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Home Grown: Watermelon drought trial harvest

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In today’s Home Grown, The University of Arizona is testing a new way to grow crops with less water.

This freshly picked watermelon was grown in a soil modified by a Norwegian company.

A new way to grow more crops, with less water, thanks to a soil that could hold more moisture.

“Right now we’re irrigating through drip irrigation, once every other day. Half of the field is only getting 50 percent of the water that it needs. The other half of the field is getting 80 percent of the water it needs to make a good crop,” said Masson.

It uses  microscopic amounts of clay and watermelon served as the first test crop, which was planted in march and is being harvested as we speak.

“We’re evaluating them for when we pull them off the field, as well as their sizing and their sugar content,” said Masson.

If this works it could be huge for agriculture, due to the water shortage from the Colorado River.

“We have soil moisture meters throughout the field, where we’re recording the flow of water. That way we would use less water and in these drying times, that’s becoming more and more important,” said Masson.

If you’re interested in seeing the results of this trial, they will be hosting a field day, Thursday from eight to eleven in the morning.

Contact Robert for more information: masson@email.arizona.edu

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Samantha Byrd

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