Harvesting The Benefits of Rainwater!
Stephen McAdam operates an ornamental horticulture near Portadown. He has been involved in horticulture for 26 years and explains how funding from RDP under Axis 1 - Farm Modernisation Programme - has helped him to reduce costs and benefit his business.
“I became aware of RDP funding from David Kerr of CAFRE’s Greenmount College and the application process was smooth, with approval to payment taking a short time. I received just over £2,500 which enabled me to install water harvesting equipment to recycle rainwater for the irrigation system in 1.5 acres of polytunnels.
“Before I received the money from the RDP I was using mains water on my bedding plants, which was not only costly, but given its harshness can also be harmful to my plants. With the funding I purchased a 36,000 litre covered tank to store rainwater, which is caught by pipes connected to my polytunnels, along with a filter and pump. The equipment has been operating for a few months, but I expect to save approx 50% on my next water bill. Rainwater has the added bonus of being softer than mains water and therefore better for growing plants.
“I would advise other farming businesses to consider the benefits of recycling to help reduce running costs”.