Turf that is treated with high bicarbonate irrigation water (commonly recycled effluent, bore or stream water) can be particularly difficult to manage due to deterioration of soil structure and chemistry. Where irrigation water is found to be high in bicarbonate, soil pH will increase over time and stabilise around pH 8.2, if calcium is the predominant cation in the soil. Soil pH can exceed pH 8.2 when sodium, rather than calcium, is the dominant cation.
In these soils, lowering pH is necessary to increase the availability of calcium and micronutrients, particularly iron and manganese. Elemental sulphur (S) has traditionally been used to lower soil pH, but it must be used carefully. Elemental S has a high potential to burn plant tissue and can lower soil pH too much (pH < 4.0 is possible) if used improperly or at too high an application rate. Elemental sulphur is also very damaging to soil mesofauna, which can have a serious impact on thatch and clipping recycling.
In response to this problem, the Matchplay® team has developed MP EQUALISE, This unique product incorporates the vast body of advanced technology used in water treatment, adapting it specifically for use in turf soils. MP EQUALISE combines long chain organic acids with a proprietary surfactant system that targets carbonates and bicarbonates to free up calcium and magnesium, while safely lowering soil pH. Based on sound scientific principles of soil chemistry, MP EQUALISE has been outstanding in recent demonstration trials throughout NSW and SA.
It takes more than just fertiliser and tillage to maintain the productivity of soils that receive moisture from poor-quality irrigation water. When these soils are not producing to capacity, MP EQUALISE (soil and water conditioner) will restore and maintain proper tilth and mineral balance. Applied through irrigation or mixed with mineral fertilisers, MP EQUALISE:
- goes to work quickly to affect the impact of mineral salts that interfere with seed germination, root growth and development.
- prevents soil surface sealing by reducing soil swelling caused by sodium, in turn allowing more uniform seed germination through better soil / seed contact.
- is fast acting soil conditioner that is gentle on plants, soil and its beneficial inhabitants, unlike some soil amendments.
- promotes good soil aggregation to improve water and air movement through the soil profile by dissolving bound soil calcium and magnesium (used at comparatively low rates of 20 L per hectare) and is biodegradable.