Water conservation agent saves irrigation usage

Maximising the use of irrigation water and minimising losses from evaporation, using a water conservation agent, will deliver cost and UK-wide cropping benefits as the summer heatwave continues.

Richard Collins, ICL technical sales manager, explains that giving water the chance to penetrate more rapidly into the soil, not only reduces wastage via evaporation, but also encourages healthy root development.

“Both root crops and potatoes have benefited from conserving up to 25% of irrigation water, where water conservation agent H2Flo has been applied, saving significant water and pumping costs,” he says.

He highlights that supporting trials from Aberystwyth University show that the use of the product can significantly reduce soil surface evaporation, due to a 30% reduction in surface pooling.

Lancashire based farmer, Robin Cropper, is always looking for ways to maximise land use, so consulted our agronomist, John Cairns, from ProCam, to trial the product to improve potato yields.

“We don’t have the infrastructure to irrigate our crops, and while we often receive a high level of rainfall, dryer spells can become problematic for us,” he explains.

“So, to make the most of the rainwater we do receive in the summer months, we applied H2Flo to an early field of Accord, just before emergence, in both small trial plots and commercial scale crops.

“The results were impressive. The treated plots showed an average yield increase of 18% with a greater proportion of large tubers. The field areas were also compared at harvest, and the treated crop showed an increase of 6.7t/ha,” says Robin.

Richard adds that the success of H2Flo is down to the surfactants in the product that break down the surface tension in the water, and allow improved moisture distribution and retention in the soil.

 

Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box once a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Share.

About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.