Heliae Development, LLC, a leading microbial-based product development company, and Peru-based agriculture group Agricola Cerro Prieto (ACP) announces the launch of a series of trials designed to increase water retention and improve the sustainability of desert soils at ACP’s farms in Peru. The trial will cover nearly 100 acres, making it the largest water sustainability trial conducted to date.
In a partnership developed by Heliae’s strategic advisor for international business, Afina International, ACP is working with Heliae on the application of its microalgae-based soil amendment product PhycoTerra® to support ACP’s sustainability efforts on its avocado, blueberry, asparagus, and table grape farms throughout Northern Peru.
“Our sandy soils tend to allow water to percolate and drain rapidly, which is costly and wasteful,” said Alfredo Lira Chirif, General Manager of ACP. “Working with Heliae, we are anticipating improvements that will provide greater solutions to optimize our water use, increase the productive land area and result in a sustainable advantage across all our crops.”
Added Eric Lichtenheld, President and CEO of Heliae, “Testing with ACP allows us to demonstrate improved water sustainability at massive scale. Our shared vision in regenerative agriculture allows for the perfect pairing in efforts of assisting with water sustainability. This trial will assist us in getting more intense knowledge on how we can benefit soil sustainability issues.”
David Godfrey-Thomas, Afina’s CEO added, “Solving the food security, climate change mitigation paradox requires exactly the combination of advanced technology, scale and cooperation, evidenced by this partnership. We are delighted to provide strategic support to these two innovative companies.”
PhycoTerra® is created from a Heliae-proprietary strain of microalgae that feeds microbes present in soil, which in turn creates a more complex soil profile that improves water retention in the field, among other demonstrated benefits. Using PhycoTerra® increases water holding capacity at an average of 1,000 gallons per acre (9354 liters per Hectare), as demonstrated in eight of 11 field trials performed in sandier soils, conducted by Heliae over the last three years.