A PEPPER RESEARCH STUDY was conducted at Colorado State University (CSU) in 2017 with P.I. Mark Uchanski, Ph.D. and Ph.D. student Tyler Mason. The effects of soil-applied AZOMITE® treatments were evaluated on two roasting pepper cultivated varieties (cultivars) ‘Stocky Red Roaster (SRR)’ and ‘Early Perfect Italian (EPI)’ under certified organic management at the Agricultural Research Development and Education Center, South in Fort Collins, CO.
In a randomized complete block design with four replications, an AZOMITE granular application was banded in the row under black plastic mulch at the rates of 0, 100 and 200 lbs/acre. Black plastic mulch and drip tape were used, which are standard grower practices in the intermountain west. Pepper plants were started from seed in the greenhouse in mid-April, then transplanted 18” apart in a single row configuration. Fish emulsion (5-1-1) was applied monthly to all treatments (in July, August and September) to meet crop macronutrient needs. Data was collected on plant height, days to first open flower, marketable yield and soluble solids content. In addition, leaf tissue and soil samples were collected for nutrient content (contained in the full report). A return on investment (ROI) based on the analyzed yield data was determined by a CSU Extension Regional Specialist.
Benefits of AZOMITE
- The weight of red fruit/plant increased by 68% (100 lb/acre rate) for one cultivar, Early Perfect Italian
- ‘Early Perfect Italian’ revenues increased by $17,238/acre (100 lb/acre rate)*
- ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ revenues increased by $9,188/acre (200 lb/acre rate)*
- ‘Early Perfect Italian’ at 100 lb/ acre rate yielded significantly more tons/acre in Total Marketable Red Fruit
- ‘Stocky Red Roaster’ produced signifcantly more total fruit/plant at 200 lb/acre rate