The drought issue: Smart irrigation becoming more attractive option for spuds

public/news/thumbnail_howseman-agriculture-camnet-.pngA sustained dry period, changes in water licences and shortage of labour are making ‘smart irrigation’ systems more attractive to potato farmers, according to Andrew Howseman of Howseman Agriculture in the UK. “Even farmers that have never needed irrigation before are considering it after this June,” says Andrew. “We’ve got people who’ve been irrigating for at least 50-60 days non-stop, which is completely unheard of. Usually, people would irrigate for a couple of weeks and then we would have three quarters of an inch of rain and they’d have a week or ten days off before they started irrigating again. But this year people started and haven’t stopped…” This is where the drip system developed by Howseman Agriculture comes into its own. It puts the water where it is need and uses 25-30% less water than a traditional hose and reel system and is much less labour intensive. Its six row drip-tape layer recently gained an ‘Innovation for Water’ award at the Lincolnshire Show. Read more