Water in sufficient quantity and quality is the basic prerequisite for agriculture, livestock breeding and, of course, fish farming/aquaculture. Unfortunately, rain and rainwater are very unevenly distributed in this world. Normally we have enough rain in Central Europe. But the hot and dry summers of recent years have shown how easy it can affect our farmers.
Agriculture and fish farming are not currently among the main activities of Merus. This is mainly due to the fact that we have little insight into the processes on the arable or breeding farm. Our competence in food is currently more on the consumer side.
For this reason, we have looked for partners over the years who are familiar with the topics of animal breeding, aquaculture and agriculture. In this way, we were able to achieve positive results in our customer's operations. By comprehensively monitoring the results, we have also become familiar with new and sometimes surprising effects of the Merus Ring in agriculture.
We need and use the competence of our partners to talk to farmers or livestock breeders.
We'll introduce you to how we might be able to help as Merus. We refer to applications in which we have had good experience in the past and where we install our Merus Rings successfully.
What Merus can contribute
Where not enough rain falls, the fields are irrigated. This is only possible if rivers and lakes carry sufficient water and there is sufficient clean groundwater. It does not matter whether organic or conventional farming is used.
The world's first human settlements have emerged along rivers. Sufficient water was available to supply people, animals and fields. This has allowed a secure supply of food to be achieved and the cultures to develop. This is still the case today, in some regions three harvests per year are achieved.
The Nile in Egypt or the Ganges in India are intensively used for agriculture. At the Nile, the groundwater is already tapped up to 150 km far inland. Unfortunately, this resource is also finite. From the plane you can see very well: Where the irrigation ends, the desert begins.
The further away you are from the Nile, the deeper you have to drill. Sophisticated methods can be used to drill ever deeper wells. But the well water also becomes richer and richer in minerals, i.e. salts. As a result, soils are salinated and the fields become snow-white. On salinated soils, cultivated plants grow much worse or no longer at all.
To prevent this, there is a WHO recommendation on irrigation. If possible, only water with less than 800 TDS should be used.
But what does a farmer do whose water has very high TDS values? Here it often hits the poorest who have no alternative or simply don't know better.
With the Merus Ring, problems around water and lime in agricultural facilities can be reduced. In the past, we have achieved the following results, among others:
- Remediation of salinated soils.
- Small seedlings grow faster if the lime remains dissolved.
- Fertilizer works more efficiently because of better solubility.
- Irrigation is free of lime and rust.
Animals also benefit from water treated with Merus. This starts with our private customers, who report an interesting side effect after the Merus installation. Apparently, the pets drink more tap water than before. This is astonishing in the sense that we humans usually cannot notice any difference in taste.
We have also tried to test this experience with livestock, i.e. cattle, pigs or poultry. This subject is not as simple as it sounds. In livestock farming, animals do not necessarily have the choice of what to drink. In an organic farm, a pig may have the chance to drink rainwater. This is not possible in an industrialized factory with mass livestock farming. The animals have to use what is made available to them.
According to experience reports from farmers with whom we cooperate, we can make the following observations:
- Farm animals that get good water require less concentrated feed.
- Fewer additives are needed in drinking water because they dissolve better.
Our seas are overfished worldwide. The yields from conventional fisheries are no longer sufficient to meet the ever-increasing demand for fish. Demand has increased because more and more people realize that fish is light and healthy food. Sushi is hip and trendy. The yield from fishing in domestic waters, whether rivers or lakes, is quite low and is usually consumed locally.
Today, fish are bred in industrial structures in aquacultures. Salmon play a central role here. These are among the most popular fish in the world. Today, millions of farmed salmon populate the aquacultures in the fjords of the North Sea. These waters are actually clear and clean, hardly any industrial pollution. But as with all monocultures, fish farms are not spared from pests. It's hard to believe, but with salmon, it's lice that damage the fish. In such an environment, with the high density of populations, it is not surprising that diseases or parasites spread very quickly.
Using chemical club is hardly possible. Aquaculture is an open system. This would spread the chemicals all over the fjord. This also contradicts the ecological production of organic salmon. Therefore, the trend goes towards fish farming in huge halls. There the farmers breed the fish in separate tanks.
Here we have achieved astonishing results:
- Salmon have fewer lice.
- More dissolved oxygen in aquaculture water.