Farmers Guardian recently reported on an interesting project being conducted by the University of Nottingham. The four year research project is looking at ways of enhancing water uptake in sugar beet crops that will cut costs and reduce irrigation.
The impetus behind the project lies in the fact that UK sugar beet crops lose around ten per cent of available water through poor water uptake. The project will study water uptake using an x-ray CT scanner, enabling the scientists to visualise roots as they grow without sacrificing the plant, something that has not been possible until now. The scanner will scan and follow beet crops roots throughout their growth stages to trace where water uptake can be improved.
The project will also focus on growing cover crops to enhance water uptake and soil structure. So far, Lucerne leads as the strongest crop with more water taken up by following crops, even several crops after in the rotation.
The University of Nottingham project will identify rooting traits for optimal nutrient uptake and aims to improve establishment and early growth of the sugar beet crop.
With water being an increasingly valuable resource in farming across the globe, the harnessing of rainwater enables lower cost irrigation of crops. Farmers are learning to collect rainwater from building roofs and to store this free resource in dedicated rainwater harvesting tanks. These can either be vertical storage tanks or horizontal storage tanks, storing the rainwater in rotationally-molded UV-stabilised polyethylene water tanks for when water is really needed.
To find out more about the Enduramaxx range of rainwater harvesting tanks please get in touch.