty much the same now because we have watered two or three times without the WaterSOLV™, so we are getting right back to where we were. 


It’s one of those deals where agriculture is challenging and everybody’s business is different, from their soil to their water to their budget. So you have to adapt in so many ways to what farmer and grounds you're dealing with. And when you’re doing that, it just takes time to break the ice and figure it out.


The two farmers that are using it now across their whole farms water themselves, so they see it immediately. Whereas a lot of these real large farmers are out on the farms all the time but they’ve got irrigators that do all that stuff, so they don't see it every day. So, it’s a learning curve we have to go through and convince them that they are going to see a really nice return on their investment. And that's what it’s all about.


You’ve got to get there and convince them of that. We knew from the get-go that it wasn't going to be easy but when you have something that is so exciting and changes the whole aspect of farming; we have something now that can unlock that Fort Knox that we have. 


Everything I do I try to make sure that we are doing the best thing we can for the farmer. They’ve got a tough enough job as it is with the cost of fertilizer, equipment, technology, water disappearing, land disappearing. When I consider all these things I just think we have to get better. We have to help these guys make better yields on less acres and use less water and how do you do all that without trying new stuff?


That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been excited to try new things. The worst that can happen is; it doesn't work and you move on. And I've had hundreds that we can say that about. We used to just call them the snake oil. The first thing out of your mind when you hear something is; it’s just another snake oils. It’s probably not going to work but let’s try it. But this one really works. I’m very excited about it. I'm excited about the years to come and moving it into Texas agriculture with my other boys, as well as New Mexico agricutlure.


All the major farm supply companies had tried to help this farmer grow feed. Just two applications at a 1/2 gal rate, in 2 1/2 months, low permeability solved, mission accomplished."


Kipp Colville - C & C Agriculture Services

43 years in Agriculture

Arizona


While water and vegetation issues are universal their causes are complex and specific. That's why we created our own soil and water testing matrix to create custom prescriptions for our customers that are aimed at solving the source of problems, and reducing the need not only for wetting agents, sulfuric acid, gypsum and manual aerification, but reducing the need for our chemistry as well. Most of our long term users are on maintenance programs using just 1-6 ppm of a custom percentage of each product injected directly into their irrigation system.

From turf to wells to agriculture, WaterSOLV™ is challenging conventional water and soil treatment practices and solving problems previously thought to be manageable at best.


HCT's purpose and privilege is providing sustainable and cost effective solutions to the chronic problems that plague soil health in the world of water and agronomy. We consistently reduce water demand 15% and increase crop yields 18% and more. When you treat water ‘well’ with WaterSOLV you increase efficiency, decrease costs, increase yield, improve pore space and add oxygen chemically. We can show you how to restore soil infiltration and soil operability just by treating your water and for substantially less than you're spending now.



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