Sandnes, Norway, 15 November 2022 – Desert Control (DSRT) signs contract with Limoneira Company (Nasdaq: LMNR) for commercial pre-projects on Limoneira ranches in Arizona and California. The objective is to enable climate-smart and resilient agribusiness with optimal usage of water, fertilizers, and natural resources while optimizing yields and quality of citrus production in desert environments.
The initial scope of the project is to apply Liquid Natural Clay (LNC) for 2,000 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Cadiz, San Bernadino, California, and for 2,000 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Yuma, Arizona, combined covering approximately 40 acres of land. The contract for LNC deployment for the two ranches is further backed by a letter of intent (LOI) to expand LNC deployment to applicable ranches starting with the Cadiz operations in the Mohave desert in California.
The collaboration between Desert Control and Limoneira started in July 2022 with the deployment of LNC for a small pilot of 50 citrus trees at the Limoneira ranch in Yuma, Arizona. Positive indications for significant improvement of water use efficiency during the first months of the pilot is the driver behind the new contract.
“Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with innovation. Limoneira discovers and practices environmental management methods that protect the health of the land and surrounding communities. The only way forward in our changing climate is to work with our natural systems to produce the finest, freshest citrus fruits and avocados,” says Edgar Gutierrez, Vice President of Farming Operations at Limoneira Company.
Deployment for 2,000 trees at the Cadiz ranch is anticipated to complete during December 2022 and at the Yuma ranch during January 2023, allowing for key indicators to be measured over the growing season and evaluated after harvest in September – October 2023. Based on the successful outcome, it is anticipated that a large-scale roll-out for Limoneira ranches could start in Q4 2023 for the Cadiz ranch, with 800 acres of land and approximately 70,000 citrus trees under cultivation. The broader opportunity includes the Yuma ranch of 1,300 acres with approx. 120,000 trees and other applicable agribusiness operations of Limoneira.
Limoneira Company, headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira is a dedicated sustainability company with 15,400 acres of agricultural land and water rights in California, Arizona, Chile, and Argentina. Sustainable land stewardship is at the heart of Limoneira’s core practices. The objective of the project with Desert Control is to strengthen healthy soil systems, drive leadership on water stewardship, benefit biodiversity, and lower energy intensity.
“We lead the agribusiness industry by example because we dare to innovate and expand our practices. The land teaches us how to be better stewards, how to adapt as conditions change in the economy, our industry, and the environment. Limoneira is committed to being a catalyst for positive change and we continue to view these challenges as an opportunity to create a better future,” says Harold S. Edwards, President & CEO of Limoneira Company.
The LNC project with Limoneira aims to demonstrate the capabilities of LNC to meet Limoneira’s sustainability objective of improving water use efficiency in water-scarce areas by 37%, reducing energy intensity, and improving the efficiency of fertilizers and other inputs while increasing yields and crop quality.
“This is a significant milestone for Desert Control,” says President and Group CEO, Ole Kristian Sivertsen. “The excellent collaboration between Limoneira and Desert Control creates a partnership of passionate people dedicated to solving the challenges of tomorrow – today. The contract with Limoneira further strengthens the foundation for an accelerated scale-up of our U.S. operations. We are proud to partner with Limoneira to create a leading example for climate-smart agribusiness that combines sustainability stewardship and profitability for the prosperity of business, nature, and our environment.”