Algae Biosciences Inc., an Arizona biotechnology company, has launched the Algae BioMax™ system, which efficiently delivers algae-based nutrients to crops through standard irrigation systems in order to increase the yield of farm produce. Through an extended field study conducted with an international fresh produce firm involving cantaloupes, and another with honeydew melons, production numbers at the Arizona melon crop test farm demonstrated 38 percent more cantaloupe yield than the corresponding controlled crop. The algae-infused crop of honeydew melons yielded 92 per cent more fruit, nearly double the volume of the control crop.

Metrics conducted by the international fresh produce firm also showed striking growth differences. The algae-infused field produced melons that were 2.4 times as large as their control-crop counterparts, according to early figures; other favorable comparisons included plant height (2.6 times as large), plant radius (2.3), and size of flower (2.6), stem (2.5), and trunk (2.9).

Melon plants treated with the Algae BioMax™ system also experienced higher germination rates and faster early growth, as well as early maturity—allowing the farmer, significantly, to harvest the fields nine days early on a 12-week growing season. Algae-infused plants were also strengthened against extreme weather, drought, and pests.

The test field had been abandoned by a previous farmer, and was considered worthless because of the soil’s high salt content, pH of 9.2, and systematic loss of organic matter over 30 years of harvests.

“The Algae BioMax™ system delivers 74 bioavailable nutrients, vitamins, and trace elements, precisely when they’re needed, to maximize crop germination, growth, and development,” said AlgaeBio co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Ayers. AlgaeBio has filed a U.S. patent application for the Algae BioMax™ system.