SMART IRRIGATION PRACTICES ARE KEY TO PERFECT POTATOES
The most instrumental key to successful farming in Ontario is proper irrigation practice. In the mid 1980’s Ontario Potato Distribution Inc. undertook a major initiative to create an integrated irrigation system capable of significantly impacting potato productivity and yield. To augment the natural precipitation from above, Ontario Potato Distribution Inc. went looking for water down below.
Situated atop Glacial Lake Iroquois, Ontario Potato Distribution Inc. has access to over 190 billion litres (50 billion gallons) of the purest, uncontaminated water in Ontario. Through careful monitoring and expert analysis, Ontario Potato Distribution Inc. has a virtual unlimited supply of water to meet the irrigation demands for potato production. Despite the driest of seasons, a series of six (6) strategically located test holes throughout the aquifer are monitored on a regular basis to ensure water tables are unaffected.
To create this growing advantage, four (4) individually sealed wells in excess of the 107-meter depth (350′) were tapped into the underground lake.
A total of 9,275 litres per minute (2,450 g.p.m.) is attainable from the wells producing 1,135, 1,135, 2,460 and 4,545 l.p.m. respectively (300, 300, 650 and 1200 g.p.m.).
In today’s market, these wells have a development cost in excess of $1.5 million each.
Over 2,440 meters (8,000′) of 20 cm and 30 cm (8″ and 12″) underground ABS high Pressure pipe, combined with over 762 meters (2,500′) of 15 cm (6″) aluminum surface pipe, creates a waterworks network capable of irrigating 344 arable hectares (850 acres) at a rate of 2.5 cm per hectare (1″ per acre) per week. Delivery to the crops is achieve through five (5) Lockwood pivot systems comprised of 3 x 9 tower units, 1 x 7 tower unit and 1 x 4 tower unit. Each pivot is transportable and equipped with end booms and radius guns to maximize crop coverage.
Three pump houses, situated throughout the subject lands, house the submersible and booster pumps for water distribution throughout the system. Each pivot is powered by triple phase, diesel powered portable generators.