The Big Blue — Seawater Concentrate for Abundant Agriculture
This is a review of chapter 27 from our book Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase. Available from CRC Press and Amazon.
“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”Isak Dinesen
Close your eyes and think about the oceans: the ethereal blue light shimmering through seawater, the breaking waves kissing the shore, the colorful fishes swimming around reefs.
Those deep blue areas not only provide breathtaking beauty; they also provide the resources that all life on earth depends on. About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by the water of the world’s oceans. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 50% of the species on earth live in the sea, and the oceans are the largest habitat on our planet, containing 99% of the living space.1
In addition to the great array of life in the oceans, seawater also contains minerals and trace elements in measurable amounts. For example, fulvic acid, which is contained in all ocean water, is estimated to be composed of over 50,000 different organic compounds. As we can imagine, the extensive mineral content and the large number of organic compounds make seawater a “stew” of high nutrients that have untold potential for human use. We can access that potential from seawater by concentrating it or using various methods to extract minerals.
Thus, Chapter 27 of Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increases focuses on seawater, the history of seawater concentrate, current research, and benefits it can bring. Author Arthur Zeigler gave this chapter the title “Seawater Concentrate for Abundant Agriculture,” which is also the title of his book on the subject.
Interestingly, an earlier interview in 2013 revealed that his groundbreaking research first showed its effects on a simple house test. When Arthur’s son fed his ill tropical fish with the prequel supplement of SEA-CROP®, the fish’s health recovered within days. Later tests on orchids, trees, and even dairy cows further made the Zeiglers believe the influence they witnessed.2
There are so many reasons to use seawater concentrate for agriculture. First, the effects of seawater mineral concentrates for fixing the soil and for foliar treatments are not only chemical but also biological. In other words, the concentrates change the dynamic of life co-existing in the area treated. They can also improve nutrient density in the soils, which is essential to improve plant health, maintain their vigor, and increase their yield. Beyond plants, the nutrients contained in food govern the health of animals and humans who ultimately rely on those plants as nutrients resources.
Studies examining the effects of seawater and its extracts or concentrates on terrestrial life can be traced back to late 1800s, when French biologist Dr. Rene Quinton observed that seawater had remarkable similarities to blood plasma. From that observation, Dr. Quinton developed an injectable form of purified seawater to replace blood plasma during World War I and saved thousands of lives. Beginning in the late 1930s, another pioneer of seawater research, Dr. Maynard Murray, initiated studies on seawater applied to soils and crops. The profound effects Murray observed provided a strong foundation for further studies on this topic, including Arthur Zeigler’s research on seawater concentration, which led to the creation of the product SEA-CROP®.
Salt (sodium chloride) is the biggest barrier to overcome before seawater can be used on soils. Zeigler uses a proprietary process to remove 95% of the sodium chloride, while concentrating the other minerals 20- to 30-fold.
Third-party testing has confirmed the benefits of this product. In 2007, Louisiana State University conducted a field trial, treating one test site with 2 gallons per acre and another with 4 gallons per acre. This led to increased corn harvests of almost 60% and 95% respectively. In another field test using Purple Basil as material, 44% dry matter increase was observed after 30 days’ application of the product. During the summer of 2010 to 2011, trials were also run at three government research stations in Malawi, Africa. Outstanding increases in yield were observed at the end of the trial, and the fuller development and greater number of seed/fruit set can be seen in the photo.
The benefits that this combination of seawater minerals brings to agriculture have been widely reported in media and were even mentioned in an independent documentary “All the gold you can eat,” released in October 2013, in which Arthur Zeigler’s work on the seawater-induced fertility for crops provided authoritative reference.
As we mentioned above, Chapter 27 is an excerpt of the book Seawater Concentrate for Abundant Agriculture. The complete book includes more detail, such as a background information about seawater, detailed methods of how to concentrate seawater, and basic knowledge about how plants grow, which can help us better understand how seawater concentrate works. The book includes test results that have shown the benefits of SEA-CROP®: increased cellular respiration, increased photosynthesis, increased soil microflora, improved soil tilth and aeration, shortened growing cycle, increased protein, higher brix reading, and more. Nutrient content has been found to be increased not only in seawater concentrate-supplemented crops, but also in animals, such as chicks and cattle, that ate those crops (chapter 3 and 4). In addition, an animal test on mice also observed greatly enhancement of stamina in the test group (Appendix A).
As the first new book in nearly four decades written by a primary researcher in the field of seawater concentrate study, it documents groundbreaking research and points to the possibility of an alternative method to increase yields while lessening dependency on harsh chemical inputs. The book was written in everyday language, which presents a more effective case of science communication as well.
With more and more farmers and researchers realizing the effects of seawater concentrate, we hope more will begin making effective use of seawater minerals to remineralize the soil through replenishing methods. As John M. Richardson said, “when it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Remineralization is the key to building a bridge toward a vital and abundant agricultural future.
Shu Li recently received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Pennsylvania State University. She currently lives in San Francisco where she is launching a startup based on her research. Shu is also passionate about science communication and science writing. Currently, she is serving as editorial board member for several journals and involved in many outreach activities as a member of GWIS (Graduate Women in Science). In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and working on her first novel.
References Zeigler, A. Seawater Concentrate for Abundant Agriculture, 2012. Published by Ambrosia Technology LLC.  Fineman, Julie Ann, and Lee Glenn. “Farm to Fork Across America: Sea-Crop Soup, From Sea To Shining Sea.” The Huffington Post. March 2, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-brothers/farm-to-fork-across-ameri_3_b_2324385.html.
–Where to know more about SEA-CROP® and purchase the product: http://sea-crop.com/
–One Radio Network’s interview of Arthur Zeigler: http://oneradionetwork.com/agriculture/october-22nd-arthur-zeigler/