Water harvesting and recycling in soft fruit


Water harvesting and recycling in soft fruit

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The UK soft fruit industry is increasingly producing fruit in container grown systems, including bags, buckets and troughs. These are typically irrigated through spaghetti drip type irrigation systems. Growers are under increasing pressure to reduce the quantities of water they use due to rising costs of mains water, reduced
availability of water in certain parts of the country and changes to legislation governing abstraction from rivers. Growers are also trying to reduce the volume of ‘run-off’ water from container grown crops, both to reduce the risk of soil erosion and groundwater pollution.
For all of these reasons, there is a growing interest in the installation of water recycling systems on soft fruit farms. Some soft fruit growers have already installed systems, while considerable experience of water recycling has already been gained in the ornamental plant industry.
This guide has been produced to inform soft fruit growers of the different systems for capturing water, how to assess its quality and how to deal with contamination before it is reused. To help growers, a number of case studies are provided to offer examples of how some soft fruit and hardy nursery stock producers have already implemented water recycling systems in their businesses. Examples are also included from the Netherlands, where considerable expertise has already been developed.
Hard copies are free to AHDB Horticulture levy payers and dependent on your Associate package may be free or charged at a reduced rate. If you require a hard copy of this publication then please contact LPC.CRM@ahdb.org.uk