British potato farmers trialing drip irrigation to ward off drought threat to summer crop

The Telegraph in the UK reports that potato farmers are being forced to trial drip irrigation because water levels are so low that a severe shortage of the potato crop has been predicted.

A lack of rainfall last year and so far this year means that irrigation prospects across the country are low, meaning that new measures are having to be put in place in order to ensure at least some potatoes grow. The situation for potatoes could be even graver than it was last year.

A spokesperson from ADHB potatoes said that trials of drip irrigation are taking place to safeguard the soil against drought.

He explained: “The growers are making contingency plans. “We have a network of strategic farms across the country and we are running irrigation demonstrations.

“One of the less used and more precise is called drip irrigation where you run thin pipes along your potato ridges and the water gradually drips into the ridges. This is rather than spraying. “Less water is used and it’s more precise but it is more expensive.”

Read the full report by Helena Horton in The Telegraph here