I've Never Met Anybody Who Has Good Well Water
29 Aug 233 min 57 sec

"All of it is bad," says Kelly Garrett about well-water. He doesn't turn on his irrigation system without treating the water.  Here is how...

00:00 So let me get started. I will tell you of all the people I've talked to in the last three or four years with extreme ag about the irrigation water, 00:07 I have never met anybody that has good well water. All of it is bad, too much iron, too many bicarbonates. Uh, the problems are numerous and, 00:14 and our well water is bad. Our surface water is really pretty good, but our well water is bad. 00:20 We don't turn the irrigation on without putting plant food in it, which is of course our main source of fertility on all our acres. 00:26 It's the byproduct we get outta the liquid feed system. We're very lucky with the carbon in plant food. We're very lucky with the sulfur in plant food, 00:33 and we're blowing apart the bicarbonates in the water, which is a yield limiting factor. Plant food also has phosphorus and sulfur and potassium and micronutrients and 00:42 hydrogen in it. Very beneficial to the soil. When we're irrigating out of this, well, typically it's about 400 gallons a minute. 00:49 There's a hundred to 120 gallons an hour of plant food going in there. We lower the pH of our well water down to about three. 00:56 It's coming outta the ground at about a seven, six. We're lowering it to a three to take the bicarbonates out, releasing the nutrition. Uh, we learned, uh, 01:05 we learned from one chemist friend of ours that your soil becomes your water. And when you look at our soil tests, it has been, 01:12 we've got a problem with this soil out here. This is a 300 bushel yield environment, and it's a yield limiting factor of the water. 01:18 And that's something that we're trying to correct here going forward. Yeah. Um, I can just go back to last year when we had corn on this field. 01:25 It's beans this year, but, um, one, once we kicked the well on last year, like I won't physically wash the crop, respond in a negative way. 01:34 The plants went backwards when we turned on the irrigation. So that led us down to the path of what's going on. 01:39 That's obviously not the idea of irrigation to make 'em go backwards. No. And it has to do with the water source and managing it. 01:45 And so we went down that path. Like I said, we talked to a chemist friend, uh, with the water and everything else. So you see how we can resolve 01:54 That? Try to amend the water. Yes. And, and he's like, you need to put more plant food out. You need to blow those bicarbonates and all the other stuff that's in there out 02:03 of there to, to amend to get your soil back into balance, which Was an amazing thing because we've maybe thought we were putting too much plant 02:09 food out. Yeah. And he's like, no, you need more because you need the hydrogen and the sulfur, the acidity to blow apart the bicarbonates of the water. 02:16 Yep. And so we've done that. You know, obviously it's beans this year, so we're watching the beans grow and they're doing really well. Um, 02:24 but when it comes back to corn next year, we're very intrigued to see what happens and, uh, 'cause it's important, we have a lot of stress weeks here, uh, with high heat, 02:33 humidity and stuff where this thing was running for about, what, 25 days straight? Yes. And, uh, 02:39 We've been shut off now for a couple weeks, almost three, because of the rain events we've had. But, uh, yeah, 02:44 the irrigation is very important to us in those high stress Paths. Yeah. And so it's, it's intriguing. You know, we're soil sampling, 02:51 doing all that stuff, and we're hoping to learn something, um, by doing that. But, uh, you know, and then we, you know, if you, 02:59 the thing that always stuck to me is if you can balance your water, fix your water, your water can actually become fertility. Right. 03:05 Which is kind of a weird thing to think about, but in essence, that's what we're trying to do. 03:10 Yes. We, uh, you know, we have come from being very rookie irrigators, you know, nobody else around here, one other family, my good friend Jeremy and, 03:18 and Chad, they, they've got some pivots. We've got the drip. Nobody else for many miles has any irrigation. So we, uh, 03:25 we're starting from scratch and, you know, you just think, well, we're gonna turn on the water and all our problems are solved. Uh, 03:31 that's not the way it works. We turn on the water and we solve some problems and we created some others. And now, here, here we are, finally, six, seven years later, 03:38 figuring out that next set of problems to take us even higher and to break the next yield barrier. And now that we have figured it out, 03:44 the bicarbonates and things like that, I very much think we're on the path to higher yields. I'm excited to see how this year turns out and to go into next year to really 03:50 put into practice what we've learned.

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