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Harvesting the rain cuts pig production bills

by 5m Editor
19 December 2006, at 11:48am

UK - East Anglian pig farmers could be taking up a new kind of farming - rainwater harvesting - in a drive to cut their water bills.

The Red Meat Industry (RMIF) Thurston Pig Farmers Club met at the Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket to discuss the pros and cons of collecting rainwater to use for washing out and misting systems.

Chris Knock, chairman of Agricultural Development for the Eastern Region (ADER) presented the case for collecting rainwater. He estimated that as much as £1,000 worth of rainwater hit the roofs on his farm every year. By collecting it in tanks and using it for washing out and misting he could make some considerable savings. However, by adding a wind turbine into the equation to power a pump to distribute the water and a UV light filter to purify it so that it could be used for drinking, he reckoned he could halve his water bill.

Chris said: "My water bill has doubled in price over the past few years and is now costing me more than a £1 per pig, which is cutting into my margin. It seems crazy that we use drinking quality water to wash out and for misting when we could be using rainwater."

The meeting was organised by the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF) facilitator Jonathon Bradley. Jonathon commented: "The club members were impressed with Chris' ideas and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some wind turbines cropping up. The price of wind turbines has gone down a lot over the last year and installing a system to harvest rainwater is the sort of investment that not only contributes to the sustainability of farming but could also bring some quick returns."

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5m Editor