This is branded content for Hydrosmart.
Hydrosmart CEO Paul Pearce has a favourite t-shirt that sports the saying, "Science. Just like magic, but real.".
It's a phrase that resonates with Mr Pearce because of reactions he receives from customers using Hydrosmart's innovative electronic water softening technology that is unlocking the power of poor quality water on farms.
From eliminating scouring in cows and boosting the growth of lucerne, to adding extra flavour to tomato crops, the patented system developed by Mr Pearce's family-owned and run South Australian company continues to amaze those using it.
"Twenty-five years ago when we first started out trialing this technology people were pretty sceptical about it and even now they are incredulous until they see the results," he said.
"But more and more people are now embracing it, saying we want to use this technology, around Australia and overseas, for so many different kinds of projects."
Born from Mr Pearce's passion for water, with his business initially focused on filtration, the Hydrosmart system was designed to improve the performance of highly-mineralised hard, salty, iron or calcium/gypsum-affected water from bores, rivers and saline areas.
The "plug and play" system is based on research that showed scale layers and corrosion problems in pipes delivering this water was related to how well minerals in water are dissolved.
Hydrosmart uses a series of computer-generated resonance frequencies to disrupt the bonding between minerals and charged compounds in the water.
As a result, the technology eliminates pipe scaling issues while at the same time restoring nutrient balance in the water, making the otherwise insoluble mineral particles in water bioavailable as plant nutrients and for healthier stock.
"What that means is farmers get a sustainable solution to their water problems that requires no chemicals, no filter and no maintenence," said Mr Pearce.
"By unlocking the natural minerals it's creating an environment where plants can use the nutrients already available in the water, reducing the need for fertilisers. And for stock it means the water is more palatable and they can better metabolise those nutrients in their gut for better health and growth."
The reputation of the power of Hydrosmart's technology for agriculture began growing in the vineyards of South Australia's wine regions when it was trialed by grape growers who faced problems of high salinity in water.
Viticulturists at trial sites quickly began recommending it to colleagues at other wineries as the effect on the health of the vines and improvement in soil became clear.
Today the technology is being used across a wide range of farming sectors from citrus, apple, olives and horticulture crops to broadacre farms, and livestock.
Third-generation farmer Michael McCabe installed his first Hydrosmart system to irrigate lucerne on his 600 acre farm in Tintinara in South Australia's Murray and Mallee region at the start of last summer's irrigation season.
He was so impressed with the positive impact on the lucerne crop and his soil quality he's about to install a second system elsewhere on the farm.
Mr McCabe decided to try Hydrosmart to remedy the poor quality of the bore water being used - which was 3500 to 4000 parts per million - to boost the health of his lucerne.
The result has been a significant improvement in the growth and health of the plants, as well as the health of the soil.
"We were finding the quality of the lucerne with that bore wasn't great so we took a bit of a gamble and thought we'd give Hydrosmart a go to see if we could increase yield and use the water better," he said.
"We've been really happy with how it went - the lucerne grew a lot better that's for sure and the plants just looked healthier. We noticed as well that it opens the soil - it's like it's had a dose of gypsum. Our agronomist that we've worked with for years said it's made a significant difference."
For fellow Tintinara farmers, brothers Danny and Allan Chaplin, Hydrosmart has helped solve issues with stock scouring and dehydration, as well as blocked water pipes.
Between them, the Chaplins purchased eight Hydrosmart units in December 2021 to apply on hard, saline, scale-forming water from he water holes supplying water to the cattle on their adjacent farms on the Coorong.
"The biggest positive we've seen is on the health of our lactating mothers and calves," said Danny Chaplin.
"The cattle weren't handling the salinity in the water; we noticed that especially in summertime and when the cows were lactating, so drinking more water, we were seeing a lot of scouring and dehydration and their body weight was dropping even when they were on good pasture.
"We thought Hydrosmart might be a cost-effective way to improve the water. Within a few weeks of putting it on, the cows started gaining weight and doing well after being supplied with the activated water and on the same feed."
Frustrating problems with pipe blockages have also disappeared since the fitting of Hydrosmart, saving time and stress on stock.
"We'd regularly have quite serious blockages from the calcium build-up and it would take quite a few hours to fix. It was a nightmare because livestock would be without water and it was always on the hottest days," Mr Chaplin said.
"But since we installed the Hydrosmart system that hasn't occurred at all - normally we would have had three or four incidents that required attention by now, so its been a big time saver for us."
For information visit hydrosmart.com.au or call 1300 138 223.
This is branded content for Hydrosmart.