Funded by the Environment Agency, the WATERR project has recently presented research findings indicating that growers throughout Kent are increasing their trickle irrigation water usage and that substrate grown crops, which use efficient trickle irrigation techniques, topped the average water use by crops in the three project years or 2011, 2012 and 2013. Substrate strawberries used 2,495 cubic metres of water per hectare and substrate raspberries used 1,509 cubic metres of water per hectare.
For South Eastern growers, the pressure to limit their water usage has never been greater as the government enforces a licensing regime for the very first time. By 2020 it is expected that, if growers wish to continue using trickle irrigation, they will have to use abstraction licenses. However, as we have previously mentioned, as is the case in Northern Ireland, abstraction licenses are being widely reviewed and renewal fees have been subject to significant increases.
As is the case with many other agricultural businesses, rainwater harvesting techniques should be employed to fully exploit free-of-charge rainfall. Rainwater harvesting tanks enable roof rainwater run-off to be collected and stored in volumes up to 30,000 litres. Enduramaxx rainwater tanks are very rugged, vertical storage tanks. Made from a single piece of rotationally-moulded, UV-stabilised polyethylene, rainwater is stored securely until the season’s highest demands, such as the growing season. Growers, especially growers of soft fruits, will then be able to take the burden away from abstraction and mains water supplies, keeping their production costs to a minimum without cutting back on trickle watering.
For more information on Enduramaxx rainwater tanks and how best to take advantage of free rainwater, speak to a member of the Enduramaxx team now (click)!