23 May 2017

Ways to overcome the uk summer drought

Fears have been raised in the UK that we could be in for a drought this summer. April is known for its showers, however, this year was one of the driest on record and winter was the driest in 20 years according to the Met Office.

Drought can cause a multitude of issues for farmers, from destroyed crops to inflated water bills, so we decided to have a think about what can be done to keep your farm running smoothly during drier seasons.

Irrigation systems

It’s good, where possible, to prepare in advance for a drought, and taking a look at all types of irrigation systems is a good place to start. If you already have a process in place but you are unsure that it will help throughout the drought, try to find the method that will conserve the most water, such as drip irrigation. Drip irrigation involves the use of small diameter poly tubing with emitters and is used to apply water to a small area directly to the root zone of a crop; thus preserving water.

Additionally, you could build a water storage system that can collect any rainwater to be used throughout a drought, which will also help to reduce inflated water bills.

Slurry Injecting

Fields, where the slurry is directly injected, have a better grass yield and it can help to reduce the problem of grass turning brown in mid-summer. Moreover, it means that farmers will reduce the amount of artificial fertiliser needed for their crops. AWSM Farming offer a selection of services, including slurry injecting services, please click here for more information.

Crop Spraying

With hotter and drier weather comes an abundance of bugs and we know how this can negatively impact a farm. Crop spraying will help to abolish as many of the critters as possible to keep your produce safe and uneaten. Without the development of crop spraying, many yields would suffer losses, not to mention the fact insecticides can help to combat human and animal diseases.

It’s important to bear in mind that when it comes to crop spraying there are numerous options. Such as the level or spraying you require and how you want your crops to be sprayed, whether it be from drones, aircraft or a Bateman’s machine.

Compost and Mulch

Compost, or decomposed organic matter used as fertilizer, improves soil structure and helps to increase how much water can be held. Mulch made from organic materials such as straw will break down into compost, further increasing the soil’s ability to take on water.

The key with any farm is to try to prepare for any eventuality, and having systems in place to deal with adverse weather conditions will only benefit the farm in the long run. For more information on how we can help you with all your farming needs please click here.