While some parts of Canada would greatly appreciate some hot, dry weather, many parts of Ontario are seeing a little too much. Rebecca Shortt, engineering specialist, water quantity, with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), has some tips and considerations to keep in mind when irrigating crops.
Crop desiccation is a concern currently; Shortt suggests checking Farmwest.com, which uses Environment Canada weather data at a selection of Ontario weather stations to calculate the daily evapotranspiration (a measure of how much water a mature grass cover crop would use if it had ample water available). Evapotranspiration is calculated from temperature, humidity, windspeed and sometimes a measurement of solar radiation, and the data can be used to calculate how much water we should be delivering to the crop with each irrigation. |READ MORE
Shortt also reveals three secrets of irrigation water taking permits:
- If you irrigate using water from any water source in Ontario, you need a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) from the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP).
- To get a PTTW you need to prove that your water taking will not impact neighbours or the natural environment. Irrigating without a PTTW can result in fines, charges and having your equipment confiscated in the middle of the growing season.
- A PTTW for agricultural irrigation does not have an application fee. However, there are generally costs to hire a consultant to study your water taking and write a report showing that your water taking doesn’t impact neighbours or the natural environment.
Shortt includes links to information on PTTW, potential consultants, and contact information for the MECP. |READ MORE
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