Promesol 5X and Promesol Ca, Fast and Consistent Results with Easier Handling

The creation of Promesol means a true revolution in the management of agricultural soils. After verifying its effectiveness in controlling salinity and sodicity problems, the challenge for Innovak Global was to make this product easier to handle. Thus, shortly after, two products were released that replaced the pioneer of soil conditioners: Promesol 5X and Promesol Ca, with which the company continues to open new markets.

1973 marked a before and after period for farmers who have orchards in arid and semi-arid areas. The commercial launch of a soil conditioner named Promesol was decisive in the management strategies for two problems that existed in the fields: soil salinity and sodicity.. Until then, both were resolved by providing high doses (from 4 t/ha to 10 t/ha) of agricultural gypsum (calcium sulfate), for example. However, with the appearance of Promesol, only 100 l/ha, 150 l/ha and, at most, 200 l/ha of the product were required.

Positive results were seen immediately, especially in orchards that had lower productivity than previous years. Promesol was developed by the engineer Luis Roberto Medina and gained ground in Mexican territory. First in the fields of Chihuahua and soon followed by Coahuila, Durango, Baja California, Mexicali, Sonora and Sinaloa.

“The main characteristic of Promesol is that it is a soil conditioner, not a soil recuperator,” says Raúl Rodríguez, an agronomist, soil specialist, who worked for 33 years at Innovak Global, from which he retired last year. He was director of applied technical research and today works as an external advisor to the company. “It functions well in situations where there is a problem that, although not so serious, causes low crop productivity,” he specifies.

For the product to be able to penetrate and consolidate itself in other markets these were decisive characteristics. After Mexico, the most natural was the US, and its journey began in the Texas Valley, to continue in New Mexico, California and Arizona. By the 80s and 90s it was being used in agricultural areas of the Spanish Mediterranean, from Barcelona to Almería.

In Latin America it has created a consolidated presence in Peru and Chile. “There will always be an opportunity to continue growing,” says Raúl Rodríguez. Proof of this is that future growth will come hand in hand with dry areas in Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia. In the latter countries, avocado cultivation has been one of the keys to penetrating this sector, where a high percentage of orchards have been planted in poorer soils [which lack nutrition].

THE CHALLENGE OF LEAVING COMPLICATED AND COSTLY MANAGEMENT BEHIND

The story of a product that is in its 50th anniversary would have been completely different if it had not had so many positive results, helping farmers to leave behind traditional management, which was complicated and expensive. And if at first the most affected agriculture was extensive, soon the area of vegetables in Sinaloa and Baja California was expanding. “Since these are high-value crops, an investment in technology like this will pay for itself,” he says.

To disseminate the benefits of the new product, Innovak Global held a series of field days. A decade later, Promesol is a product that enjoys recognition in the agricultural sector, becoming a benchmark, endorsed by the farmers themselves who need a more practical product and application.

Product developers worked to further concentrate the active ingredient, identifying two that practically went hand in hand and had the ability to form or bind particles or interact with poorly soluble salts such as calcium carbonate. Something similar to what was done with sulfuric acid, but not in a strong acid form, but rather a weaker one, with a good amount of charge.

This was precisely what allowed a higher concentration of the product (up to 5x). Until then, farmers applied a maximum dose of up to 200 l/ha, while a normal application was 100 l/ha or 150 l/ha. With the new concentration, Promesol is now applied in doses of 10 l/ha to 20 l/ha.

THE CREATION OF TWO NEW PRODUCTS: PROMESOL 5X AND PROMESOL CA

In order to meet farmers’ requirements, Innovak Global decided to create two products from the original: Promesol 5X and Promesol Ca, the latter also at the same concentration level (5x).

Both products have different exposure. Promesol 5X is for compact soils that do not necessarily have sodicity, but do have high clay content and low organic matter content, something very characteristic in many of the arid areas of the world. “Due to compaction, the soil loses porosity, that is, it gains a lot in micropores, but little in macropores, which is where there is air in the soil,” says an expert.

Promesol 5X reduces soil compaction, generating humid and aerated conditions for a good physical structure that favors root growth. For this to happen, ECCA Carboxy® acids bind soil particles forming stable aggregates that produce a balance of micro and macropores, which causes a decrease in compaction and creates spaces for water and air, thus allowing easy tillage.

Promesol Ca is aimed at solving salinity problems, reducing soil compaction and generating humid and aerated conditions for better root growth. Likewise, it protects the roots against saline stress, favoring their development.

To achieve this, the ECCA Carboxy® fraction contained in the product facilitates the contribution of calcium to the membranes and cell walls of the root, maintaining its integrity and protecting against stress caused by salinity. Likewise, it helps aggregate formation, improving soil structure.

“While both can help in the same case, the diagnosis will tell us which of them we should use,” says Rodríguez. But, what will happen when a soil has salinity and sodicity problems? “A single application is not enough,” replies the specialist. For example, in a horticultural crop, four or five applications can be made during the cycle, from transplanting to fruit development. In a saline and compact soil, it is recommended to make an application of Promesol 5X and then alternate it with Promesol Ca, in order to address both problems.

EASIER HANDLING WITH PROMESOL CA

Up until the appearance of Promesol Ca, large amounts of calcium were used. When this new product was developed, those responsible realized that the response was not as dependent on the calcium that was being provided, especially if there is already calcium in the soil, which is very common in soils from arid areas. “In the case of Promesol 5x, calcium is completely eliminated and in Promesol Calcium the concentration of this element is lowered significantly, after learning that it is an element found in the soil. This made it easier to use, even more so with Promesol 5X, which can be applied in a localized irrigation system together with other products, without running the risk of a negative outcome”, explains Rodríguez.

The value proposition for farmers goes hand in hand with the problem. If the farmer is having a loss of productivity due to compaction and salinity, the way to measure it will be the productive yield and the quality of the fruit obtained. “To measure productivity, you have to go through the entire crop cycle, but you can measure how it works, for example, in the soil, with soil penetrometers. Measuring salinity is more problematic because you have to wait for the appearance of symptoms, for example: chlorosis”, these are problems that have had a quick and forceful solution for five decades, centralized in many different countries and endorsed by thousands of farmers.

Benefits of Promesol 5X

  • Guarantees the formation of aggregates in the soil.
  • Generates a balance between macro and micropores.
  • Improves soil structure and reduces soil compaction.
  • Prevents the use of tools and machinery which may damage roots.
  • Prevents the spread of pathogenic microorganisms.
  • Facilitates root development.
  • Improves moisture retention and water infiltration.

Benefits of Promesol Ca

  • Loosens the soil, allowing a better development of the crop.
  • Facilitates tillage.
  • Helps to make better use of irrigation or rainwater.
  • Facilitates the growth and harvest of tubers, bulbs and roots that grow below the floor.
  • Protects crops against saline stress, acidity and aluminum and manganese toxicity.
  • Allows direct application to the root zone.