NOVEL MATERIALS FOR PRECISION AGRICULTURE

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Most recently, we have developed superhydrophobic sand mulches in our laboratory towards reducing the loss of water from arable soils. When laid as a ~5 mm thick layer on topsoils in arid environments, superhydrophobic sand mulches maintain higher soil-water-content in comparison to unmulched soils. As a result, the yields of crops increase signicantly. Currently, we are conducting field-trials with dierent crops and irrigation regimes (including salty water), developing farm machinary, and testing the degradabilty of this material. This approach might strengthen the global food-water-energy nexus.

​Mark Tester (KAUST), Matt McCabe​ (KAUST)