When Western NSW broadacre cropping farmer Gary Herbig moved to his property north of Dubbo, it didn't take long for problems to arise when mixing chemicals with his bore water supply.
Their agronomist advised they use additives in their chemicals which they mixed with the salty bore water to improve the spray's success rate. Sometimes the additives worked, but sometimes they didn't.
It was a failed post-harvest spray of volunteer wheat and barley that prompted Gary, who farms with his wife Noeleen and eldest son Jason, to find a new solution.
"We'd noticed a couple of spray jobs were a bit hit and miss with the chemicals, and our agronomist's answer was to put in more additives.
"But after this big spray job didn't work we got the chemical rep and agronomist out to have a look," Gary says.
Gary, who grows wheat, barley, chick peas and sometimes faba beans, says the chemical rep could tell straight away the chemical was drying on the leaf; the high mineral content of the bore water was restricting the chemical from absorbing into the plant.
"He suggested an Australian product, a DELTAwater solutions conditioner, that he'd installed to treat salty bore water that was burning off his wife's rose garden," Gary says.
"He noticed the difference straight away with the roses, and his water was a lot harder than ours. I figured if a chemical rep was recommending DELTAwater and not more chemicals, it had to be something worth looking into."
DELTAwater solutions is a Newcastle-based water treatment manufacturing company established by Alex and Dianne Panov more than 25 years ago.
The company manufactures water treatment systems for bore water, river water, town water and irrigation water to solve problems such as salinity, scale build-up caused by calcium and magnesium, water hardness, iron and corrosion.
DELTAwater solutions tested Gary's bore water and recommended one of their customised units.
"Dealing with DELTAwater solutions was great, and they made sure they tested the water first before recommending which water conditioner we needed."
Gary has the DELTAwater unit installed on their spray rig where it stays permanently attached so all the water they mix with chemicals is treated first.
Gary says it was a no brainer to invest in the DELTA conditioner, which paid for itself in a short amount of time by what they saved on additives.
"We're getting better results with our chemical application, it works for us and that's good enough for me ... We're really happy and it will stay permanently attached to our spray rig, that's for sure."