LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State University is teaming up with two Israeli companies to study water-saving technology. Tal-Ya Agriculture’s Mitra System covers plants’ root systems while directing water and fertilizer to the plant and protecting it from extreme temperatures.

“Water use for agriculture is a key component of our research as we try to mitigate concerns about drought and water scarcity, and insulate New Mexico from these vulnerabilities of the future,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said in a news release.

The other company, N-Drip, uses gravity to provide irrigation that can increase crop yields while decreasing water usage. Officials say early results are promising but that more research is needed.

According to the same news release, under the partnerships, researchers from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and College of Engineering formed an interdisciplinary group to study the companies’ signature water-saving systems: Tal-Ya’s Mitra and N-Drip’s Gravity Micro Irrigation. Manoj Shukla, professor of plant and environmental sciences, is serving as the director of the two studies, which launched in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with support from NMSU’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems and the Nakayama Endowed Professorship.

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