Monday, September 16, 2019

Guide helps farms cut off from water

September 10, 2019 by  
Filed under News & Business

A new guide aims to alleviate livestock stress in the event that farm water supplies are interrupted.

Some 85% of farmers draw water from the public mains supply, according to Defra. But unscheduled disruption plunging livestock businesses into crisis when they are acutely dependent on a reliable supply of water.

The guide was devised by experts from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in partnership with the NFU and Water UK – the umbrella organisation which represents Britain’s water companies.

AHDB water resources scientist Nicola Dunn said: “When water supplies are interrupted on a livestock farm, time is critical. We wanted to help farmers by providing a guide with matters to consider before they run out of water, and when their supply is interrupted.”

Ms Dunn said the guide was particularly relevant for businesses with lactating stock. Cows require between 60 to 100 litres of water per day, while sows and gilts may require 15 to 30 litres per day, she explained.

“Farms may already have a plan in place, but if they haven’t there are simple steps you can take to make sure animals have access to the water they need.”

Livestock producers on a mains supply can register as a Category 4 sensitive business. This ensures that the relevant water company is aware of the importance if a water supply is cut off and can prioritise reconnection accordingly.

Almost one third (31%) of farms abstract from watercourses and one quarter use water from a borehole. This means there may be alternative supplies available in the event of a burst – but farmers should always consider if the alternative supply is safe first.

For full details, visit www.bit.ly/Water4Livestock

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