Good Fruit Grower

April 1

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Page 38 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER APRIL 1, 2015 39 "It all kind of came to a big, rapid stop," Smucker said. "We decided we'd done enough research to prove the concept and, if it was worth adopting, it would be." But it wasn't adopted. After 1969, Smucker turned his attention to other forms of soil and water conservation—notably working in the development of no-till farming. Idea reborn However, 41 years later, still liking the basic idea of installing barriers under soil to stop the downward flow of water and nutrients, Smucker, now a professor himself, resurrected the concept. This time, he said, he's mustering the support needed to make it work in the real world. The machine has been patented and is being manufactured in commercial quantities. A company has been formed, called SWRT Solutions. The university's technology office is involved. MSU is looking to partner with people who under- stand the business—like those who use similar machin- ery to install drain tile in farmland and those who install irrigation systems—to take on a new line of business installing subsurface water-retaining membranes. "A strategic global initiative is being developed with partners from foundations, the private sector, academic institutions, international development organizations, and selected host country governments," Smucker wrote in a white paper on SWRT. "Its goal is to establish national and international consortia for prototyping, field testing, pilot technology transfer, and large scale SWRT (subsurface water retention technology) membranes are contoured high density polyethylene films strategically placed below the root zone. Space is available for unlimited root growth and for internal drainage when rainfall is excessive. Dry soil surface SWRT membranes 20" 14" PHOTOS COURTESY OF AL SMUCKER The polyethylene film is installed in a contoured, trough- like shape to hold water, but space at the side allows overflow for drainage. APPLE • PEAR • CHERRY • PLUM • APRICOT Our pollen is viability tested to assure quality. Exclusive distributor of SCUMBY PUFFERS®. Accurate on any planting. 800-322-8852 301 N. 1st Avenue • Yakima, Washington 98902 509-452-8063, fax 509-453-6838 Quality Firman Pollen Improves: Fruit Set Bee Efficiency Pollination Timing Quality Pollination Improves: Yield Consistency Fruit Quality Fruit Storability Trust Quality Firman Pollen Viability And Virus Tested Compatibility Matched Leaders in Application Technology j j j j j j j j j FIRMAN Since 1933 Pollen Co. QUALITY & VALUE you can TRUST WASHINGTON: CALIFORNIA: AREA REPRESENTATIVES: Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley Brad Moore 509-452-8063 Wenatchee/ Okanogan area Tom, Kyle & Linda Batch 509-687-9670 Bleyhl Farm Service Grandview 509-882-1225 Zillah 509-829-6922 Linden John DeMartini 209-484-8502 Tulare & Kern Counties Bob Cademartori 209-601-0754

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