Soil Testing For Potassium And The Fertilizer Value Of Potassium Chloride Challenged By New Study

In the chemical age of agriculture that began in the 1960s, potassium chloride (KCl), the common salt often referred to as potash, is widely used as a major fertilizer in the Corn Belt without regard to the huge soil reserves that were once recognized for their fundamental importance to soil fertility. Three University of Illinois soil scientists have serious concerns with the current approach to potassium management that has been in place for the past five decades because their research has revealed that soil K testing is of no value for predicting soil K availability and that KCl fertilization seldom pays.

U of I researchers Saeed Khan, Richard Mulvaney, and Timothy Ellsworth are the authors of “The potassium paradox: Implications for soil fertility, crop production and human health,” which was posted on October 10th by Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.Soil Testing For Potassium And The Fertilizer Value Of Potassium Chloride Challenged By New Study

A major finding came from a field study that involved four years of biweekly sampling for K testing with or without air-drying. Test values fluctuated drastically, did not differentiate soil K buildup from depletion, and increased even in the complete absence of K fertilization.

Explaining this increase, Khan pointed out that for a 200-bushel corn crop, “about 46 pounds of potassium is removed in the grain, whereas the residues return 180 pounds of potassium to the soil—three times more than the next corn crop needs and all readily available.”

Khan emphasized the overwhelming abundance of soil K, noting that soil test levels have increased over time where corn has been grown continuously since the Morrow Plots were established in 1876 at the University of Illinois. As he explained, “In 1955 the K test was 216 pounds per acre for the check plot where no potassium has ever been added. In 2005, it was 360.” Mulvaney noted that a similar trend has been seen throughout the world in numerous studies with soils under grain production.

Recognizing the inherent K-supplying power of Corn Belt soils and the critical role of crop residues in recycling K, the researchers wondered why producers have been led to believe that intensive use of KCl is a prerequisite for maximizing grain yield and quality. To better understand the economic value of this fertilizer, they undertook an extensive survey of more than 2,100 yield response trials, 774 of which were under grain production in North America. The results confirmed their suspicions because KCl was 93 percent ineffective for increasing grain yield. Instead of yield gain, the researchers found more instances of significant yield reduction.

The irony, according to Mulvaney, is that before 1960 there was very little usage of KCl fertilizer. He explained, “A hundred years ago, U of I researcher Cyril Hopkins saw little need for Illinois farmers to fertilize their fields with potassium,” Mulvaney said. “Hopkins promoted the Illinois System of Permanent Fertility, which relied on legume rotations, rock phosphate, and limestone. There was no potash in that system. He realized that Midwest soils are well supplied with K. And it’s still true of the more productive soils around the globe. Potassium is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust and is more readily available than nitrogen, phosphorus, or sulfur. Farmers have been taught to think that fertilizers are the source of soil fertility—that the soil is basically an inert rooting medium that supports the plant.”

Khan and his colleagues pointed out that KCl fertilization has long been promoted as a prerequisite for high nutritional value for food and feed. To their surprise, they found that the qualitative effects were predominantly detrimental, based on a survey of more than 1,400 field trials reported in the scientific literature. As Khan explained, “Potassium depresses calcium and magnesium, which are beneficial minerals for any living system. This can lead to grass tetany or milk fever in livestock, but the problems don’t stop there.

Low-calcium diets can also trigger human diseases such as osteoporosis, rickets, and colon cancer. Another major health concern arises from the chloride in KCl, which mobilizes cadmium in the soil and promotes accumulation of this heavy metal in potato and cereal grain. This contaminates many common foods we eat—bread, potatoes, potato chips, French fries—and some we drink, such as beer. I’m reminded of a recent clinical study that links cadmium intake to an increased risk of breast cancer.”

While working in the northwestern part of Pakistan three decades ago, Khan was surprised to discover another use for KCl fertilizer. “I saw an elderly man making a mud wall from clay,” Khan said. “He was using the same bag of KCl that I was giving to farmers, but he was mixing it with the clay. I asked why he was using this fertilizer, and he explained that by adding potassium chloride, the clay becomes really tough like cement. He was using it to strengthen the mud wall.”

“The man’s understanding was far ahead of mine,” continued Khan, “and helped me to finally realize that KCl changes the soil’s physical properties. Civil engineers know this, too, and use KCl as a stabilizer to construct mud roads and foundations.” Mulvaney mentioned that he had demonstrated the cementing effect of KCl in his soil fertility class, and that calcium from liming has the opposite effect of softening the soil. He cautioned against the buildup philosophy that has been widely advocated for decades, noting that agronomic productivity can be adversely affected by collapsing clay, which reduces the soil’s capacity to store nutrients and water and also restricts rooting.

Khan and Mulvaney see no value in soil testing for exchangeable K and instead recommend that producers periodically carry out their own strip trials to evaluate whether K fertilization is needed. Based on published research cited in their paper, they prefer the use of potassium sulfate, not KCl.

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Honeybees Could Help Scientists Build A Better Aircraft

Honeybees are inspiring scientists at Australia’s Vision Centre to help build a robot aircraft.

Bees are able to land anywhere with amazing precision and grace, and this skill could soon be included in future aircraft. Scientists found that honeybees are able to control their flight speed in time for a perfect touchdown without needing to know how fast they are flying or how far away the destination is.

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan of The Vision Centre (VC) and The University of Queensland Brain Research Institute said the discovery could lead to cheaper, lighter robot aircraft that only need a video camera to land safely on surfaces of any orientation.Honeybees Could Help Scientists Build A Better Aircraft

“Orchestrating a safe landing is one of the greatest challenges for flying animals and airborne vehicles,” Professor Srinivasan, an author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a press release. “To achieve a smooth landing, it’s essential to slow down in time for the speed to be close to zero at the time of touchdown.”

Humans use stereovision to help discern distances between objects. We are able to do this because we have two eyes with enough separation to enable us to capture different views of an object. Insects are unable to use stereovision because they have close-set eyes.

“So in order to land on the ground, they use their eyes to sense the speed of the image of the ground beneath them. By keeping the speed of this image constant, they slow down automatically as they approach the ground, stopping just in time for touchdown,” he said in the release. “However, in the natural world, bees would only occasionally land on flat, horizontal surfaces. So it’s important to know how they land on rough terrain, ridges, vertical surfaces or flowers with the same delicacy and grace.”

Researchers trained honeybees to land on discs that were placed vertically, and filmed them using high speed video cameras. The discs carried spiral patterns that could be rotated at various speeds by a motor, helping the team to see how a honeybee uses its speed to make a perfect landing.

“When we spun the spiral to make it appear to expand, the bees ‘hit the brakes’ because they thought they were approaching the board much faster than they really were,” Srinivasan said. “When we spun the spiral the other way to make it appear to contract, the bees sped up, sometimes crashing into the disc. This shows that landing bees keep track of how rapidly the image ‘zooms in’, and they adjust their flight speed to keep this ‘zooming rate’ constant.”

The team developed a mathematical model for guiding landings based on the bees’ landing strategy. Srinivasan said this visually guided technique does not require knowledge about the distance to the surface or the speed at which the surface is approached.

“The problem with current robot aircraft technology is they need to use radars or sonar or laser beams to work out how far the surface is. Not only is the equipment expensive and cumbersome, using active radiation can also give the aircraft away,” he said. “On the other hand, this vision-based system only requires a simple video camera that can be found in smartphones. The camera, by ‘seeing’ how rapidly the image expands, allows the aircraft to land smoothly and undetected on a wide range of surfaces with the precision of a honeybee.”

Source: Lee Rannals for – Your Universe Online

Hydroponics offers a great investment opportunity

TerraCrops is a producer and exporter based in the Mexican state of Puebla. It owns one and a half hectares of medium technology greenhouses, irrigated with well water and rain water treated with ozone, where they grow peppers in three colours: orange, red and yellow, using hydroponic techniques. They export mainly to Canada and the United States and they also have a packing station that meets all safety and food safety requirements.

TerraCrops, which mainly focuses on exports, was created to take advantage of the geographical proximity of Mexico with the United States and Canada to trade very good quality vegetables grown with all the benefits of European technology.

“There’s no risk of being affected by frosts with this technology, so we can produce all year round,” says Carlos Vazquezmellado, owner of TerraCrops. The company’s best commercial opportunities arise during the northern hemisphere’s winter, due to the cold temperatures in Canada and the United States, although at this time the company is studying the southern hemisphere’s winter’s market potential.

“The weather in Mexico is not so harsh, so the technology level needed for crop protection isn’t that high. This allows producers to make smaller investments and to recover their capital faster,” says Carlos. “That is why we get the best prices between October and March, with peaks in November and December.”

TerraCrops’ immediate objectives include launching their own brand and obtaining organic certification. The company hasn’t used any pesticides for the last 10 years, controlling pests and diseases through prevention by organic products.

The company also plans to integrate smallholders into a DCP that can establish an interesting production volume. “There are many underused greenhouses in Mexico because they don’t have the right market and appropriate technical assistance. We can collect their product, open up a market for it and grow with them.”

TerraCrops is currently very interested in contacting potential investors for the company. Among other things, Carlos Vazquezmellado emphasizes that the firm is located in an area that enjoys social peace and security and has excellent logistical connections with the United States. The firm is open to any offer that guarantees a long-term relationship that is beneficial to both parties.

For more information:

Carlos Vazquezmellado Robles
Tel.  222 269 0115, 244 444 1767


KB urges government to declare water as national asset

Kisan Board Pakistan (KBP) Central President Sardar Zafar Hussein has urged the rulers to immediately declare water as a national asset and make efforts for implementation on Indus Basin Water Treaty instead of entering in to any new agreement with India. KB urges government to declare water as national assetHe said that the government should give preference to shortage of water being created due to Indian water aggression against Pakistan. Only solution to energy crisis is construction of immediate new dams. Zafar, while reacting to the Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif’s statement of doing a new agreement with India instead of following the Indus Basin Water Treaty, KBP Chief stated that India had already deprived Pakistan of 90 percent of the river water by construction hundreds of new dams due to ineptness of Indus Water Commission officers, past and present rulers.
In the eyes of Kisan Board, the biggest issued being faced by Pakistan today is water shortage and Indian aggression against Pakistan but present rulers, in the love of India, were totally ignoring this harsh fact endangering the economy and sovereignty of Pakistan. Meanwhile Agri Forum Pakistan (AFP) Chairman Dr Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal in an e-statement on the similar issue alleged that India has launched a silent war against Pakistan and constructing many new dams on Jhelum and Chenab.


Main functions of plant nutrients



Nitrogen (N)

Synthesis of proteins (growth and yield).

Phosphorus (P)

Cellular division and formation of energetic structures.

Potassium (K)

Transport of sugars, stomata control, cofactor of many enzymes, reduces susceptibility to plant diseases.

Calcium (Ca)

A major building block in cell walls, and reduces susceptibility to diseases.

Sulphur (S)

Synthesis of essential amino acids cystin and methionine.

Magnesium (Mg)

Central part of chlorophyll molecule.

Iron (Fe)

Chlorophyll synthesis.

Manganese (Mn)

Necessary in the photosynthesis process.

Boron (B)

Formation of cell wall. Germination and elongation of pollen tube.
Participates in the metabolism and transport of sugars.

Zinc (Zn)

Auxins synthesis.

Copper (Cu)

Influences in the metabolism of nitrogen and carbohydrates.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Component of nitrate-reductase and nitrogenase enzymes.

Met Office issues advisory for farmers

The farmers of rain-fed areas should sow Rabi crops from November 1 to November 10 to get an optimum yield, the Met Office said on Monday in its 10-day advisory for growers. “After this time the yield of wheat crop will decreases gradually,” it warned, urging the farmers to sow wheat crop during November 1 to November 10 span to get a maximum yield. “Farmers of wheat growing areas are advised to sow their crops in time to get the optimum yield,” it said. Met Office issues advisory for farmers: agrinfobank.comIt said the recent rains have improved the soil moisture in rain-fed areas of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), asking the farmers to complete sowing during the month for an optimum produce. Meanwhile, whether in most parts of Punjab is expected to remain mainly dry during the 10-day period. However, the Met Office said, rain was likely at isolated places in upper parts of the province during the last few days of the period.
It said weather in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also likely to remain mainly dry. However, a rainfall is expected at isolated places in the upper parts of the province during the end days of the period. In Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), mainly dry/partly cloudy weather is expected. However, rainfall is expected at isolated places in GB by end of the period. In Kashmir, dry/partly cloudy weather is expected with chances of rains at isolated places by end of the period.


Manifold increase in prices of sacrificial animals

As Eid-ul-Azha is approaching; traders have increased prices of sacrificial animals manifold and making it hard for the citizens to perform one of their main religious duty, revealed a survey conducted by Business Recorder. A visit to different markets in the twin cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad revealed that despite sky-rocketing prices, people in large number have thronged to animal markets to buy sacrificial animals. Manifold increase in prices of sacrificial animals
However, most of them came back just having a look at the animals, as they were of the view that there are ample chances that prices will come down on the last day before Eid. Survey noted that every animal’s price vary depending on health and weight. Sheep was available from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. Similarly, prices of healthy goats ranged between Rs 12,000 to Rs 25,000. Besides, sheep/goats, rates of bulls and cows are very high which start from Rs 50,000 and in some cases cross Rs 200,000 depending on their health, weight and breed. The traders at the cattle markets also decorate their animals to attract customers.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has set up a sacrificial animal market at Sector I-11 to facilitate the residents in purchasing the sacrificial animals, the CDA spokesman said. He said that the animal market was operational from October 3. The contract of animal market was given to a company for Rs 10 million and all the facilities including lights, parking place, sanitation and veterinary doctors were available in the market.
A spokesperson of the City District government Rawalpindi, has established seven sale points for sacrificial animals that includes: KRL Road, New Gulzar-e-Quaid, Chaklala Ground, Bostan Khan Road, Morgah, Dhama Syedan and Chakri Road.
People from different walks of life told Business Recorder that inflation has marred the purchasing power of the masses due to which the sale of sacrificial animals has registered considerable decline. The rates of sacrificial animals have gone out the middle income group reach, they added. Even goat is no more affordable to them to sacrifice individually and they are compelled to perform the Quarbani jointly.
Traders were of the view that prices of each and every item is increasing adding that increase in the cost of animals is reasonable as food expenditure of these animals is also increased like other items with each passing day. Survey further noted that the exorbitant increase in prices of sacrificial animals has forced the residents of the twin cities to visit nearby villages in search of animals at comparatively low prices.
CDA spokesman said that the authority has chalked-out a comprehensive plan to collect and dispose of entrails, offal and waste material of sacrificial animals from the various parts of the city during the Eid-ul-Azha. CDA has divided the city into four zones for effective implementation of the action plan, he said. The Authority would also dig as many as 29 deep ditches at 17 different locations in the entire city for proper disposal of offal and other waste.


Essential kitchen items become dearer ahead of Eid

Prices of all essential kitchen items have been increased significantly ahead of Eidul Azha, reveals a survey conducted by Business Recorder here on Saturday. Retailers and wholesalers from different markets of the twin cities of Rawalpindi/Islamabad have increased the prices of all essential kitchen items, including tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, sugar, wheat flour bag and milk (fresh) last week as compared to the preceding week.
During the week under review, tomatoes were being sold at Rs 85 per kg against Rs 80 per kg week past price, reflecting an increase of Rs 5 per kg, onions were available at Rs 80 per kg against Rs 83 per kg week past price, reflecting an increase of Rs 3 per kg, potatoes were being sold at Rs 70 per kg against Rs 65 per kg week past price , registering an increase of Rs 5 per kg, sugar price was increased by Rs 2 per kg and was available at Rs 60 per kg against Rs 58 per kg week past price, garlic was being sold at Rs 140-200 per kg, wheat flour bag (20 kg) was available at Rs 810-820 and milk fresh was being sold at Rs 95-100 per litre last week as compared to the preceding week. Essential kitchen items become dearer ahead of Eid
A vegetable vendor in Abpara Market said that prices of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, onions, green chili and garlic would increase 100 percent during the Eid days due to their demand as they are used as basic ingredient for any meal.
Mix trend was noted in the prices of other vegetables last week as compared to the preceding week as considerable increase was noted in the prices of peas which was being sold at Rs 140 per kg against Rs 120 per kg week past price, registering an increase of Rs 20 per kg, radish was being sold at Rs 82-83 per kg against Rs 80 per kg week past price, registering an increase of Rs 2-3 per kg and green chili was being sold at Rs 110 per kg while prices of other vegetables remained stable like carrot was being sold at Rs 100 per kg, shimla mirch at Rs 120 per kg, keralla at Rs 70 per kg, arvi at Rs 80 per kg, cabbage at Rs 60-80 per kg and cucumber was being sold at Rs 90-100 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week.
Meanwhile, fruits prices remain unchanged last week as compared to the preceding week, as banana was available at Rs 80-120 per dozen, apple at Rs 100-200 per kg, grapes at Rs 200-300 per kg and guava was being sold at Rs 160 per kg last week as compared to the preceding week.
The survey noted that prices of non perishable food items like tea, spices and black pepper also registered increase in their prices last week as compared to the preceding week as tea packet (200 GM) was being sold at Rs 163. However, prices of non perishable food items including pulses remained stable as Masoor washed was available at Rs 120-130, Moong washed at Rs 130-150 per kg, mash washed at Rs 140-160 per kg and basmati rice broken was being sold at Rs 90 per kg.
Meanwhile, meat prices remain unchanged last week as compared to the preceding week as mutton was available at 600-620 per kg, beef was being sold at Rs 280-300 per kg while slight decline was witnessed in chicken prices as it was being sold at Rs 140 per kg against Rs 145-150 per kg week past price.


Build your Oasis aeroponics System

To get started building this garden, you’ll need mostly common parts which should be available in local garden and housewares stores. If you run into problems sourcing the parts, visit the Oasis Agro Industries Pakistan online at: should a kit available by the time you read this which includes many of the harder to find items needed to build this garden. If you feel difficult to build system, feel free to order us at, our tem will contact you and your own ready made Oasis AeroponicsTM  delivered  within next two working days.

Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Theory of operation.
Oasis AeroponicsTM is the most advanced means of cultivating plants. It has been show to outperform soil based cultivation by up to a factor of ten! The reason it is so effective is that since the roots are suspended midair, they receive the maximum amount of oxygenation possible while maintaining 100% humidity for exceptional growth potential. The diagram at right details how the roots grow down through suspended baskets containing GroRox and into the misting chamber where they are gently sprayed with nutrient solution every few minutes.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Oasis AeroponicsTM parts list
A. (1) 30-50 Gallon Plastic Container With Lid
We used a “Tucker” 42 Gallon Storage Container With Hinged Lid from Caldor, a local housewares store. You should have no problem finding these containers on sale in just about every type of store from home improvement/hardware to bed and bath. You want to use a container that is free from holes and made of a rugged, opaque plastic – preferably dark blue, black, green or red in color to keep light from passing through its walls and causing algae growth within the system. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
The container needs to have a lid that fits securely as you will be cutting holes in it through which your plants will be suspended in plastic cups, allowing the roots to grow down within.

B. (1) 100-150 GPH Submersible Pump
We used a Beckett 150 GPH Submersible Pump from Home Depot, a home improvement store. These types of pumps are commonly available as fountain and pool/spa cover drainage pumps. I found 150-300 GPH pumps to work best.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

C. (1) 1/4” > 1/2” Threaded Coupler
Connects the pump outlet to the 1/2” PVC pipe
D. (2) 1/2” PVC Male Threaded Couplers Build your Oasis aeroponics System
To connect 1/2” PVC pipe to pump and valve
E. (1) 1/2” PVC Ball Valve
F. (1) 1/2” > 3/4” Garden Hose Adapter
G. (1) 1/2” PVC “L” Fitting
H. (1) 1/2” PVC “T” Fitting Build your Oasis aeroponics System
I. (1) 1/2” PVC end cap
J. (1) 10’ PVC Pipe 1/2” Inside Diameter
The above parts can be purchased at a plumbing supply store.

K. (4-8) 16 Oz. “Solo” Plastic Cups
Final quantity depending on how many grow sites you choose – you will also need some smooth, clean gravel or GroRox to fill these cups with and provide an anchor for your plant’s roots. You’ll need about 2 cups per grow site. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
L. (1) Cycle Timer +/- 20% Duty Cycle
A cycle timer is one that turns on for “x” minutes and off for “x” minutes and then repeats this “cycle” as long as it is plugged in. We used an NFT-1 cycle timer that is specifically manufactured for hydroponic applications. It turns on for 1 minute and then off for four minutes. This is effectively a 20% duty cycle which keeps the roots wet and the pump from running continuously which would heat up the nutrient solution quickly.
M. (6-8) Micro Sprayers – 180 or 360 Degree pattern Build your Oasis aeroponics System
Pictured at right are actually three different types of micro sprayers – be sure to use those designed for low pressure applications or else they will not “spray”
1) Stocking or Filter Bag – not shown

Step 1.
Measure the diameter of your selected growing baskets at the shoulder or at approximately 3/4 its height. Record this width as it will be the width of the holes you will need to cut to accept the cups. For Solo brand 16 Oz. cups, the diameter is 3”Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 2.
Measure the depth of the cups from where you have measured the diameter -This distance or depth is how far into the misting chamber your cups will sit and is important in determining at what height to mount the spray manifold. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
For Solo brand 16 Oz. cups, the depth is 3 1/4”

Step 3.
The Sprayer manifold will run lengthwise inside the misting chamber (Parallel to top and bottom in picture on right). You need to determine the spacing and quantity of grow sites for your system now. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
We chose to have seven grow sites with three in front and four in back – see inset photo… Basically all you need to do is to mark off the centers of the holes you will cut in the next step – USE A RULER!

Step 4.
Using a holesaw – size determined from Step 1. – and the marks you just made in the previous step, cut out the grow sites. Use CAUTION with the hole saw -You can also use a sharp razor knife to cut them or a pen-type soldering iron to melt them. Whatever you use BE CAREFUL!!! Sand the edges to make them uniform.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 5.
Now you will need to measure the distance from the lid down to the bottom of he misting chamber. Simply use a tape measure and record this measurement as it will be used in the following step.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 6.
Now subtract the cup depth from Step 2 from the distance measured in step 5. Make a mark on the inside of the chamber at this height – this is where the bottoms of the cups will be situated once placed into the system. You will use this mark to determine the proper height to mount the misting manifold.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 7.
From the mark you made in Step 6 (A), mark off two more lines, the first (B) at one inch below and the second (C) at 1 1/2” below. This is so that the tops of the sprayers are at the same level as the bottoms of the cups. Some sprayers will aim the spray upwards at a slight angle – you may wish to try them out first to determine if this is the case. Your goal is to get the spray to hit the bottoms of the cups. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
Look at the drawing of the completed injection manifold in Step 16. It will give you a better idea of what you will be creating in these next few steps…

Step 8.
At the height of the last mark you made (#2 from above), drill a 7/8” hole at the horizontal center of each end of the misting chamber. Remember – the misting manifold runs lengthwise (left to right) inside the chamber and it runs parallel to the top and bottom of your chamber. These holes need to be perfectly aligned so use care in judgement.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 9. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
Cut a 6” piece of 1/2” PVC and insert it through one of the holes you just drilled. This will be the drain side of the chamber so if it is to be placed in a tight space -you should consider which side you want the drain fitting to be on… On the inside of the chamber and on the end of the 6” pipe, insert the 1/2” PVC “T” fitting so that the extra opening points downward into the chamber and the opposite end opening faces the opposite side of the chamber.

Step 10 – 11.
Get out your pump and screw on the 1/2” threaded PVC adapter (C) and one 1/2” PVC threaded coupler (B)Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Now lay the pump down on the bottom of the chamber with the outlet facing up towards the “T” fitting and measure out a length of pipe (D), to connect them. You want the pipe to be long enough to fit snugly and maintain proper alignment. Now you may remove the pump and vertical pipe and drill a pressure relief valve into the fitting as shown in the picture above (A). The hole should be drilled through only one side of the fitting and pipe with a 3/8” drill. The purpose of this hole is to allow excess pump pressure to bleed off inside the chamber, causing a gentle circulation inside the reservoir. By keeping this joint free from glue, you can rotate the pipe inside the fitting to vary the amount of relief (pic. B shows a 50% setting.)

Step 12.
Now you can glue on the “L” fitting on the outside of the chamber and attach the ball valve with the remaining 1/2” PVC threaded fitting. To this you will screw in the garden hose adapter which will serve as your drain system. A simple twist of the valve will allow you to pump out old nutrient solution instead of having to upset the plants to drain it manually with a bucket.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 13.
You can now place the pump and its vertical manifold back into the chamber, connect the vertical manifold to the “T” fitting and then cut a piece of 1/2” PVC pipe to connect to the open end and pass at least 4” through the opposite side of the chamber. This horizontal structure is the misting manifold.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 14.
Cap off the open end of the misting manifold as it exits the chamber on the opposite side of the drain using the 1/2” PVC end cap. Most of these PVC fittings will fit snugly – use glue when necessary and to prevent leaks.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 15.
Our particular container had two small holes in the handles at either end of the chamber. We used a hot melt glue gun to seal them up. Make sure you inspect your chamber for any holes and plug them up with hot melt glue or aquarium safe silicone.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 16.
Using the diagram at right as a general guide – mark off locations for the sprayers at even intervals along the top of the misting manifold. We found that the 150 GPH pump we chose had enough power to run eight sprayers so we put five across the top and three upside down between them to provide even more spray to the roots.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 17.
Drill the holes to accept your sprayers. Make sure you don’t drill them too big otherwise you will not get a good seal and the sprayers may pop out due to pressure. Antelco make a line of small garden sprayers perfect for this application -we have them on our site if you can’t find any locally.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 18.
Screw or glue in your sprayers with silicone sealant. The ones we use screw in using their included wrench. You’ll probably want to remove and clean the sprayers between crops as even the finest filter may pass small root hairs that will eventually clog your system.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 19.
Get your grow cups together for this step. Here we used a small pen-type soldering iron to melt the root holes into the bottoms of the Solo brand cups. You could use a razor blade or drill to cut them out too. Build your Oasis aeroponics SystemMake sure you don’t make the holes bigger than your growing medium otherwise it will all fall out!

Step 20.
The more holes the better – again – make sure they are not big enough to allow loss of your growing medium (gravel , expanded clay pellets or lava rock). The holes only need to go about 1/2 way up the cup.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 21.
Our lid required the use of a plastic skirt, duct taped to the inside of it to prevent water from spraying outside of the chamber. Here you see the lid, upside down with the finished cups in place and the plastic skirt (cut from a garbage bag) securely taped in place around the perimeter of the lid. When the lid is in place, the skirt hangs down between the inside of the chamber and the outside of the cups to prevent over-spray from causing a leaky mess….Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 22.
Time to Test – Fill ‘er up – I made marks on the vertical manifold to indicate the water level in gallons – to do this, simply fill it up a given amount at a time and mark it off accordingly. Spray should reach all walls of the chamber – you can adjust their strength by rotating the vertical manifold and adjusting the relief valve.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 23.
Put the lid on, making sure that the plastic skirt (if required) falls into place. Insert the cups and fill them with a layer or two of your growing medium. Run the pump and make sure that the medium is getting moistened through the holes in the cups. Build your Oasis aeroponics System
You can pull out the cups as the pump runs and check for water droplets on their outside too. The medium only needs to get slightly moistened so that until the roots grow down and out of the cups, they can feed. You can adjust the relief valve to increase/decrease spray.
After your system is complete and checked out, you can prepare your seedlings for transplanting into the system. We planted this array of salad greens, tomatoes, basil, oregano, dill and sage about three weeks before transplanting.
You will see that our seedlings sprouted in both rockwool cubes (on left) and in the Cocofiber (on right). Cocofiber needs to be rinsed off the roots before transplanting into the cups. All in all we have determined the Cocofiber to be better for sprouting seeds than rockwool but it is much messier than the rockwool cubes!

Step 24.
To transplant your seedlings or cuttings, make sure they have at least a set of true leaves and have developed a small root system. Simply line the bottoms of your cups with a layer or two of medium and then backfill around your plants to offer them support in their new home. You should pre-moisten the medium with nutrient solution first to avoid drying out the roots. Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 25.
Here are two sweet basil plants that we just transplanted. Notice that we backfilled the medium all the way up to the growing tops. We did this so that the roots had plenty of support and moist medium available until they mature and grow out beyond the confines of their cup.Build your Oasis aeroponics System

Step 26.
After about a week, you will see the roots beginning to poke through the holes in the cups and down and into the misting chamber – once this happens plant growth really takes off since the benefit of Aeroponics is realized.Build your Oasis aeroponics System
I have found that the best spray cycle is a 1 minute on / 4 minutes off routine. It seems to be just the right ratio of on/off to allow the plants enough nutrient in high heat/strong lighting conditions. The NFT-1 cycle timer is a perfect match.

The Oasis PVC Pipe GardensTM
These designs were inspired by the many commercially available hydroponic gardens that utilize PVC pipe as a main design component. PVC pipe is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with and extremely durable. These designs allow easy expansion owing to their popularity among commercial growers and family farmers. Perfect for producing large harvests of rapidly growing crops such as salad greens, tomato, chilies, culinary and medicinal herbs and decorative flowers. This garden requires a bit more skill and some power tools to complete. There is the option to build it with either three inch, four inch or six inch diameter PVC according to intended use. Indoors use with 250-1500W MH or HPS light for best results when sunlight isn’t available. Oasis Agro Industries Pakistan provide complete ready to use PVC NFT system for both home use and commercial farmer. Our expert team of R&D department modify these system according to our country needs and available resources in order to maximize the profit of farmer. We always try to provide low cost system with high return outcome. 

For feasibility study send your request at , brief feasibility study provide on FREE of charges, if you are requesting detail feasibility PKR 3000 charged for one acre feasibility.

8 Reasons GMOs are Bad for You

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature.

A large percentage of domestic crops (up to 85% of soybean yields) have DNA that was tweaked in a lab, yet it is nearly impossible to know which food items contain these genetically engineered ingredients. Thankfully new mobile phone apps are making it a bit easier for the consumer to know what she is eating, but this is not enough.

GMOs are bad for your body, bad for the community, bad for farmers and bad for the environment. This is why:

  1. The health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are largely unknown. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences. When trans-fats were first introduced, corporations battled to get them onto your grocery shelves – and it is only decades later that this once novel food has been proven to be extremely unhealthful. Many scientists are worried that the genetically altered foods, once consumed, may pass on their mutant genes to bacterium in the digestive system, just like the canola plants on the roadsides of North Dakota. How these new strains of bacteria may affect our body systems’ balance is anybody’s guess. 8 Reasons GMOs are Bad for You

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  2. Food items that contain GMOs are unlabeled in America. Why so sneaky? The European Union has banned GMOs, as have Australia, Japan, the UK and two dozen other countries that recognize that a lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects.
  3. Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity. When genes are more diverse, they are more robust; this is why a pure bred dog tends to have greater health problems than the dear old mutt. Plants with reduced genetic diversity cannot handle drought, fungus invasions or insects nearly as well as natural plants, which could have dire consequences for farmers and communities dependent on GMO crops for survival.
  4. Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back. Genetically modified organisms contaminate existing seeds with their altered material, passing on modified traits to non-target species. This creates a new strain of plant that was never intended in the laboratory. In North Dakota, recent studies show that 80% of wild canola plants tested contained at least one transgene. In Japan, a modified bacteria created a new amino acid not found in nature; it was used in protein drinks and before it was recalled it cause severe mental and metabolic damage to hundreds as well as several deaths. Japan banned GMOs after this horrific experience. Monarch butterflies have also died after their favorite food, milkweed, was cross-pollinated from Bt corn which rendered it toxic to the endangered species.
  5. GMOs are not the answer for global food security. Genetically engineered crops have shown no increase in yield and no decrease in pesticide use. In many cases other farm technology has proven much more successful, and even Monsanto agrees that its genetically engineered crops yield less than conventional farming.
  6. Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot. The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rates fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups.
  7. Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records, but then again what would you expect from organizations who want to patent the world’s food supply? These massive biotech companies have a history of toxic contamination, deceiving the public and suing small farmers when their patented seeds blew across the fence. Biotech firms sell sterile seeds to African farmers- meaning the seeds are only good for one season, because the plants that grow up will not be able to reproduce. Farmers must buy new seeds every year instead of growing from the previous year’s yield. GMOs are not the farmers’ friend.
  8. GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. These things are poisons, and should not be eaten or allowed to run off into our water supply. But they are, every day, by companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about your health, your environment or your children’s future.

The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms have not been proven in any way to be safe, and most of the studies are actually leaning the other direction, which is why many of the world’s countries have banned these items whose DNA has been genetically engineered. In America, they aren’t even labeled, much less banned, so the majority of the populace has no idea that they are eating lab-created DNA on a daily basis.

Now you do; your best defense is to purchase certified organic food, which cannot contain any GMOs, and to tell your friends and loved ones to do the same.


Article adopted from For original article Click