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Progressive Magazines

What do you do when the ground won’t hold water?

Good things happen when soils “open up”

by Leon Leavitt

Delta, Utah ~ Gary Shurtz is a third generation hay farmer in this south central Utah desert. All of his 540 acres is planted into hay and flood irrigated. For many years he had been faced with the gnawing problem of hard tough ground that wouldn’t let the water through. It’s called ‘frustration’ big-time.

Gary says, “The ground was hard – tough as nails and it just wouldn’t let the water down. We had water run-off on some "elds and ponding in others. Something had to be done. Our production was anywhere from 4 to 4.5 ton/acre and it seemed like we could do better.”


He heard that Bactifeed could help solve his dilemma and began using them about seven years ago. They are applied all through the growing season via a drip system into the irrigation ditches at the diluted rate of 25 gallons/acre.

Dramatic changes were evident in those early years and a continued application of Bactifeed Microbes has maintained the healthy soils since then. Gary responded enthusiastically when I asked him about the results of microbial activity in his soils. He cited several specific benefits:

“First of all, water retention is much better; it absorbs into the ground quickly. There is no water run-off going into the drain ditches. There are no more ponds at the ends of the "fields like there used to be. It makes me a better farmer because I’m not wasting water.”

He adds, “The ground is opening up and makes the fertilizer more accessible. I apply about the same amount of fertilizer as I always have but the microbial activity causes the nutrients to be released. The nutrients get to the roots better and the hay comes back a lot sooner.”


Gary’s hay is sold to local dairies who prefer higher protein and RFV values in their hay. The hay tests are better and have a greener appearance. He harvests about every 29 days and he gets three good cuttings. The regrowth bounces back better and the turnaround time is shorter.


Last and certainly not least, has been the 25% increase in yield, as the farm is now producing 6 ton/acre.

Gary sums it up, “Oh yeah, it (Bactifeed) pays for itself. To me it doesn’t cost that much for what you get out of it. When we started at 4 tons/acre and now are producing 6 tons/ acre, that’s really helped a lot. I’m happy with the product.”


Gary’s story is typical of many farmers who have experienced favorable results from Bactifeed microbial application. If your fields are having challenges, we invite you to call us. We can help.








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