Issue 2 2017
 
Increasing tomato crop profit with Polysulphate - a farmer's experience from Israel
Farmer Rahamim Gabay applying standard Polysulphate in his tomato greenhouse before planting.
Seeing is believing - sharing is caring
Sometimes it is assumed that only the young amongst farmers have the greatest ambitions to fine-tune farming practice still further. But we have an example to share with you of a farmer with over 60 years of growing experience who is still curious to find better ways to grow his crop - and has discovered how Polysulphate improves his produce and his profitability.

Ready for a change
Rachamim Gabay has been farming since the 1950’s, producing Ikram tomatoes from his 25 hectares of greenhouses in Israel. The farm uses desalinated water to irrigate the crop but it is lacking in calcium and magnesium. Previously these nutrients were supplied through multiple fertilizer applications each growing season. But Mr Gabay was not happy with the investment this required. “The costs of materials and repeated applications are high”, he explains. When the opportunity was offered to put alternative fertilizer options to the test Mr Rachamim agreed to take part.

Fertilizers on trial
The field test conducted with the framework of CFPN, Center for Fertilization and Plant Nutrition tested Polysulphate fertilizer (the new polyhalite-based fertilizer from ICL Fertilizers) on the tomato crop. A single application of Polysulphate (standard grade) was made before planting. A team from ICL, Rachamim Gabay and his local Agriculture Extension Officer, Dr Mollie Sacks watched and measured the crop’s progress.

Reaping rewards
According to Dr Sacks, with Polysulphate the tomato plants are “greener, very healthy compared to those grown with other fertilizers” and grow very well as they are “provided with enough calcium and magnesium for the whole growing season”. Whereas the tomato plants without Polysulphate application showed magnesium deficiency symptoms – including yellowing of the leaves (interveinal chlorosis) in the older leaves.
Tomato plants without Polysulphate application showed magnesium deficiency symptoms: yellowing of the leaves (interveinal chlorosis) in the older leaves. These symptoms dissappear as Polysulphate application rate increases.
Every development is a blessing
“Every development is a blessing” says farmer Rachamim Gabay. “Polysulphate saves on work time and materials – you only apply it once to the crop” he adds, “and time equals money, so applying Polysulphate increases my profit.”

The season’s harvest is still underway, so the team is still monitoring the overall effect of Polysulphate fertilizer on the yield and quality of the tomato crop. We are eager to see the results, and will share them when they are in.

This farmer testimonial in film is a wonderful addition to what we have to share about Polysulphate and its potential to help farm businesses, wherever they may be and whatever the crop they grow. We hope that you will share the film with the farmers, researchers and advisors in your network so that even more farmers can be inspired by the benefits of using Polysulphate.

The last word has to be from Rachamim Gabay. Clutching a selection of his finest fruits in his hands he says, with considerable and justifiable pride, “There’s nothing as delicious as the tomatoes I grow.”

Enjoy and share
You can enjoy the quality of the delicious tomatoes with Rachamim Gabay in the film Increasing tomato crop profit with Polysulphate - a farmer's experience from Israel on our Polysulphate YouTube Channel.
Ikram tomatoes being harvested at Rachamim Gabay's greenhouse in Bet Ezra
 
Mined in the UK, ICL is the first – and only – producer in the world to mine polyhalite, marketed as Polysulphate™