The UK Irrigation Association has highlighted that there are still places on the next joint RPA and EA workshop on capital grants for irrigation reservoirs, which will be held in Hereford on October 18.
The Water Resource Management capital grants are worth up to 40 per cent of the cost towards construction of an irrigation reservoir and are available for arable and horticultural businesses. The grants are designed to improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation, and to secure water supplies for crop irrigation by constructing on-farm reservoirs and related systems, and the deadline for new grant applications is 3 April 2018.
The workshop will explain the grants and how to apply, covering the level of grant available, project eligibility and issues around abstraction licence application. To book, or for more information, please email CPEnquiries@rpa.gsi.gov.uk. The timing and venue details will be provided upon booking. More details can be found in the handbook available here.
Photo Credit: gov.uk
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The NFU, UK Irrigation Association and others have warned that farming must receive its fair share of water if the country experiences a drought this summer.
According to reports, after one of the driest winters in 20 years, more than four-fifths of the country’s rivers have fallen to abnormally low levels and there are growing concerns about the potential impact of dry weather on farmers and growers.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said, “The situation is patchy with farmers, particularly in the South and East, reporting as low as 10% of their expected March and April rainfall. While decent rains in May and June will put many crops back on track, some crops like spring barley have clearly already lost their full potential. Some farmers and growers are looking at the ‘changeable’ forecast for the end of this week hoping it brings much needed rain.
“We are growing increasingly concerned about the fruit and vegetable sector, but reservoirs are full and abstracted water sources are still available, albeit at lower than normal levels. Water transfer operations for irrigation in the Stour Marsh and Romney catchment area in Kent started six weeks earlier than usual, so we are expecting early demand for water from soft fruit growers.”
Melvyn Kay, Executive Secretary of the UKIA commented that some of the press coverage appeared alarmist, but added, “UKIA will be meeting with the Environment Agency, other members of the Water for Food Group next week to be briefed on the situation.”
The post Dry weather causing concerns appeared first on Hort News on Thurs 11 May.
Retailer Asda has attempted to map the risks of climate change and, according to chief executive Andy Clarke it is one of the biggest issues facing the industry.
The BBC reports that the supermarket giant estimates that as much as 95 per cent of its fresh produce supplies could be affected by rising global temperatures, principally by reduced water availability. Both UK and imported produce could be affected with a resulting increase in prices.
“Climate change is a big industry and a big global issue, and we’ve been working hard to understand them so we can try to get ahead,” Mr Clarke told the BBC. “”We’ve seen, over the course of the last decade, rising temperatures across the world.” The company is working with growers in Spain and the UK to mitigate some of the effects of climate change.
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The Voluntary Initiative (VI) is calling on farmers and growers to use the Environment Agency’s What’s in Your Backyard website (www.wiyby.co.uk) to help assess the risk of water pollution from agrochemicals and manage key products appropriately.
‘Farmers, agronomists and operators need to know where their land drains to, if they want to continue to use pesticides to control weeds and slugs,’ said the VI in a statement. Although primarily targeted at winter cereals and oilseed rape, the use of metaldehyde for slug control has implications for vegetable growers.
“Not every field drains to a drinking water source but pesticide use in those that do really matters,” explained the VI’s Patrick Goldsworthy. “The first step for farmers and growers is to find out whether any of the land they manage is in a Drinking Water Safeguard Zone and if there are any pesticide issues in that Safeguard Zone. [If] there are concerns about pesticide issues then they should discuss with their agronomist what they can do to help reduce the risk of any pesticides they use reaching water, be that surface or ground water.”
For more information visit www.voluntaryinitiative.org.uk.
The post WIYBY will advise on water pollution risk appeared first on Hort News on 24 November 2015.