Norwegian AgTech company Desert Control has developed a liquid natural clay (LNC) that restores and enhances soil ecosystems to reduce usage and improve efficiency of water, fertilizers, and natural resources for agriculture, forests, and green landscapes. Desert Control started operations in the United States in March 2022, initiating a validation study for LNC on American soil with the University of Arizona, and is now beginning to gain market adoption in the U.S., starting with Limoneira.
15 November 2022 – Desert Control (DSRT) signs contract with Limoneira Company (Nasdaq: LMNR) for LNC projects on Limoneira ranches in Arizona and California. The objective is to enable climate-smart and resilient agribusiness with optimal usage of water, fertilizers, and natural resources while optimizing yields and quality of citrus production in desert environments.
The project’s initial scope is to apply Liquid Natural Clay (LNC) for 2,000 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Cadiz, San Bernadino, California, and for 2,000 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Yuma, Arizona, combined covering approximately 40 acres of land. The contract for LNC deployment for the two ranches is further backed by a letter of intent (LOI) to expand LNC deployment to applicable ranches starting with the Cadiz operations in the Mohave desert in California.
The collaboration between Desert Control and Limoneira started in July 2022 with the deployment of LNC for a small pilot of 50 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Yuma, Arizona, where the innovation has been tested for soil ecosystem enhancement with the University of Arizona. Positive indications for significant improvement of water use efficiency during the first months of the pilot is the driver behind the new contract.
“Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with innovation. Limoneira discovers and practices environmental management methods that protect the health of the land and surrounding communities. The only way forward in our changing climate is to work with our natural systems to produce the finest, freshest citrus, fruits and avocados, says Edgar Gutierrez, Vice President of Farming Operations at Limoneira Company.”
Deployment for 2,000 trees at the Cadiz ranch is anticipated to complete during December 2022 and at the Yuma ranch during January 2023, allowing for key indicators to be measured over the growing season and evaluated after harvest in September – October 2023. Based on the successful outcome, it is anticipated that a large-scale roll-out for Limoneira ranches could start in Q4 2023 for the Cadiz ranch, with 800 acres of land and approximately 70,000 citrus trees under cultivation. The broader opportunity includes the Yuma ranch of 1,300 acres with approx. 120,000 trees and other applicable agribusiness operations of Limoneira.
Limoneira Company, headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira is a dedicated sustainability company with 15,400 acres of agricultural land and water rights in California, Arizona, Chile and Argentina. Sustainable land stewardship is at the heart of Limoneira’s core practices. The objective of the project with Desert Control is to strengthen healthy soil systems, drive leadership on water stewardship, benefit biodiversity, and lower energy intensity.
“We lead the agribusiness industry by example because we dare to innovate and expand our practices. The land teaches us how to be better stewards, how to adapt as conditions change in the economy, our industry, and the environment. Limoneira is committed to being a catalyst for positive change and we continue to view these challenges as an opportunity to create a better future, says Harold S. Edwards, President & CEO of Limoneira Company.”
The LNC project with Limoneira aims to demonstrate the capabilities of LNC to meet Limoneira’s sustainability objective of improving water use efficiency in water-scarce areas by 37%, reducing energy intensity, and improving the efficiency of fertilizers and other inputs while increasing yields and crop quality. The LNC innovation has proven its ability to enhance soil ecosystems to achieve up to 50% savings of water, fertilizers, energy, and natural resources while improving biodiversity, yields, and crop quality.
“This is a significant milestone for Desert Control, says President and Group CEO, Ole Kristian Sivertsen. The excellent collaboration between Limoneira and Desert Control creates a partnership of passionate people dedicated to solving the challenges of tomorrow – today. The contract with Limoneira further strengthens the foundation for an accelerated scale-up of our U.S. operations. We are proud to partner with Limoneira to create a leading example for climate-smart agribusiness that combines sustainability stewardship and profitability for the prosperity of business, nature, and our environment.”
Desert Control’s progress in the U.S. is moving much faster than first anticipated. In the United Arab Emirates, it took nearly four years of independent academic validation and pilots before commercial deliveries and market adoption of LNC started in the UAE in July this year. The company’s U.S. operation began in March 2022 with the launch of an academic validation study for LNC on American with the University of Arizona – and in less than a year, the first strategic contract is signed with an amazing flagship customer.
The rapid progress in the U.S. receives significant tailwind thanks to academic validation initiatives and four years of hard work in the Middle East backed by 12 prior years of R&D. The U.S. market is financially driven, and investments that yield increased profitability can happen fast. Extreme droughts and increasing regulatory restrictions on water consumption in states such as Arizona and California further create a sense of urgency to implement solutions.
For Limoneira, the macro drivers are essential, and ensuring sustained profitability for the agriculture business is vital, says Desert Control CEO, Ole Kristian Sivertsen. At the same time, Limoneira is a company taking real action to foster sustainability with a genuine and passionate focus on soil health, water conservation, and reducing energy and fertilizer intensity while optimizing yields and fruit quality combined with proactive stewardship for land, nature, and our environment.
About Desert Control:
Desert Control specializes in climate-smart AgTech solutions to combat desertification, soil degradation, and water scarcity. Its patented Liquid Natural Clay (LNC) restores and enhances soil ecosystems to; reduce the usage of and improve the efficiency of; water, fertilizers, and natural resources for agriculture, forests, and green landscapes. LNC enables sandy and arid soil to retain water and nutrients, thus increasing crop yields, plant health, and ecosystem resilience while preserving water and natural resources by up to 50%.
Agriculture and food production consumes more than 70% of all available freshwater. Desertification and soil degradation further increases the pressure on water and natural resources in a negative spiral. Feeding the global population requires growing more food in the next 40 years than was produced over the last 500 years; this can only be achieved by improving resource efficiency and regenerating nature.
According to the United Nations, twelve million hectares of fertile land perish to desertification annually, representing annual $490 billion loss to the global economy. Desert Control’s vision is making earth green again.
For more about Desert Control, visit https://www.desertcontrol.com
About Limoneira Company (Nasdaq: LMNR)
Limoneira Company, a 129-year-old international agribusiness headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira (l? moñ âra) is a dedicated sustainability company with 15,400 acres of rich agricultural lands, real estate properties, and water rights in California, Arizona, Chile and Argentina. The Company is a leading producer of lemons, avocados, oranges, specialty citrus and other crops that are enjoyed throughout the world.
For more about Limoneira Company, visit www.limoneira.com