Peace Tree Farm gets rid of Pythium, improves bottom line
|HPGen™ reduces plant losses and fungicide applications, improves crop consistency and predictability|
|March 7, 2022|
Peace Tree Farm is a multigenerational family business dedicated to the production of nursery specialty plants, such as basil and lavender. It is an organic operation known for quality, consistency and sustainability. Plants are grown in an ebb and flow system, which ensures a good availability of water and fertilizer to all plants. Overhead sprinklers support irrigation as well. Water is recirculated through the facility.
While this is very sustainable, it also poses some risks in terms of spread of disease throughout the nursery, as well as dissolved oxygen availability. Of special concern is the fungus Pythium, which attacks the stem of the plants and causes them to rot. Due to the nature of the water recirculation system, as soon as Pythium is present in one plant, it can very quickly move to other plants throughout the nursery, causing major losses.
Peace Tree Farm has always been aware of this challenge, and they implemented an ozone system prior to HPGen. However, ozone only had a local effect, and it is a complex chemical to handle, as it is a toxic gas with very low water solubility. Accordingly, it had a limited effect on Pythium, and Peace Tree got used to seeing losses of plants as high as 20% in the summer season.
Head Grower, Alex Traven, adds: “Summer months used to really be a great source of anxiety. There’s a lot of rootzone diseases, like Pythium aphanidermatum, that can cause huge losses to crops like rosemary and lavender. It really got to be really stressful, worrying if a crop was actually going to make it to sale.”
Pythium protection and improved production with HPGen™
HPGen™ systems generate a safe concentration of Peroxide UltraPure™, a very high purity solution of hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide UltraPure™ is injected into the ebb and flow irrigation system through a dosing pump. As Peroxide UltraPure™ travels through the water it eliminates bacteria and other living organisms, making sure water is free from Pythium and other unwanted pathogens. As peroxide reacts, it becomes oxygen and water, leaving no residues behind. This extra oxygen boosts the root zone, improving its health and accelerating overall plant development. When using Peroxide UltraPure™ there is no limit to recirculation, as differently from other substances such as industrial peroxide, chlorine or peroxyacetic acid, it does not leave any residue in the water.
“We looked at HPNow because they are the only company that is offering Peroxide UltraPure that is generated on-site at the facility itself. It’s a good, solid system, it’s self-contained, and it’s easy to install,” explains Lloyd Traven.
After dosing Peroxide UltraPure™ the differences in plant development became very evident, as shown in the comparative picture of lavender crop:
Improved bottom line
“The HPNow system has been a really great way to cut down on losses due to soilborne diseases, without chemicals or chemical residues,” says Alex Traven. “Before we had the HPNow system installed, we were pretty used to summertime losses of certain crops like lavender of 10 to 20 percent crop losses. But in the past year using the HPNow system, our losses were closer to 1 percent or lower, and that’s a really incredible improvement for us.”
“My father and I did 100 percent of the installation for this, and we are by no means professional plumbers or electricians or anything, but we were able to do all of the installation of this, with no outside help at all”, Alex Traven says. “We installed this machine over the summer, and it’s been a really great improvement over what we were using before. We cut down on our chemical use, and on our time that we were spending on doing preventative treatments, and it’s been a really great time and money and energy saver for all of us here.”
“We’re at a major advantage over a lot of other companies with it,” Lloyd Traven concludes. “This is a home-run app. It absolutely is. It just works.”