Tal-Ya was featured in Erica Gies’ article on technologies which support the effort to grow more food with less water. According to Gies “With nearly 3 billion people already facing water scarcity, farmers look to both tech and tradition for ways to grow more food with less of an increasingly strained resource.”
Check out the full article here – and below is the excerpt on Tal-Ya:
In Israel, where water scarcity has been a way of life for decades, Tal-Ya (“God’s dew” in Hebrew) manufactures trays that capture dew and funnel it to plants, often tree crops. The 28- by 22-inch polypropylene trays trap air underneath themselves as well, insulating plants from extreme temperatures and catching moisture evaporating from the earth to create a perpetually moist soil pocket around the roots. They also block weeds that would otherwise compete with crops for water.
Each tray costs $3 to $5 apiece.
Mickey Chesla, Tal-Ya’s vice president of marketing and sales, said the trays can reduce water use by up to 90% although 50% is more typical. They can also reduce fertilizer use by 30% because the trays direct the nutrient straight to the plant’s roots.
While introducing more plastic into the environment might not seem like a great idea, Tal-Ya states that its trays last for up to 10 years and are 100% recyclable. Since beginning commercial production in 2013, farmers in Israel, the United States, China, Chile, Georgia, Sri Lanka, and Australia have adopted them according to the company’s web site.
This past spring Tal-Ya was a runner-up in the Imagine H20 food and agriculture competition. Its tray system “improves agricultural yields without increasing resource allocation”, said Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O’s chief operating officer. “These solutions that enable farmers to produce more with less are proving crucial to surviving the California drought”, he said.