CAC professors partnered with tech company

Local farmer and entrepreneur, James Bechtel II and Karen Geldmacher, professor of agriculture at Central Arizona College recently partnered to provide soil analysis recommendations for TA Ecology Science Group Limited.

This past month, five representatives from China including an attorney, agricultural investor, project manager, and two soil professors were in Arizona to visit local farming operations and review soil test results with Professor Geldmacher.

Ms. Geldmacher explained the top three soils found in Pinal County and how these soils are similar to soils found in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Kasgar Region, Nei Monggoi Autonomous Region, Shandong Province, and Jiangsu Province. These main areas in China are the focus for product trials this next year.

One soil sample revealed a low pH level and high sodium content. For this area, Ms. Geldmacher recommended planting crops that would absorb the sodium (salt grass), grazing the ground for a few years while the salt is extracted from the soil, and then planting more valuable crops.  Both Ms. Geldmacher and Mr. Bechtel explained the type of crops and potential management practices that could assist China in renewing land use for primarily growing cotton as well as corn, rice, dates and nuts. They explained by creating diversity in crops there would be additional opportunities for greater income throughout the year.

As a consultant to TA Ecology Science, Bechtel has reviewed the biotic resources and location conditions for each region in China being studied. Through collaboration with Bio Flora, the fertilizer division of Global Organics Group in Goodyear, he will be assisting them with the development of plans to improve millions of acres of land for agricultural use.

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