Clemson researchers develop new technology to help vegetable growers | Agriculture


Clemson researchers develop new technology to help vegetable growers | Agriculture

Jim Basara, coordinator of a 6-acre community farm on Spring Island, said the Drip Fertigation Calculator helps make his job easier.

“We are a 6-acre community farm,” Basara said. “We grow a whole range of vegetables here. Think of it as a private CSA (community supported agriculture) farm with sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, onions, cabbage, lettuce, kale, bok choi, turnips, greens, carrots, spinach, fennel, kohlrabi, zucchini, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, okra, eggplant, radish and herbs. This year, we will plant well over 200 different cultivars of crops.”

The farm is divided into three watering zones. Each zone contains plants of the same crop family that have similar water and fertilizer requirements. Basara said using the calculator helps ensure crops receive the proper amount of nutrients. It also saves time and is a stress reliever because he doesn’t have worry if his calculations are correct.

“Rather than calculating by hand or building a spreadsheet, everything I need is in an easy-to-use package,” he said. “I can very quickly and easily go through the requirements for each crop, or group of crops that I want to feed the same way. The calculator makes quick work of figuring out what we need to do.

“I do not worry about the calculations being incorrect. If I did them manually, I probably would do them three times to make sure I’m right and even then, I would worry that I screwed something up.”


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