Increasing Yield of Cucumber Crops by Energising using the QEnergySpa, BEFE Technology.
Cucumber Growth and Yield Trial
By Ivan Krell Serensen B.Eng. A.D.Eng. A.D.M.C. BTP.
Since 2012:- Q Biotechnologies Pty Ltd Australia.
Agriculture 98, Hydroponics QEnergySpa, BEFE Treatment Trial
Studying the data presented throughout this document, it is evident that the Q-Tech trading as Q the Experience proprietary designed QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment as applied in a commercial cucumber production facility has had the following effects, noted through observations, measurements and counts
Improved plant health. Observed healthier greener colors
Improved resistance or tolerance to disease. While untreated plants wilted away while under the attack from unknown disease, the treated plants remained healthier.
Improved tolerance to weather conditions. Where the untreated plants received tip burns from excessive temperature, none of the treated plants showed any signs of weakening.
Increased growth rate. Noticed, not just from the fact that the treated plants outgrew the untreated, but also from the fact that when the treated plants received less water than that required, they still looked fine, but the growth rate was not as high as that of the untreated. This was then corrected where after the treated plants quickly caught up and then exceed the growth of the untreated and yet, the treated plants still received less water and nutrients than did the untreated; about 60ml less on average throughout the trial.
Increased number of Nodes. An increase in the number of points from which a fruit would grow was noticed and hence counted. It was found that the treated plants had between 19% & 20% more nodes.
Increased Yield and Hence Profit. Treated Rows 2 & 3 represents 23.3% (less than a quarter) of the overall plants in the shade-house. The remainder 76.7% of the plants were not treated, yet the treated rows produced 30.9% (Close to a third) of the total production in the shade-house. Add to this, the fact that the yield rejection remained mostly the same, decreasing the rejection ratio from 41.4% to 31.6%. On average, the treated plants could produce 9.97 Cucumbers per plants, compared to between 6 and 7 cucumbers per plant using current methods. For a Financial Projection, see Financial Projection. As an increase in Yield is proportional to an increase in profit, we can only conclude that the Q-Tech proprietary designed QEnergySpa, BEFE unit performs as expected. We have to note here that these results were obtained with a device which was not functioning correctly 100% of the time. The treatment was first applied when the plants had reached about 130mm and not from the time of seeding. The plants contracted a disease and were sprayed. This spraying however seemed to harm the untreated plants much more than the treated plants. Please note that no scientific testing has been done on the plant’s ability to withstand or tolerate extreme weather conditions or disease. The grower has made these observations through experience.
- Index of Figures
- Index of Tables
- Introduction to Agriculture 98
- Introduction to the Hydroponics Trial
- Water Delivery System
- General Observations
- Tip Burns
- Dead Plants
- Wilting of Plan
- Bottom Leaves
- Healthier Greener Color
- White Spots
- Supporting Stems
- Inter-Node spacing
- Fruit Abortions
- Plant Growth
- Shade-house yield
- Test Results
- Plant Growth & Irrigation
- Fruit Abortions
- Summary and Conclusion
- Growers Statement
- Yearly Yield Projection
- Financial Projection
- Appendix A, Growth Records – Cumulative
- Appendix B, Average Growth
- Appendix C, Average Daily Growth
- Appendix D, Water Delivery Records
- Appendix E, Crop Yield Records
Index of Figures
- Figure 1, Shade-house layout and Water Delivery System
- Figure 2, Charging Tank & Control
- Figure 3, Actual Charge Tank
- Figure 4, QEnergySpa Unit & Tank
- Figure 5, QEnergySpa Unit
- Figure 6, Average Plant Growth
- Figure 7, Cumulative Growth – Rows 1, 2 & 3
- Figure 8, Cumulative Plant growth & Water Consumption
- Figure 9, Node comparison
- Figure 10, Fruit Abortion & Node Comparison
- Figure 11, Marketed & rejected yield comparison
- Figure 12, Season End Marketed & Rejected Yield
- Figure 13, Cumulative Cucumber Yield
- Figure 14, Cumulative Marketable Cucumber Yield
- Figure 15, Total Yield
- Figure 16, Average Yield per Plant
- Figure 17, Average Yield Compared to Entire Shade-house
- Figure 18, Row Average Comparison
- Figure 19, Yearly Yield projection
- Figure 20, Financial Yearly Projection
Index of Tables
- Table 1, Number of plants in each row
- Table 2, Water Delivery Extract
- Table 3, Number of nodes
- Table 4, Percentage Node Comparison
- Table 5, Fruit Abortion
- Table 6, Fruit Abortion & Node Comparison
- Table 7, Picking records, Row 1
- Table 8, Picking records, Row 2
- Table 9, Picking Records, Row 3
- Table 10, Yearly Yield Projection
- Table 11, Financial Yearly Projection
Introduction to Agriculture 98.
The future of magnetics in agriculture is now set to become a major issue in 1998. The introduction of new field technologies developed by Q-Tech Laboratories trading as Q the Experience has the prospect of advancing agriculture well into the next century. Agriculture 98 is this year’s push to implement the new technology with the shortest possible lead-time.
The major trial programs to be undertaken this year will be centered on the smaller horticultural enterprises including hydroponics applications. Other trials expand into broad-acre farming in areas relating to chemical usage with the prospect of using less chemicals and including the possibility of entirely replacing ionic surfactants with a the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment.
The QEnergySpa, BEFE units used in these trials are simple, cost effective and easily adapted to suit the trials and other applications.
The major trials conducted by Q-Tech trading as Q the Experience are divided into three groups, based upon method of nutrient delivery and include the effects of the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit on the nutrients, however the major interest is the effects on growth and yield.
These trials are designed to study both the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment delivery system and its effect on growth, conducted for nurseries and small horticultural crops, where the nutrients required are obtained from the soil, also the use of folio nutrients using the same process.
Other trials conducted include seed germination, in which growth rates of seeds, treated with the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit are studied.
These trials require a low volume, water storage facility, where the water is delivered directly via sprinkler or drip irrigation.
These trials are designed to study both the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment application process and its effect on growth of varying commercial crops, conducted for hydroponics applications, where the medium used to grow the plants contain no nutrients.
These trials also require a low volume, water storage facility, where the nutrient enriched water is delivered via reticulation to the roots.
The broad-acre trials to be conducted in this field involve both herbicides and pesticides. The QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment in this case reflects all the preliminary results related to the property changes recorded in treated water. The main focus is on the potential elimination of the need for ionic surfactant A study of the activity changes in various herbicides and pesticides is foremost. Trials using lower rates of chemicals will also be conducted. Standard commercial spraying apparatus will be used in these trials.
Introduction to the Hydroponics Trial
This document deals with trials related to the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment process of water used in the growth of cucumber plants grown in a shade house by hydroponic means.
The trial was setup to test the efficiency of the current agricultural QEnergySpa, BEFE unit under commercial conditions and to establish the difference in growth rates and yield, between the treated crop and the current growing method.
Throughout the trial, quantities such as fruit yield & abortion were counted from entire rows, whereas some results, such as the growth rates, water measurements, node counts, were based upon a selection of plants taken from each row.
Where a selection was used, ten plants were selected from each row. These plants were selected, not at random, but evenly spaced throughout the rows. That is, the first plant in each row and then one plant in every 6, leaving about 10 plants at the end.
The hydroponics trial was conducted in Helidon, 19 Km East of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, at facilities owned by Mr. & Mrs. Grorud. The Trial was commenced on the 6th of February 1998.
The shade-house utilized for this trial was a steel-framed construction and was covered with clear plastic over two thirds of the surface. The remaining area was covered with a shade cloth on the lower parts of both sides. A Clear plastic cover could also be rolled down over the shade cloth in extreme weather conditions.
The plants grew in 8 rows within the shade house, where each row had been designated a number by the grower as is shown in Figure 1 below. The two trial rows being irrigated with the charged water were in the center of the shade-house with the control row one row across to the right. The plants in the trial row No. 2 grew in sawdust and the plants in row No. 3 grew in coal ash. The control row designated as row No. 1 grew in sawdust. Each row contained a set number of plants as outlined in Table 1 below.
|Figure 1, Shade-house layout and water delivery system|
|Table 1, Number of plants in each row
Note that rows 5 and 8 have an additional 19 plants.
Water Delivery System
The water delivery system already connected to the shade-house was set to pump 80 Litres per minute for a set amount of time, which delivered a controlled quantity of water to the entire shade-house, each time it was watered. Rows 2 & 3 contained 141 Plants of a total of 604 plants, which means that by proportion, rows 2 & 3 should require 23.3% of the total amount of water. However Q-Tech Laboratories P/L trading as Q the Experience predicted that it should require less water and hence the volume was set at a lower value for the trial rows.
It should be noted that the shade-house or any nursery is not a laboratory, with exact water flow control on every dripper. The commercial reality is that you may supply the entire shade-house with a quantity of water, but no two plants in the shade-house will get the same amount of water. It becomes an approximation. It is up to the grower to adjust the delivery system to make sure that every plant gets at least the average water required and also to adjust the system to deliver more or less according to the weather.
The delivery system setup required a charging tank, in which the treatment was to be applied. This tank was tapped directly from the existing delivery line. See Figure 2. Hence, any variance in water or nutrient rates to the shade-house would automatically be applied to the trial rows, unless changed by the grower.
The control tap, determined the amount of water received by the trial unit, which was preset before the commencement of the trial, so that each plant in the trial would receive equal amounts of water and nutrients as the water being treated already contained the nutrients, added by the grower.
|Figure 2, Charging tank and control|
|Figure 3, Actual charge tank|
At the output stage of the Charging Tank, the Control Tap, reduced the flow rate to the trial rows. The solenoid is there to maintain the water in the charging tank for the specified length of time. The filter at the end is there to catch any sediment, which may be produced as a result of the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit’s interaction with the water or nutrients.
The treatment process by the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit then took approximately 20 minutes, after which the water was pumped, to the trial rows.
This process was independently controlled, should the need arise to adjust the water charge rates, due to the change of the chemical properties in the water, induced by the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit.
The actual charge tank as seen here, Figure 3, is a 200 Litre drum cut in half and turned, the pump is located underneath. The top section is the charging-tank, where the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit is immersed into, See Figure 4. Once the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit was connected to the power supply, and the charge tank filled with nutrient enriched water, the treatment was commenced. This process was fully controlled by an additional irrigation controller which was synchronized to the existing controller, to ensure the 20-minute treatment process.
|Figure 4, QEnergySpa unit & tank|
|Figure 5, The QEnergySpa, BEFE unit|
The QEnergySpa, BEFE early model unit as seen here (Then named Bio-Electric Field Enhancement or B.E.F.E.), Figure 5, is the prototype charging unit, which was placed into the charge tank and connected to the power supply as mentioned above.
The QEnergySpa, BEFE unit is a proprietary design. Invented and Designed and Manufactured by Q-Tech Laboratories P/L trading as Q the Experience.
The following observations made throughout the trial were in most cases observed by the grower, but in all cases, the observational differences between the treated plants and the remaining shade-house were quite noticeable. These observations are based upon the experience of the grower.
The plants used for this trial were all seeded on the 27th of January 1998 and planted in the shade-house on the 4th of February 1998. At this time the plants were about 100mm high.
On the 25th of February 1998, less than half of the plants in the shade-house developed a tip burn. That is, the tip of these plants suffered some form of damage The degree of damage varied widely from one plant to the next, but the interesting part was that this damage occurred throughout the shade-house, except the treated rows. None of the plants in the treated rows suffered any damage.
During the trial, a number of plant deaths occurred throughout the shade-house. By the end of the trial, 30 plants of the total of 463 untreated plants in shade-house died Compare that to one death towards the end of the season, from a total of 141 treated plants. That is a death rate of 6.5% compared to 0.7% respectively.
During periods of high temperature, the plants had a tendency to wilt dramatically. It was however noticed that the treated plants remained firmer for considerably longer, but did eventually also wilt.
An observation made throughout the trial, concerning the bottom leaves on the plants, was that the lower leaves on the treated plants remained greener and healthier long after the lower leaves on the untreated plants had died. This trend continued late into the growing season, until spraying to control high levels of disease in the shade-house commenced
It should also be noted here that in the presence of the disease, the treated plants remained greener and healthier and generally appeared to be more tolerant.
Comparing the health of the treated and untreated plants throughout the shade-house and during the entire trial, it was clear that the treated plants remained greener, healthier and firmer than the untreated plants.
The drainage left in the sump of the treated plants was consistently observed as having less water than the drainage left from the untreated plants. However we also knew that the treated plants were getting less water, even after the irrigation was corrected. With less irrigation, the treated plants still showed some drainage. This can only mean that the treated plants utilized the water more efficiently. For further information see Plant Growth & Irrigation.
While the plants were relatively small, tiny white spots appeared on leaves throughout the shade-house, except on the treated plants. This may mean that the treated plants were a little more tolerant, although the cause of the white spots was not known.
The leaves of the treated plants, although difficult to quantify or qualify, were visibly smaller, with more body. It was also noted that the texture and surface of the leaves was different.
The lateral stems on the treated plants had on average, a greater positive incline supporting the leaves. This made the treated plant appear stronger and healthier.
One of the more interesting observations made, was that the inter-node spacing on the treated plants appeared to be closer. This effect was so visual that it was decided to count the nodes present on the plants. The information obtained from this count is detailed under Nodes.
As you will see on page 13, during the trial, a number of fruit throughout the shade-house aborted, meaning that the fruit withered away after short time It was noted that this occurred during a particular period of extreme hot weather. The treated plants seemed to abort more fruit than any untreated plants. However as this report shows, the treated plants have more nodes to grow fruit from. Overall the treated plants still produced more fruit.
Initially, the growth of the treated plants was lagging behind. Q-Tech Laboratories Pty Ltd trading as Q the Experience expected better results, hence upon inspecting the crop, it was found that the treated plants were not getting the required water. After this was corrected, the treated plants out grew the remainder of the shade-house. For further information see below – Plant Growth & Irrigation.
This report clearly demonstrates the increase in yield caused by the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment. This however was not an obvious observation and was not noticed until the picking of the fruit.
Plant Growth & Irrigation
During the trial, the heights of the plants were measured at regular intervals, to obtain a comparison of growth rates between the QEnergySpa, BEFE treated and the untreated plants. The actual records of these readings are presented in the Cumulative Plant Growth, Appendix A.
Appendix B contains the actual growth of the plants over the time between two sets of readings, where the interval is listed at the top of the table.
For example, for plant number five in row two.
When the trial was started, the plant was already 150mm high, 3 days later the plant had grown 30mm, 3 days later again it had grown 40mm and was now 220mm high.
This plant had grown an average of 52mm per day over the entire trial period.
Appendix C contains the average daily growth rates. This table is identical to that presented in Appendix B, except that the figure shown is the average per day over the interval between readings, whereas Appendix B was the total over that period.
Each of these tables contains the minimum, maximum and average reading from each row of 10 selected plants.
Comparing the average growth of the three rows in the trial as shown in Figure 6, it becomes evident that the two trial rows were actually lagging behind in growth, up until after the 26/2/1998. This date is important, in that this is the date when the water delivery was corrected. It was found that the treated rows were not receiving sufficient amount of nutrient enriched water.
The treated rows were purposely given less nutrient enriched water, as it was suspected that the treated plants required less water and/or nutrients. However, as it was noticed that the medium used to grow the treated plants were not as moist and had no run off. It was decided to increase the nutrient enriched water to the treated row.
|Figure 6, Average plant growth|
Increasing the nutrient enriched water delivery to the treated rows produced the desired results as seen in the chart, Figure 6 by the increase in growth rate. This increase is also evident Figure 7 Figure 8, which compares the cumulative growth for each row. Each bar in Figure 7 is broken up into the minimum, average and maximum growth from the 10 selected plants. From this it also becomes evident that the minimum plant growth in the untreated row (1), exceeded the average growth of both the treated rows, up until the 26/2/1998. From this date, the chart also shows that the maximum plant growth occurs in the treated rows. Row 3 more so than row 2. From these charts, Figure 6 and Figure 8 we can with certainty say that the treated rows outgrew the untreated row.
Studying the table “Water Delivery Records” in Appendix D, it is however obvious that even though the supply of nutrient enriched water to the treated rows were increased after the 26/02/1998, the treated plants still received on average almost 60ml less. This table contains three sets of water measurements, which were measured twice after the water delivery was corrected. The last water reading, on the 9/03/1998, showed that the nozzle to plant 7 in Row 2 was blocked, which had the effect of bringing the average delivery of row 2 down. The data in Table 2 below, extracted from Appendix D, also shows that, for this reading, the treated plants, row 3, on average received more water than did the untreated row, although one plant in the untreated row received 400ml, 10ml and 20ml more than rows 2 and 3 respectively. The three watering measurements are inconclusive on their own since no further water measurements were taken after this point. Hence, we cannot, with these measurements alone say that the increase in growth was due to variable water rate.
|Table 2, Water delivery extract|
However, we can with some degree of accuracy estimate the total amount of nutrient enriched water supplied to the treated rows.
The shade-house water delivery system was pumped through at a rate of 80 litres per minute as measured by the flow meter attached to the delivery line. This was always kept constant. This rate of water was delivered for a period of 2minutes and 45 seconds, although varied by the grower as necessary.
Lets assume for the moment that this water delivery stays constant at 2minutes and 45 seconds. This will give a total of 2.75 times 80 litres or 220 litres of water for the entire shade house. The mark left by the nutrient enriched water in the charge tank used for the treatment was at a height of 165mm and the tank had a diameter of 560mm. Since the 40.6 litres were drained from the supply to the shade-house, that means that the remaining shade-house received 220 – 40.6 litres totaling 179.4 litres. When the grower changed the watering amounts, only the length of time would change, hence the division of water usage to the treated and untreated rows would vary proportionally.
The treated rows contained 141 plants of a total of 604 plants. This means that the treated plants would receive on average 288ml of nutrient enriched water per plant and the untreated plants would receive 387ml of nutrient enriched water per plant. If some plants received less than this quota, then other plants would receive more due to the delivery method used.
Hence, on average the untreated plants received 34.4% more nutrient enriched water, the normal amount of water given, yet the treated plants outgrew them.
On growth, the treated plants grew taller by about 4% on average, but the interesting part is not that the treated plants grew taller, but that they initially grew slower and then accelerated and passed the untreated plants, provided that the nutrient and water supply was sufficient. This is evident in Figure 7 and Figure 8 below.
|Figure 7, Cumulative growth – Rows 1, 2 & 3|
|Figure 8, Cumulative growth & water consumption|
While studying and comparing the plants from separate rows, the grower noticed that the number of nodes from whence a fruit would grow were different between rows 1 (Untreated), 2 (Treated-Sawdust) and 3 (Treated-Coal Ash). Ten evenly spaced plants where then chosen from each row and the number of nodes were counted, as tabled in Table 3.
|Table 3, Number of nodes|
When comparing these numbers it becomes quite evident that the treated plants produce on average an increased number of nodes, with an increase of about 20%, See Table 4. A greater increase was found on some of the treated plants, with an up to 32% increase.
Perhaps more interesting is that the minimum number of nodes in the treated rows is only just less than the maximum number of nodes in the untreated row. This may be better demonstrated in the graph, Figure 9 below.
|Figure 9, Node comparison|
|Table 4, Percentage node comparison|
With an increase in the number of nodes on each plant by about 20%, the potential of the plant to produce more fruit is increased. If we assumed that all the nodes were to bear fruit, then that would mean an increase in production of 20%.
During the trial, a number of fruit throughout the shade-house aborted, meaning that the cucumber withered away after short time. It was noted that during a particular period of extreme weather the plants aborted more fruit than usual and as a matter of interest for comparison, the number of fruit aborted were counted, as tabled in Table 5 below.
|Table 5, Fruit abortion|
It was suggested that the cause of this abortion was due to excessive temperatures, during the summer period. When comparing the number of aborted fruit from each row, it was noted that the treated rows actually aborted more fruit than did the untreated row. Where rows 2 and 3 aborted 8.6% and 25.9% more fruit, respectively.
Comparing this increase in fruit abortion to the increased number of nodes as shown previously.
Should we hypothetically assume that all the nodes on every plant would bear fruit, then as shown in Table 6, we would have produced 1498, 1803 & 1764 cucumbers in Rows 1, 2 & 3 respectively. The amount of cucumbers aborted would be 220, 239 & 277 in rows 1, 2 & 3 respectively. With the remaining fruit being 1278, 1564 & 1487 respectively.
|Table 6, Fruit Abortion & Node Comparison|
|Figure 10, Fruit abortion & node comparison|
In the graph, Figure 10, each complete bar represents the hypothetical total number of fruit which rows 1, 2 & 3 would produce. The top area of each bar represents the aborted number of fruit. Hence the bottom section of each bar represents the remaining fruit.
|Table 7, Picking Records, Row 1|
The yield in this trial is the final measure of the success of the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment. As such, every cucumber picked from the plants on all rows in the shade-house were recorded. The table of complete picking records is listed in the Crop Yield Records, Appendix E.
Table 7, Table 8, Table 9 and are extracted from the table in Appendix E, which contain the picking records for the trial rows 1, 2 & 3 respectively, but also includes the cucumbers, which grew to a marketable size but were rejected by the grower for reasons of suitability.
In Table 7, we find that the row, which was picked to be the row for comparison (Row 1), produced only 431 marketable cucumbers, with 305 rejected cucumbers.
|Picking Record for Row 2 (Treated Row)||Picking Record for Row 3 (Treated Row)|
|Average||8.69||4.49||Per Plant||Average||9.97||4.6||Per Plant|
|Table 8, Picking Records, Row 2||Table 9, Picking Records, Row 3|
Table 9, which is the picking records of row 2, treated and growing in coal ash, producing 698 marketable cucumbers and 322 rejected cucumbers.
These numbers would seem to indicate that the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment has increased the number of marketable cucumbers, without increasing the number of rejects proportionally, which may have been expected. This is clearly demonstrated in Figure 12 where the increase in cucumbers from row 1 to row 2 is 186 cucumbers with only 14 additional rejects and compared to row 3 with an increase of 267 cucumbers and only 17 additional rejects.
In terms of percentages, Figure 11, 41.4% is currently rejected from every plant. After the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment, this is reduced to 34.1% in row 2 and 31.6% in row 3.
To get an idea of the total yield, that is the Marketable plus the rejected cucumbers, refer to Figure 13, which shows a comparison of rows 1, 2 & 3, the trial rows.
The bottom part of each bar in this chart indicates the marketable cucumbers and the top part the rejected. This clearly indicates that initially the untreated row 1 produced a better yield, however after the 15/3/1998, the treated rows outperformed the untreated row used for comparison.
This chart also shows that row 3, produced a yield of 1020 cucumbers, row 2 with 936 cucumbers and row 1, the untreated only 736 cucumbers, that is ignoring the rejects, from which no financial gain could be achieved. However the plant still produced the fruit.
If we study only the marketable cucumbers, as shown in Figure 13, which is just the top of the bottom section of each bar. Eliminating all other information we have Figure 14, which shows the marketable cucumbers throughout the trial. Again it is quite clear that the treated rows performs exceeding well.
Due to the fact that the row picked for comparison turned out to be the worst row, let’s include each of the other rows in the shade-house.
|Figure 11, Marketed & Rejected Yield Comparison|
|Figure 12, Season End Marketed & Rejected Yield|
|Figure 13, Cumulative Cucumber Yield|
|Figure 14, Cumulative Marketable Cucumber Yield|
Examining Figure 15 below, it becomes quite evident how bad the row chosen for comparison (row 1) actually was compared to the rest of the shade-house. However, this does not even take into consideration that each row has a different number of plants.
Taking that into consideration, we get an average number of cucumbers per plant, however, this affects only rows 5 and 8, which have an additional 18 plants in each row.
|Figure 15, Total Yield|
This actually makes rows 5 and 8 worse than our control row, picked for comparison, with and average of 5.84 and 5.4 cucumbers per plant respectively compared to 6.07 per plant in row 1.
|Figure 16, Average Yield per Plant|
Let us compare the average of the treated rows to the entire shade-house, Figure 17 below. Here we notice that on average the treated rows outperformed the entire shade-house by up to 3.6 cucumbers per plant and if sawdust was used instead of coal ash, 2.34 cucumbers per plant. Even if we were to include the two best rows in the shade-house, rows 4 and 6, with and average of 7.11 or 7.15 cucumbers per plant respectively. The treated rows are still ahead by 2.82 cucumbers per plant.
|Figure 17, Average Yield Compared to Entire Shade-house|
Comparing each row average as a part of the entire shade-house, we notice that the treated row 2, makes up for 15% of the entire yield and row 3, 18% of the entire yield. The nearest competitive row is row 6 with 13%.
|Figure 18, Row Average Comparison|
Rows 5 and 8 are as expected the worst at 9% and 10% respectively. This is due to the additional 18 plants in those rows.
Studying the picking records as presented in Appendix E. We find that apart from the first picking on the 10/3/1998. The treated rows consistently produced a higher yield throughout the entire trial. This is perhaps more evident in Figure 13.
Summary and Conclusion
Note : Wherever the word treatment is used, QEnergySpa, BEFE is implied.
This trial has dealt with the application of the Q-Tech proprietary (QTheExperience) designed QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment to that of a commercial crop of cucumbers. This treatment has involved a pre-charge of the nutrient enriched water, before delivery to the crop. The crop involved 8 rows of cucumber plants placed in a shade-house, where only two rows were treated using the above mentioned device and one other row chosen for comparison, although a comparison with the remaining shade-house has also been performed.
This document has compared observations of health, resistance or tolerance to disease and growth rates, but in particular, the number of nodes present on the plants resulting in increased yield and therefore increased profits. These observations were made, based upon the experience of grower.
In terms of health, the treated plants were observed to be greener and generally healthier than the untreated plants. This is based upon observations made in regards to supporting stems, tip burns, leaves wilting, dead plants and color.
Resistance or tolerance to disease was based upon the attack on the plants by a fungal leaf disease, where the QEnergySpa, BEFE treated plants were observed to cope more efficiently and remain greener and healthier for longer, even after the shade-house was sprayed.
Looking at the fruit abortions, it has been made clear that all plants aborted fruit, and that the treated plants aborted more fruit compared to the remainder of the shade-house, when counted during a particular period of extreme temperature. However the treated plants also had more fruit to loose, as judged by the increased number of nodes. The treated plants actually produced up to 20% more nodes from whence a fruit would grow, at the time the nodes were counted. Throughout the trial, all plants randomly aborted fruit, however, no further attention was given to this.
The QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment had the effect of increasing the growth rate of the plants. This was particularly noticed due to the initial lack of nutrient enriched water, which when corrected produced a significant growth in the treated plants. Regardless of the fact that on average they were still supplied with about 60ml less nutrient enriched water that did the untreated plants. Also interesting is that the treated plants were on average about 80mm taller.
Finally, the reason for the trial, the increase in yield and hence profit. The QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment has increased the yield from an average of 6 to 7 marketable cucumbers per plant to and average of nearly 10 cucumbers per plant, which is an increase of about 57%.
While the rejected cucumbers remained about the same across the rows, treated and untreated, this had the effect of reducing the fruit rejection from 41.4% to 31.6%.
Please note that this trial has been conducted in an actual commercial environment, where the judgement of the grower has been relied upon to vary conditions as necessary. This means that the plants were subjected to weather conditions and diseases as any commercial crop would and hence give a more accurate picture of the improvements provided by the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment.
Please also note that while the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment has indeed increased the final yield, the QEnergySpa, BEFE treatment was not functioning at its optimal capacity throughout the trial. Through one period of about 4 to 5 days, the unit was not functioning at all. The reason for this is that the unit has been used in an application requiring a greater capacity than it was designed for. The commercial edition of this device has been modified to cope. What this means, is that the yield improvements shown in this document may just be a small sample of what the commercial device may be able to provide.
B & M Grorud Lot 2 Warrego Highway Helidon 4344B & M GrorudOn the 8/3/98 I began picking continental cucumbers from one of our hot houses. I was participating in an experiment conducted by Q-Tech Laboratories. There were three rows of plants, Number one being the control row, number two being a row growing in a sawdust medium treated by magnetized water and number three being a row of coal ash medium also treated by magnetized water. During the growth stage of the plants I did notice the plants in the two magnetized rows seemed to be stronger and had a greener color to them as compared to the control row. Also the inter-node spacing was much closer on rows two and three. I did not have any deaths of plants in either of these rows as compared to the control row, which had quite a few. On picking I recorded all fruit I’d picked off all the rows. I found that row three had by far the most marketable amount of fruit with row two next in productivity and the control row with the weakest amounts.Row 3 – Produced 698 pieces of fruit;Row 2 – Produced 617 pieces of fruit, and;Row 1 – Produced 431 pieces of fruit.It appears to me by this first experiment that the magnetized water treatment did have an influence on the performance of the plants and their productivity.
Yearly Yield Projection
As this trial successfully shows, the proprietary treatment applied to the production of cucumbers has increased the growth rate and yield. The effect of which, if applied to an entire farm and not just a few rows is quite significant.
If we use the production figures as shown in Appendix E for the entire shade-house, excluding the treated rows, we would produce an average of 6.35 cucumbers per plant, compared to the 8.69 and 9.97 cucumbers per plant for the treated rows. In effect this means that if a hydroponic grower were to plant the crops in sawdust and treat the crop with the Q-Tech proprietary (QTheExperience) designed QEnergySpa, BEFE unit, the grower could expect in excess of 30% increase in yield. Should the grower utilize coal ash instead, then the increase in yield could exceed 50%. In terms of actual number cucumbers, see Table 10 or Figure 19 below.
|Table 10, Yearly Yield Projection|
Say a grower’s capacity is 20,000 plants per year. In this year, the grower can currently expect to collect around 126,998 cucumbers. If the entire yearly crop were grown in sawdust and treated then the grower could expect to collect 173,803 cucumbers, but should the grower utilize coal ash and subject the plants to the QEnergySpa unit’s treatment, then the grower could expect to collect around 199,429 cucumbers. That is, an additional 72,431 cucumbers.
|Figure 19, Yearly Yield Projection|
To continue the example set out in the Yearly Yield Projection above, an additional 72,431 cucumbers per year at $0.60 each could produce (the word ‘could’ is emphasized here) an extra $43,458 per year to the grower of 20,000 plants. For farms of other capacities, please see Table 11 and Figure 20 below.
Please note that this projection assumes no unforeseen effects from other factors such as extreme weather conditions or disease, which may or may not be mentioned in this report. It is merely a projection based upon the data collected during this trial.
|Table 11, Financial Yearly Projection|
Assuming that this projection is attractive, the next question will most likely be “What will it cost the grower to implement the treatment on an entire farm?”.
Like most new installations, there is an initial setup cost. In this case the QEnergySpa, BEFE unit, capable of treating up to 10,000 gallons of water at a time, is the only additional expense. Ongoing expenses are minimal with just the weekly replacing of cost effective consumables. Based on the above projections any installations will have paid for themselves within a very short period of time.
|Figure 20, Financial Yearly Projection|
Click on tables to enlarge
|APPENDIX A, Growth Records – Cumulative|
|APPENDIX B, Average Growth|
|APPENDIX C, Average Daily Growth|
|APPENDIX D, Water Delivery Records|
|APPENDIX E, Crop Yield Records|