“2013 was a turning point year for Tal-Ya,” says Founder and CEO Avi Tamir, “And 2014 will be even more so.” After years spent in research, perfecting the Tal-Ya trays and gaining patents in 69 different countries, in 2013 the Company went into commercial production mode and began selling the trays internationally.
Tal-Ya’s product is a unique polypropelyne tray that covers the plant’s root system, directing water and fertilizer directly to the root, while protecting the earth around the root from weeds and extreme temperatures. The trays save farmers over 50% in water and 30% fertilizer resources, while preventing weed-growth. But the real news, according to Tamir, is in the dramatic acceleration in crop yield, and this is where farmers are going to feel the most dramatic improvement in their Return on Investment (ROI). “Even we were surprised in field trials to see trees start to yield crops a full season before control groups. After 2-3 years it’s astounding to see a tree that has a Tal-Ya tray standing alongside one that does not. The trees which use the trays are much larger, more developed and bear significantly more crops. Within every season, yield in crops comes sooner than in control groups, shortening farmer’s time to market, creating a major business advantage,” Tamir tells us that the relatively low cost of the trays can usually be reimbursed in water, fertilizer and weed-killer savings within a season.
Ilan Chet, President of Tal-Ya and a leading agricultural researcher, who was also head of Israel’s prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science, joined the company after testing the trays. “I joined Tal-Ya because I believe this product has the potential to truly change the face of agriculture, especially in these times of water shortages, in both developed agriculture nations like the U.S. and in developing countries which face major water supply challenges.”
Christian Siems, who represents and distributes Tal-Ya trays for Wilson Irrigation in California, Oregon and Washington, tells of his experience with the product. “When I first came across Tal-Ya at a trade fair a year ago, it impressed me instantly as something that could make a real change in the bottom line for farmers. The company has put together a great product, thoroughly researched and developed by some of the Israel’s leading agriculturists. Israel is known as a very innovative country in agriculture and irrigation especially, having brought the world drip irrigation, and Tal-Ya is going to be another cornerstone in that story. I’m now meeting with farmers up and down the West Coast and introducing them to Tal.Ya. I’m confident it will be a success.” Siems is marketing the trays under the category “weed mats”, as there is a high demand for them, though the trays provide benefits much beyond standard weed mats.
The size of the Tal-Ya tray currently in production is 72 X 55 cm, and is relevant for a wide variety of crops including all citrus trees, grapes, avocado, olive and more. Additional sizes of trays will be available during 2014. A Tal-Ya tray can be in use for about 6-10 years, and is 100% recyclable.
Article by Mickey Chesla.