Potato growers around the UK can now take advantage of the Sustainable MacFries Fund, grants of £1 million from McDonalds and McCain, to help boost soil quality and optimise water management.
The fund has been designed to help increase the resilience of the country’s potato supply base, giving those in the industry access to new technology that will help them become more sustainable, FarmingUK reports.
These technologies include new infiltration tines, which break up soil after planting so that water is able to infiltrate the ridges in fields, thus enabling potato plants to create better roots structures and increasing the uptake of water.
The partnership between McCain and McDonald’s will also involve funding of new research to help further understanding of the benefits of using cover crops to help support soil quality, both before and after potatoes have been grown and harvested.
And farmers themselves will also be given an opportunity to carry out their own research into soil and water usage on their own sites, so they can then invest in technology that could help promote more sustainable practices.
Advanced crop monitoring can be carried out on mobile devices, in order to allow growers to make sure the correct amount of water is being used on crops, thus optimising water usage.
Agricultura director at McCain GB & Ireland Daniel Metheringham was quoted by the news source as saying: “The investment will help fund practical on-the-ground solutions and accelerate best practice on farms to improve soil health and water quality, allowing farmers to thrive.”
Businesses and consumers alike have a responsibility to reduce their water footprint, an issue that is going to become increasingly important as time goes on and the impact of climate change, a growing population and an increase in extreme weather events takes its toll on the nation’s water supplies.
There are all sorts of ways in which you can make water usage across your site more efficient, which will not only help the planet by reducing your reliance on mains water but will also have the added benefit of reducing your water bills at the same time.
As your first step, you should consider having a water audit carried out so you can see how and where you’re using water, and so you can identify water-saving strategies and implement these as appropriate.
Water is an absolutely essential resource for the running of any kind of business, no matter what industry or sector you’re in – a resource that’s necessary for the generation of power, drinking, manufacturing, growing food… the list goes on and on.
But it’s important to remember that this essential resource is a limited one and water stress and scarcity is a growing problem around the world – so action must be taken… and fast.