Case Study for Blue-White Injector at Pierce Farm Center
Pierce Farm Center
Los Angeles Pierce College
Woodland Hills, CA
We are a 22-acre demonstration farm that functions on an agri-tainment/ educational basis, in the western end of the San Fernando Valley. 2009 was our fifth year of business, but the first time that the farming was done in-house. As such, we were trying to develop modern and sustainable farming practices for their economic, environmental and educational benefits.
All of our crops are grown for fresh market production and sold through our farm market. These crops include bush and cluster tomatoes, sweet corn, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, bell and chili peppers, basil and several varieties of pumpkins grown for our Harvest Fest. We also grow a corn maze planted with field corn.
As part of our modern farming practices we almost exclusively used sub-surface drip irrigation to supply water and wanted to take advantage of that by using liquid fertilizer injected through our drip tape.
The nitrate portion of a fertilizer is highly susceptible to leaching. This means that excessive levels of nitrogen need to be placed pre-plant if it is to last throughout the season and be available for the plants as they need it, leading to large quantities of nitrate leaching into the groundwater and lost dollars.
By using liquid fertilizer in sub-surface drip we were able to minimize our pre-plant dry fertilizer application, and give small doses of nitrogen throughout the season, placing it right around the root zone where it can be of most benefit to the plant.
Aside from actual application, our largest problem was that we have multiple crops growing at one time that are dispersed amongst several fields, thus we needed an injection unit that was small, easily moved, yet still maintained a certain level of accuracy.
We found that the Blue-White diaphragm metering pump fit the bill. It is light and easily transportable. The injection fittings were both easy to attach to our riser set-ups and easy to connect to. After figuring out the desired quantity of fertilizer to be applied, it was as easy as pressing a button and knowing that so many gallons per hour were being applied to our fields.
Our crops this year were fantastic, our yields were improved, we used 25% less granulated fertilizer and 25% less liquid fertilizer as compared to the previous farmer who used a venturi type pump.