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Go figur
Cover Story
Online calculator will
e ... on the web
help farmers determine
account rainfall during irrigation,
based on the information from the
the most efficient use of
weather stations.
as well as ensure that they’re putting
“Growers can save money on water
on enough water for the crop they’re
growing,” van der Gulik said.
By Judie Steeves
tool, but he said it’s particularly well-
He emphasized that this is just one
new tool to help farmers
suited to the Okanagan because
design an irrigation schedule
there’s a network of 25 weather
stations in the valley.
trees and vines is to be available
that will result in the healthiest
online in the coming weeks after two
says, growers can use this to keep
In the event of a water shortage, he
years in the development stage.
their crops healthy, despite a
reduction in water use.
location, crop and type of irrigation,
Based on soil type and depth,
the Landscape Irrigation Scheduling
the user so they can return to it, and
Different scenarios can be saved by
Calculator will allow farmers to
different scenarios can be worked out
adjust their system to achieve the
for different fields, if the crop or soil
most efficient use of water for the
conditions are different in different
weather, climate, crop and field,
areas of the farm.
explains Ted van der Gulik, senior
engineer in sustainable agriculture
the calculator.
Best of all, there’s no cost for using
management with the agriculture
bugs being worked out, but it can be
It’s still new, so there are still some
accessed at:
compare your use of water to your
As well, it will be possible to
and by clicking on the irrigation
calculator on the left.
If something doesn’t seem right, he
Ted van der Gulik
up to them to go and use it,”
“This is a tool for people to use. It’s
said, just comment on it in an e-mail Canada and other provinces are
This is the first tool of its kind in
comments van der Gulik. The move
through the website. looking at it with a view to
to water metering of both domestic
and agricultural connections will
guide for the calculator.
Next year, plans are for a users’ implementing something similar,
said van der Gulik.
eventually push people to use it, he
time data from the weather station
The calculator is based on real-
nearest to each user, so maintenance
of a network of such stations is vital
to its success.
are privately operated, and in fact,
Yet, many of the current stations T r ee F r uit Inno v a tion Fund
Environment Canada is closing down
some of its stations, which has van
der Gulik concerned.
The BC Investment
Fruit Innovation Fund.
Agriculture Foundation has approved $1.5 million to fund a T ree
and get new stations set up, it’s
In order to prevent more closures plans, processes, practices, and technologies that would not otherwise be adopted by
The purpose of the fund is to encourage the development of
important the agriculture community
industry and to speed up adaptation within the industry
put a case to the provincial and
The projects to be supported will be determined by the January 2007
federal governments about the
Strategy and an Industry Steering Committee established in the T ree Fruit Industry
T ree Fruit Industry
importance of them for such tools as
Accord on the industry strategy
this—as well as for ongoing
An annual work plan will be administered by the BC Fruit Growers'
agricultural research on such issues
input into the workplan will be developed by the industry organizations who have signed
Association. Key
as climate change impacts.
March 2009.
T ree Fruit Industry Accord. A workshop to review the 2009 workplan will be held in
growers assess the run time for
The new calculator will help For further input into the annual work plan, please contact the BCFGA.
sprinklers in spring or fall compared
For Information on the tree fruit industry strategy
to summer, and will take into
select the "The T ree Fruit Industry" and "T ree Fruit Industry Strategy" tabs.
, visit the website www and
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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