Water Usage in Agriculture and Horticulture Results from the Farm Business Survey 2009/10 and the Irrigation Survey 2010

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1 Published 9 June 2011 Water Usage in Agriculture and Horticulture Results from the Farm Business Survey 2009/10 and the Irrigation Survey 2010 The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on water usage in agriculture were released on 9 June 2011 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. These are sourced from the 2009/10 Farm Business Survey (which covers the 2009 harvest) and the 2010 Irrigation Survey. The results cover volumes and costs of water, irrigated areas of crops, management practices undertaken and the reasons for doing these. Key results are given below. Water usage and irrigation (tables 1 to 12) The total volume of water used in agriculture is 184 million m 3. Drinking water for livestock is the biggest form of water usage accounting for 41% of the total, followed closely by irrigation (38%). In 2010 the irrigated area of outdoor crops and grass decreased by 28% compared to 2005 due to a reduction in the number of irrigators and wetter weather conditions. Recent weather conditions in 2011 have been extremely dry. This suggests that the amount of irrigation carried out this year may be much higher than in Figures for 2011 are not reflected in this publication. Following the reduction in irrigated area the total volume of water used for irrigation also decreased to 70 million m 3 in 2010 compared with 93 million m 3 in The most common method of irrigation is the hose reel which was used to irrigate 93% of the total irrigated area in Water sources (tables 13 to 24) Mains water is by far the commonest water source for farming (83% ) across all activities. The predominant water sources for irrigation are surface water and ground water accounting for 52% and 41% of the total volume of irrigation water respectively. This has remained almost unchanged compared to 2005 and Grazing livestock farms and mixed farms are far more likely (60% and 46% respectively) to use water from rivers/streams or springs than cropping and granivore farms (pigs and poultry).the average unit cost of mains water is 1.17 per m 3. The main variation in costs is between River Basin catchments ranging from 0.95 per m 3 in the South East river catchment to 1.50 per m 3 in the South West catchment. The total cost of water accounts for 1% of the total fixed costs. Management practices and water quality (tables 25 to 43) Financial drivers are the main reason that farmers and growers carry out water management practices. Over 50% of respondents stated this reason for employing more efficient water methods for all water usages except spraying. The most common practices being conducted to reduce or prevent water pollution are calibrating fertiliser spreaders (58%), reducing stocking rates when the soil are wet (57%) and testing soil nutrients (55%). Enquiries: Katherine Merrett, Farm Business Survey Team. Tel: + 44 (0) , Jennie Blackburn, Farming Statistics Team. Tel: +44 (0) , A National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. For general enquiries about National Statistics, contact the National Statistics Public Enquiry Service: tel ; You can find National Statistics on the internet at

2 Background to surveys The government s new water strategy was published on the 7 February 2008 and highlights the importance of water for both business and residential users. Because of our need to adapt to climate change and other pressures such as changing land use, we need to find ways of using water much more efficiently and sustainably. Whilst agriculture water use amounts to only 1% of England s water usage, there are great regional differences with, for example in Eastern England, agriculture accounts for 16% of water usage. Agriculture is also the single biggest cause of diffuse water pollution. This is unsurprising, as agriculture covers 70% of the land area in England and diffuse pollution, including loss of nutrients from fertilisers and manure, is an unavoidable consequence of farming. Increases in nutrient levels can result in eutrophication of streams, rivers and lakes, leading to reduced biodiversity, as well as increased treatment costs for tap water. There are two aspects therefore, to considering water as a resource; water quality and water usage. Direct monitoring of water quality requires scientific monitoring by others but there is scope for quantifying levels/changes in farm practices that contribute to water quality such as fertiliser use (including organic waste), pesticide use, soil nutrient balances and farm practices (e.g. erosion, tillage, cover crops, manure storage). Within the agriculture industry water has a number of uses including irrigation, spraying, drinking for livestock and washing down livestock buildings. Some farms abstract water from rivers and boreholes whilst others rely solely on the mains supply. Livestock may have access to rivers and streams for drinking which can be a source of pollution and river bank erosion. Significant data gaps exist in terms of supply and utilisation of water, economic cost of water and water related activities and behavioral attitudes among farmers to water management. The Farm Business Survey (FBS) was identified as a good research medium to collect this information and additional questions were included in the 2009/10 campaign. By using the FBS relationships between water usage and farm type, size, profitability and location can be explored. Data on irrigation of outdoor crops and grass was required to be collected as part of the 2010 Structure Survey to meet EC legislation. The 2010 Irrigation Survey was designed to collect the required data but additional questions were added to the survey in an attempt to fill data gaps on the subject. 2

3 Survey methodology Farm Business Survey The Farm Business Survey (FBS) represents all aspects of agriculture and covers all types of farm 1 in all regions of the country, and includes owner-occupied, tenanted and mixed tenure farms. It is restricted to farms of size ½ Standard Labour Requirement (SLR) 2 or more. It is based on a sample survey of 1,900 farm businesses, carefully balanced so as to represent all farm businesses in England with this minimum size. Results are weighted so as to represent the whole population of farm businesses with a minimum size of ½ SLR. In the 2009/10 survey, an additional module was included to collect information on water usage from a sub-sample of farm businesses. The information collected covered volumes and costs of water, management practices undertaken and the reasons for doing so. When combined with other data from the survey this helps to explain farm businesses behaviour and how this varies with parameters such as farm type and farm size. Completion of the water module was voluntary with a response rate of 70% in 2009/ Irrigation Survey The Irrigation Survey was a paper form sent to 2,000 holdings. The holdings were selected from those who indicated that they irrigate crops or grass when necessary on their June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture 2010 response. The survey was sent out in October 2010 and asked for data from those holdings who had irrigated outdoor crops and grass in The information collected in the survey covered areas of outdoor crops and grass irrigated in 2010 and the volumes of water applied to each crop, methods of irrigation used, water sources for irrigation water and irrigation scheduling methods. The survey was compulsory and responses were received from 82% of those sampled. Data analysis Farm Business Survey Calibration weighting is applied to the Farm Business Survey. The initial weights of the FBS are based on the inverse sampling fraction. These weights are then adjusted (calibration weighting) so that they can produce unbiased estimators of a number of different target variables. As mentioned, the water usage module was voluntary and achieved a response rate of 70%; the results presented in this notice have been re-weighted to take account of non-response using a method that preserves marginal totals for populations according to robust farm type and farm size groups. The results from the Farm Business Survey (FBS) relate to farms of size at least ½ Standard Labour Requirement (SLR), a size considered sufficient to occupy a farmer half-time. Around 55,000 of the 112,000 3 farms in England are of size less than ½ SLR. They account for only 4% of agricultural production and 9% of agricultural land area. 1 Except mushroom holdings and farms with no agricultural production. 2 A size considered sufficient to occupy a farmer half time under typical conditions for enterprises of average size and performance; see Definitions on: 3 This figure is the approximate number in England which fall within the FBS farm types" classification. This figure excludes those with zero Standard Gross Margin. 3

4 2010 Irrigation Survey Values have been imputed for those holdings that did not respond to the Irrigation Survey and expansion raising has been used to provide England level results to include those holdings not sampled for the survey. The results produced are therefore representative of all holdings in England who previously indicated that they irrigate. Where possible results from the 2010 Irrigation Survey have been compared to results from the 2001 and 2005 Irrigation Surveys carried out by Cranfield University. Accuracy and reliability of the results We have shown 95% confidence intervals against the figures. These show the range of values that may apply to the figures. They mean that we are 95% confident that the true value lies within this range either side of the estimate. They are based on the standard errors (se) multiplied by 1.96 to give the 95% confidence interval (95% CI). The standard errors only give an indication of the sampling error. They do not reflect any other sources of survey errors, such as non-response bias. For the FBS, where figures are based on less than 5 observations these have been suppressed to prevent disclosure and where they are based on less than 15 observations these have been highlighted in the tables. indicators Tick based confidence indicators have been shown against the FBS results, ranging from 3 ticks (good) to 1 cross (poor). The ranges relate to the relative standard errors (RSE) as follows: RSE <2.5% RSE 2.5 5% RSE 5 10% RSE 10 20% RSE >20% Availability of results Defra statistical notices can be viewed on the Food and Farming Statistics pages on the Defra website at This site also shows details of future publications, with pre-announced dates. 4

5 Definitions Economic performance band of farm businesses in the FBS Economic performance for each farm is measured as the ratio between economic output (mainly sales revenue) and inputs (costs). The higher the ratio, the higher the economic efficiency and performance. Performance bands based on economic performance percentiles as follows: Low performers - farmers who took part in the water usage survey and were in the bottom 25% of economic performers in the entire FBS sample Medium performers -farmers who took part in the water usage survey and were in the middle 50% of performers in the entire FBS sample High performers - farmers who took part in the water usage survey and were in the top 25% of performers in the entire FBS sample. These are based on economic performance in 2009/10. Water uses Irrigation is the artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops. For example supplying dry land with water by means of ditches, pipes, streams etc Spraying includes all water used in the application of pesticides, liquid fertilisers and herbicides. Wash down includes all water that is used for washing equipment, sanitizing animal areas, slurry thinning Water sources for irrigation Surface water includes natural ponds and artificial dams as well as rivers, lakes and other water courses. Ground water includes wells, bore holes and springs. 5

6 Commentary on key results The results in this notice are split into three sections covering (i) water usage and irrigation, (ii) water sources and (iii) management practices and water quality (practices to reduce or prevent pollution). The notice incorporates results from both the 2009/10 FBS and the 2010 Irrigation Survey. Detailed tables (1 to 43) referenced below can be found from page 21 onwards. An index of the tables can be found on page 19. Water usage and irrigation This section looks at the volumes of water used for various activities and management practices that involve using water with particular focus given to irrigation. Table 1 shows that the total volume of water used on farms in England was 184 million m 3. The largest total aggregate volume of water used is for drinking water for livestock (75 million m 3 ); this is on average 15m 3 per livestock unit per year (table A). Dairy farms are using the largest amount of water in aggregate for both drinking water (34 million m 3 ) and wash down (11 million m 3 ) compared to other livestock farms (table 2). Irrigation was the next largest user of water in agriculture accounting for 38% of the total volume used (70 million m 3 ). Approximately 2 million m 3 of water is lost each year through leakages. Of the total amount of water being used on farms only 3% of it is recycled. Table A: Average water per hectare or livestock unit and total volume used Activity Average per hec/lu (m 3 per hec/lu) Total volume (million m 3 ) Drinking water for livestock 15 (b) 75 Irrigation 843 (a) 70 Wash down 3 (b) 13 Spraying 1 (a) 4 Source: Irrigation data is from the 2010 Irrigation Survey. All other data is from the Farm Business Survey, England 2009/10. (a) Figures on a per hectare basis. (b) Figures on a per livestock unit basis. Livestock access to water courses can be seen in table 3. Approximately 39% with other cattle (i.e. mainly rearing cattle) have access to water courses whereas only 2% of farms with other livestock have access to water courses. As mentioned above irrigation is one of the major uses of water in agriculture. In 2010 a total of just over 2,200 holdings irrigated outdoor crops and grass. The total area irrigated in 2010 was just over 83 thousand hectares. This is a decrease of 28% compared to the area irrigated in This decrease in area can be partly explained by a reduction in the number of irrigators and wetter weather seen in 2010 compared with Weather is a major factor that influences the decision to irrigate crops. Summer is considered to be the most important time of year for irrigation needs and the summer rainfall has a direct effect of the area of crops irrigated and volume of water applied. The summer of 2010 was wetter than that of 2005 and would suggest a reduction in irrigation needs for Figure 1 below shows the rainfall in England for the winter, spring and summer of 2005 compared to As the 2010 Irrigation Survey was carried out in October these are the most relevant seasons to the irrigation data collected. 6

7 Figure 1: Rainfall in England: 2005 and 2010 winter spring summer England rainfall (mm) Source: The Met Office Seasons: winter=dec-feb, spring=mar-may, summer=june-aug. Figure 2 shows the irrigated area for each crop as a proportion of the total irrigated area for 2005 and It is clear from the charts that despite the reduction in total area the proportional area irrigated for each crop has remained very similar in 2010 compared with This suggests that those who still irrigate are irrigating a similar area as in previous years. The two largest irrigated areas in 2010 were main crop potatoes and vegetables for human consumption with areas of 31.8 thousand hectares and 20.5 thousand hectares respectively. The irrigated areas for each of the crops surveyed can be found in table 4. Figure 2: Irrigated areas by crop type: 2005 and % 6% % 3%2% 1% 37% 8% 6% % Main crop potatoes 5% 4% 2% Vegetables Cereals Sugar beet Other outdoor crops 38% Main crop potatoes Vegetables Cereals Sugar beet Other outdoor crops 10% 28% 11% Early potatoes Grass Small fruit Orchard fruit 25% Early potatoes Grass Small fruit Orchard fruit Source: Irrigation Survey 7

8 The volume of water applied to crops is directly related to the area irrigated. Therefore as a result of the reduction in area irrigated in 2010 the total volume of water used for irrigation also decreased compared to The total volume of water used for irrigation in 2010 was 70 million m 3 compared with 93 million m 3 in Figure 3 shows how the water applied to each crop in 2010 compares to that applied to the same crops in As with the areas irrigated the proportion of water used per crop remains almost unchanged between 2005 and As expected the largest crop areas are those with the largest proportions of water applied. Main crop potatoes and vegetables for human consumption were the two largest with just under 34 and 18 million cubic metres of water applied respectively. Volumes for each crop type can be found in table 5. Figure 3: Volume of water applied for irrigation by crop: 2005 and % 5% 27% %1% 4% 3%2% 49% Main crop potatoes 2% 5%3%1% Vegetables 4% Early potatoes 5% Other outdoor crops Sugar 6% beet Small fruit Cereals Grass Orchard fruit 26% % Main crop potatoes Vegetables Early potatoes Other outdoor crops Sugar beet Small fruit Cereals Grass Orchard fruit Source: Irrigation Survey As mentioned above the weather also has a direct effect on the volume of water applied and the relevant period of 2010 (winter to summer) was wetter than 2005 (see figure 1). However despite the wetter weather the volume of water applied per hectare is higher for almost all crops in 2010 compared with 2005 so this suggests more water was required for each crop in The volume of water required to irrigate different crops varies and figure 4 shows the changes in volume per hectare for each crop between 2005 and The average volume per hectare for each crop is based on those holdings who irrigated that crop; holdings that did not irrigate in 2010 are excluded. The largest increase (in absolute terms) was for small fruit which increased from 925 to 1,197 m 3 /ha. Table 6 shows the average volume of water applied to each crop per hectare. 8

9 Figure 4: Average volume of water applied for irrigation per hectare by crop: 2005 and 2010 Volume m 3 per hectare Source: Irrigation Survey Table 7 shows the average volume of irrigation water applied per hectare by region. As might be expected by the variation in weather across the different regions of the country, the volume per hectare also differs by region. The average volume per hectare ranges from 458 m 3 /ha in the North East to 911 m 3 /ha in the East Midlands. The proportional areas of crops irrigated by each method have remained consistent in 2010 compared with 2001 and 2005 (see table 10). Figure 5 shows that 93% of the total irrigated area was irrigated using hose reels with either rain guns (76%) or booms (17%) in Figure 5: Proportion of irrigated area by irrigation method: % 4% 2% 1% Hose reels with rain guns 17% Hose reels with booms Trickle or drip Static or hand-moved sprinklers, spray lines 76% Centre pivots or linear moves Other Source: Irrigation Survey 9

10 Figure 6 shows that almost 80% of farmers use judgement not based on measurement (such as crop inspection or feeling the soil) in deciding when to irrigate. The next most common method is use of in-field soil moisture measurements (such as neutron probes or tensiometers) with 29% of farmers basing their irrigation decisions on this. Figure 6: Proportion of holdings using each irrigation scheduling method Judgement not based on measurement In-field soil moisture measurement Computer based water balance calculations Water balance calculations by hand Other Source: Irrigation Survey % of farmers using each method Almost 20% of holdings use computer based water calculations to decide when to irrigate. As table 12 shows, the Cambridge University Farms model, Happy Irrigator and ADAS Irriguide are equally popular computer based tools with around 20% of farmers using each. 10

11 Water sources This section looks at the volumes and cost of water abstracted or collected from various water sources. The predominant water source used for all activities is from a water company (table 13). A small percentage are using recycled water or rainwater as their main source of water on farm. Table B shows that the most common source of water on farm is from a mains water company (83%), compared to 2% using water from ponds/lakes/reservoirs. Farms of any type are just as likely to use mains water (figure 7). Grazing livestock farms and mixed farms are far more likely (60% and 46% respectively) to use water from rivers/streams/springs than cropping or granivore (pigs and poultry) farms (14% and 7% respectively). The use of mains water is similar across all farm sizes (table 16) with little variation seen across river basin catchment areas (table 17). The south west has the smallest proportion using mains water (72%). Table B: using various water sources Water source Mains water (from water company) 83 Rivers, streams, springs for direct use 37 Bore holes 21 Rainwater storage 9 Other 6 Rivers, streams, springs abstraction to reservoirs, ponds, lakes 2 Ponds/lakes/reservoirs 2 Note: Some farms use water from more than one source Figure 7: Primary sources of water by farm type (%) Mains water (from water company) Rivers, streams, springs for direct use Bore holes Grazing Livestock Cropping Pigs and Poultry Mixed 11

12 In contrast to water usage across all activities the most predominant sources for irrigation water are surface water and ground water. Table 18 shows the volume of water used specifically for irrigation by water source. The largest amounts of irrigation water used in 2010 were sourced from surface water and ground water with 36 and 29 million cubic metres respectively. This accounts for 93% of the total water used for irrigation in 2010 and 35% of all water used in agriculture. Figure 8 below shows how the volumes of irrigation water from each source compare between 2001, 2005 and Despite the smaller volumes of water used in 2010 compared with the previous years, the proportion of water from each source remains similar. Figure 8: Proportion of irrigation water by source: 2001 to Surface water Ground water 2005 Public mains Rain collected Re-used water 2001 other 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Source: Irrigation Survey % of irrigation water The average cost of water across all sources is 0.49 per m 3. Table 19 shows the average cost by farm type; cropping farms had the lowest cost at 0.35 per m 3 and mixed farms had the highest cost at 0.77 per m 3. Table 20 suggests that there may be some scale economies with water costs as the cost per unit volume decreases as farm size increases. Across river basin catchment areas (figure 9) there is a variation in the cost per m 3 with farms in the Anglian region having the lowest cost at 0.34 per m 3, while farms in the Thames and the South East area have the highest cost ( 0.66 per m 3 ). The total cost of water accounts for 1% of the total fixed costs. The average cost of mains water is 1.17 per m 3. There is relatively little variation across farm types (table 22) and farm sizes (table 23). There is greater variation in cost per m 3 across river basin catchment areas (table 24) from 0.95 per m 3 (South East and Northumbria) to 1.50 per m 3 (South West). Water that is abstracted or collected can be stored in tanks/reservoirs/ponds/lakes on farm; 11% have the capacity to store water in this way. 12

13 Figure 9: Average cost of water across all sources by river basin catchment area Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) Solway Tweed Northumbria Humber Anglian Thames South East South West Severn North West and Dee 13

14 Management practices and water quality Management practices undertaken for efficient water use were collected and these practices can be broadly separated into two groups (Non-challenging and Challenging). Those practices which were deemed to require more effort/time/cost have been categorised as challenging. Table C below shows the breakdown between non-challenging and challenging. Figure 10 shows for each activity the split between non-challenging and challenging; the uptake of the non-challenging practices is greater than the challenging practices across all activities, with nearly all of those farms that spray carrying out at least one of the nonchallenging practices. Tables 27 to 30 show for each activity the most relevant management practices. Across all activities the most popular management practice is Operator judgement. For spraying (table 28) for 3 (agronomic advice, weather forecast and operator judgement) of the 5 practices over 60% of the farms are carrying them out. For the livestock activities (wash down and drinking water for livestock) a high percentage either provided no answer or recorded no management practices (table 25). Table C: Management practices undertaken for efficient water use divided into nonchallenging and challenging Non-challenging Challenging High tech spray nozzles Recycling Optimised irrigation Decision support tool systems Own weather forecast/records Agronomic advice Water balance calculations Other weather forecast/records In-field soil moisture measurement (including feeling soil, crop inspection). Operator Judgement Rainwater collection systems Figure 10: Management practices for efficient water use (%) Non challenging Challenging Irrigation Spraying Wash down Drinking water for livestock Other agricultural uses Other nonagricultural uses Note: This figure refers to those farms carrying out practices and excludes those who are not carrying out any practices. 14

15 Figure 11 below shows the primary reasons why farms are carrying out management practices for efficient water use; across all activities the most recorded reason was financial/customer. The least recorded reason across all activities was legislation/licence. Figure 11: Primary reasons for carrying out water efficient methods Other non-agricultural uses Other agricultural uses No reason provided Drinking water for livestock Financial/Customer Wash down Spraying Environmental Legislation/Licence constraints Strategic Irrigation (%) Note: This figure refers to those farms carrying out practices and excludes those who are not carrying out any practices. This section also examines the management practices undertaken to reduce or prevent water pollution. Table 34 shows that the three most popular management practices are calibrating fertiliser spreaders (58%), reducing stocking rate (57%) and testing soil nutrient levels (55%). Precision application of livestock manures was the least popular practice (12%). Figure 12 shows that for each management practice the largest percentage occurs for the most relevant type i.e. for reduce stocking rate this is highest for grazing livestock farms (86%) whereas for testing soil nutrients this is highest on cropping farms (79%). Table 35b shows that 42% of granivore farms are not carrying out any management practices compared to just 1% of mixed farms. 15

16 Figure 12: Management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution No management practices Precision application of livestock manures Capital works to reduce pollution of surface water by farm operations Minimum tillage Improved storage of animal waste Disrupt tramlines Follow a guidance system for managing nutrient input Keep livestock out of water courses Use 6 metre buffer strips, ponds and wetlands to reduce run off and store water Testing soil nutrient levels Reduce stocking rate when soils are wet Calibrating fertiliser spreaders Cropping Grazing Livestock (%) The management practices undertaken to reduce or prevent water pollution can be broadly separated into three groups (table D). Figure 13 shows that across all river basin catchment areas the uptake of practices with some link to regulation is greatest. The uptake of those practices with a strong link to regulation varies across area, with Anglian having the lowest (40%) and Solway Tweed having the largest (70%). Tables 38 to 40 show that for cereal, general cropping and dairy farms the uptake of practices (grouped as in table D) is not linked with economic performance. Table D: Management practices taken to reduce or prevent water pollution Little or no direct link to Some link to regulation Strong link to regulation regulation Calibrating fertiliser spreaders Testing soil nutrient levels Minimum tillage Reduce stocking rate when soils are wet Use 6 metre buffer strips, ponds and wetlands to reduce runoff and store water Disrupt tramlines Precision application of livestock manures Follow a guidance system for managing nutrient input Capital works to reduce pollution of surface water by farm operations Keep livestock out of water courses Improved storage of animal waste 16

17 Figure 13: Management practices (grouped) taken to reduce or prevent water pollution by River Basin Catchment Area Note: This figure excludes those who are not carrying out any practices. A large percentage (69%) did not provide an answer to the question covering future management practices being planned to reduce or prevent water pollution (table 41). This may be due to the farmer not knowing what practices they plan to do, or they have no future plans, or they refused to answer the question. The timing of this module followed the introduction of new Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) regulations (2009/2010) which would have seen many farmers introduce new practices, leaving less to do in the future. As the number of management practices taken to reduce or prevent water pollution carried out on farm increases so does the average FBI per farm (table 42). For farms carrying out no practices the average FBI was around 32,000, whereas for those farms carrying out 7 or more practices the average FBI was around 58,000. Figure 14 shows that the most popular reasons for carrying out management practices to reduce water pollution were environmental (43%) and financial/customer (28%). The least popular reason was strategic (4%). 17

18 Figure 14: Primary reasons for carrying out practices to reduce or prevent pollution Strategic Change of land use Legislation/Licence Constraints Environmental Financial/Customer No reason provided (%) Note: This figure excludes those who are not carrying out any practices or did not answer. 18

19 Water usage and irrigation Table Content Page 1 Volumes of water used by activity 21 Volumes of water used for wash down and drinking water for livestock 2 farms 22 3 Livestock access to water course 22 4 Irrigated area by crop 23 5 Volume of water applied for irrigation by crop 23 6 Average volume of water applied for irrigation per hectare by crop 24 7 Average volume of water applied for irrigation per hectare by region 24 8 Average area irrigated and volume of water applied per holding by crop 25 9 Area irrigated by irrigation method Proportion of irrigated area by irrigation method Proportion of holdings using each irrigation scheduling method 26 Proportion of holdings using computer based water balance calculation 12 tools 26 Water sources Table Content Page 13 Predominant water source for various activities using various water sources using various water sources by farm type using various water sources by farm size using mains water by river basin catchment area Volume of water applied for irrigation by water source Average cost of water from all sources by farm type Average cost of water from all sources by farm size Average cost of water from all sources by river basin catchment area Average cost of Mains water by farm type Average cost of Mains water by farm size Average cost of Mains water by river basin catchment area 32 19

20 Management practices and water quality Table Content Page 25 No answer/no management practices for efficient water use recorded Management practices for efficient water use Management practices for efficient water use Irrigation Management practices for efficient water use Spraying Management practices for efficient water use Wash down Management practices for efficient water use Drinking water for livestock Future management practices for efficient water use - No answer/no management practices recorded Future management practices for efficient water use Primary reasons for carrying out efficient water methods Management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution Management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution by farm type Management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution by economic performance 41 Management practices (grouped) taken to reduce or prevent pollution by river basin catchment areas 43 Management practices (grouped) taken to reduce or prevent pollution by economic performance for Cereal farms 43 Management practices (grouped) taken to reduce or prevent pollution by economic performance for General Cropping farms 44 Management practices (grouped) taken to reduce or prevent pollution by 40 economic performance for Dairy farms Future management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution 45 Farm Business Income by number of management practices taken to 42 reduce or prevent pollution Primary reasons for carrying out practices to reduce or prevent pollution 46 20

21 Water usage and irrigation Table 1: Volumes of water used by activity Average water used per farm Average water used per hectare or livestock unit Activity Total water used (million m 3 ) Average per farm (m 3 per farm) interval (m 3 per farm) Indicator Average per hec/lu (m 3 per hec/lu) interval (m 3 per hec/lu) Indicator Irrigation (a) Spraying ± 20 1 (a) ± 0.2 Wash down ± 40 3 (b) ± 0.3 Drinking water for livestock ± (b) ± 0.5 Other agricultural uses 1 90 ± 20 Other non-agricultural uses ± 820 Leakages ± 230 Total 184 Source: Irrigation data is sourced from the 2010 Irrigation Survey. All other data is from the Farm Business Survey, England 2009/10 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out that activity (a) Figures on a per hectare basis (b) Figures on a per livestock unit basis 21

22 Table 2: Volumes of water used for wash down and drinking water for livestock farms Total water used m 3 Average water used per farm Average water used per livestock unit (million) Wash down Wash down Wash down Average per farm interval Indicator Average per LU interval Indicator Farm type (m 3 per farm) (m 3 per farm) (m 3 per LU) (m3 per LU) Dairy ± ± 1 Grazing Livestock ± ± 0.1 Pigs and Poultry ± ± 0.2 Total water used Average water used per farm Average water used per livestock unit m3 (million) Drinking water for livestock Drinking water for livestock Drinking water for Average per farm interval Indicator Average per LU interval Indicator Farm type livestock (m 3 per farm) (m 3 per farm) (m 3 per LU) (m3 per LU) Dairy ± ± 1 Grazing Livestock ± ± 0.4 Pigs and Poultry ± ± 1 Table 3: Livestock access to water courses Livestock No livestock 1* ± 1* Sheep 31 ± 3 Dairy cows 7 ± 1 Beef cows 25 ± 3 Other cattle 39 ± 3 Other livestock 2 ± 1 Note: The figures just refer to those farms which recorded a volume of water for drinking water for livestock.figures will not sum to 100% as farms can have more than one type of livestock. *This figure is based on a small sample so care should be taken when interpreting it. 22

23 Table 4: Irrigated area by crop: 2001 to 2010 Hectares Crop % change 2010/2005 Early potatoes Main crop potatoes Sugar beet Orchard fruit Small fruit Vegetables Grass Cereals Other outdoor crops Total Source: Irrigation Survey Table 5: Volume of water applied for irrigation by crop: 2001 to 2010 Thousand cubic metres ( 000m 3 ) Crop % change 2010/2005 Early potatoes Main crop potatoes Sugar beet Orchard fruit Small fruit Vegetables Grass Cereals Other outdoor crops Total Source: Irrigation Survey 23

24 Table 6: Average volume of water applied for irrigation per hectare by crop: 2001 to 2010 Cubic metres per hectare (m 3 /ha) Crop % change 2010/2005 Early potatoes Main crop potatoes Sugar beet Orchard fruit Small fruit Vegetables Grass Cereals Other outdoor crops Total Source: Irrigation Survey Table 7: Average volume of water applied for irrigation per hectare by region: 2010 Volume per hectare Region (m 3 /ha) North East 458 North West & Merseyside 574 Yorkshire & The Humber 803 East Midlands 911 West Midlands 789 Eastern 888 South East (incl. London) 755 South West 562 England 843 Source: Irrigation Survey 24

25 Table 8: Average area irrigated and volume of water applied per holding by crop: 2010 Crop Number of holdings Average area (ha) Average volume (m 3 ) Early potatoes Main crop potatoes Sugar beet Orchard fruit Small fruit Vegetables Grass Cereals Other outdoor crops Total Source: Irrigation Survey Table 9: Area irrigated by irrigation method and number of holdings using each method: 2010 Irrigation method Area (hectares) Number of holdings Static or hand-moved sprinklers, spray lines Hose reels with rain guns Hose reels with booms Centre pivots or linear moves Trickle or drip Other Total Source: Irrigation Survey Note: The number of holdings using each method will not add up to the total number of irrigators as farmers can use more than one irrigation method. 25

26 Table 10: Proportion of irrigated area by irrigation method: 2001 to 2010 % of irrigated area Irrigation method Static or hand-moved sprinklers, spray lines Hose reels with rain guns Hose reels with booms Centre pivots or linear moves Trickle or drip Other <<1 <<1 <<1 Total Source: Irrigation Survey Table 11: Proportion of holdings using each irrigation scheduling method: 2010 Farmers using Scheduling method each method (%) Computer based water balance calculations 19 Water balance calculations by hand 14 In-field soil moisture measurement (e.g. neutron probes, tensiometers) 29 Judgement not based on measurement (e.g. crop inspection, feeling the soil) 78 Other 5 Source: Irrigation Survey Note: Farmers may use more than one scheduling method, therefore figures will sum to more than 100%. Table 12: Proportion of holdings using computer based water balance calculation tools (a) : 2010 Farmers using Computer based tool each tool (%) Cambridge University Farms model 19 Happy Irrigator 21 ADAS Irriguide 21 Defra Water Management Toolkit 3 CROPWAT 1 Other 44 Source: Irrigation Survey Note: Farmers may use more than one calculation tool, therefore figures will sum to more than 100%. (a) For all holdings who use computer based tools. 26

27 Water sources Table 13: Predominant water source for various activities Spraying Wash down Drinking water for livestock Predominant source No source provided 4 ± 1 4 ± 1 2 ± 1 Water company 71 ± 3 67 ± 3 55 ± 3 Abstracted 23 ± 3 27 ± 3 40 ± 3 Rainwater/Recycling 2 ± 1 2 ± 1 3 ± 1 Other agricultural uses Other non-agricultural uses Leakages Predominant source No source provided 3 ± 2 13 ± 4 5 ± 5 Water company 75 ± 5 73 ± 5 95 ± 5 Abstracted/Rainwater/Recycling 23 ± 5 15 ± 4 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out that activity Table 14: using various water sources Water Source Mains water (from water company) 83 ± 2 Rivers, streams, springs for direct use 37 ± 3 Bore holes 21 ± 2 Rainwater storage 9 ± 2 Other 6 ± 2 Rivers, streams, springs abstraction to reservoirs, ponds, lakes 2 ± 1 Ponds/lakes/reservoirs 2 ± 1 Note: Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be using more than one source of water. 27

28 Table 15: using various water sources by farm type Mains water (from water company) Rivers, streams, springs for direct use Bore holes Farm type Grazing Livestock 79 ± 3 60 ± 4 23 ± 4 Cropping 88 ± 3 15 ± 3 17 ± 3 Pigs and Poultry 87 ± 6 7 ± 5 36 ± 9 Mixed 85 ± 9 46 ± ± 8 All types 83 ± 2 37 ± 3 21 ± 2 Table 16: using various water sources by farm size Mains water (from water company) Rivers, streams, springs for direct use Bore holes Farm size Small 83 ± 3 36 ± 4 15 ± 3 Medium 79 ± 5 36 ± 5 26 ± 5 Large 86 ± 3 41 ± 5 31 ± 5 All sizes 83 ± 2 37 ± 3 21 ± 2 Table 17: using mains water by river basin catchment area River basin catchment area Interval (%) Indicator Solway Tweed 84 ± 10 Northumbria 76 ± 9 Humber 82 ± 5 Anglian 90 ± 4 Thames 93 ± 6 South East 98 ± 4 South West 72 ± 7 Severn 83 ± 7 North West and Dee 76 ± 8 All areas 83 ± 2 28

29 Table 18: Volume of water applied for irrigation by water source: 2001 to 2010 Volume ('000m 3 ) Proportion of volume (%) Water source Surface water Ground water Public mains Rain collected Re-used water Other Total Source: Irrigation Survey Table 19: Average cost of water from all sources by farm type Farm type Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Grazing Livestock 0.60 ± 0.05 Cropping 0.35 ± 0.10 Pigs and Poultry 0.63 ± 0.14 Mixed 0.77 ± 0.12 All types 0.49 ± 0.07 Note: Farms with no volume of water recorded were excluded. 29

30 Table 20: Average cost of water from all sources by farm size Farm size Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Small 0.69 ± 0.11 Medium 0.63 ± 0.09 Large 0.40 ± 0.09 All sizes 0.49 ± 0.07 Note: Farms with no volume of water recorded were excluded. Table 21: Average cost of water from all sources by river basin catchment area River basin catchment area Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Solway Tweed 0.45 ± 0.09 Northumbria 0.50 ± 0.09 Humber 0.52 ± 0.10 Anglian 0.34 ± 0.14 Thames 0.66 ± 0.12 South East 0.66 ± 0.19 South West 0.60 ± 0.12 Severn 0.52 ± 0.17 North West and Dee 0.55 ± 0.12 All areas 0.49 ± 0.07 Note: Farms with no volume of water recorded were excluded. 30

31 Table 22: Average cost of mains water by farm type Farm type Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Dairy 1.21 ± 0.07 LFA Grazing Livestock 1.27 ± 0.06 Lowland Grazing Livestock 1.16 ± 0.07 Cereals 1.18 ± 0.05 General Cropping 1.17 ± 0.10 Pigs 1.12 ± 0.12 Poultry 1.12 ± 0.16 Mixed 1.20 ± 0.07 Horticulture 1.04 ± 0.06 All types 1.17 ± 0.03 Note: This table just refers to those farms which are using mains water. Table 23: Average cost of mains water by farm size Farm size Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) Interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Part-time 1.26 ± 0.09 Small 1.21 ± 0.06 Medium 1.23 ± 0.05 Large 1.16 ± 0.07 Very large 1.10 ± 0.06 All sizes 1.17 ± 0.03 Sources: Farm Business Survey, England 2009/10 Note: This table just refers to those farms which are using mains water. 31

32 Table 24: Average cost of mains water by river basin catchment area River basin catchment area Cost per m 3 ( /m 3 ) interval ( /m 3 ) Indicator Solway Tweed 1.33 ± 0.04 Northumbria 0.95 ± 0.04 Humber 1.17 ± 0.07 Anglian 1.15 ± 0.07 Thames 1.02 ± 0.04 South East 0.95 ± 0.05 South West 1.50 ± 0.12 Severn 1.21 ± 0.06 North West and Dee 1.29 ± 0.05 All areas 1.17 ± 0.03 Note: This table just refers to those farms which are using mains water. 32

33 Management practices and water quality Table 25: No answer/no management practices for efficient water use recorded Activity Irrigation 9 ± 5 Spraying 17 ± 3 Wash down 59 ± 3 Drinking water for livestock 73 ± 3 Other agricultural uses 66 ± 6 Other non-agricultural uses 79 ± 5 Table 26: Management practices for efficient water use Non-challenging Challenging Activity Irrigation 85 ± 9 77 ± 9 Spraying 99 ± 1 47 ± 4 Wash down 78 ± 4 28 ± 4 Drinking water for livestock 62 ± 6 44 ± 7 Other agricultural uses 97 ± 3 9 ± 5 Other non-agricultural uses 98 ± 2 8 ± 6 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. Table 27: Management practices for efficient water use Irrigation Management practice Optimised irrigation system 38 ± 11 Agronomic advice 30 ± 9 Weather forecast/records (own and other) 59 ± 10 In-field soil moisture measurement 49 ± 10 Operator judgement 67 ± 9 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. 33

34 Table 28: Management practices for efficient water use Spraying Management practice High tech spray nozzles 48 ± 4 Agronomic advice 67 ± 4 Weather forecast/records (own or other) 76 ± 3 Operator judgement 76 ± 3 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. Table 29: Management practices for efficient water use Wash down Management practice Recycling/rainwater collection systems 3 ± 2 Operator judgement 75 ± 4 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. Table 30: Management practices for efficient water use Drinking water for livestock Management practice Recycling/rainwater collection systems 4 ± 2 Operator judgement 59 ± 7 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. 34

35 Table 31: Future management practices for efficient water use - No answer/no management practices recorded Activity Irrigation 76 8 Spraying 74 3 Wash down 81 3 Drinking water for livestock 85 3 Other agricultural uses 83 5 Other non-agricultural uses 94 3 Table 32: Future management practices for efficient water use Non-challenging Challenging Activity Irrigation Spraying Wash down Drinking water for livestock Other agricultural uses Other non-agricultural uses * 21* Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. *This figure is based on a small sample so care should be taken when interpreting it. 35

36 Table 33: Primary reasons for carrying out efficient water methods Irrigation Spraying Wash down Primary reason No reason provided 1 ± 2 3 ± 1 2 ± 2 Financial/Customer 55 ±11 45 ± 4 55 ± 5 Environmental 11 ± 6 32 ± 4 19 ± 4 Legislation/Licence constraints 5 ± 4 6 ± 2 3 ± 2 Strategic 28 ± 9 15 ± 3 21 ± 4 Drinking water for livestock Other agricultural uses Other non-agricultural uses Primary reason No reason provided 5 ± 3 13 ± 9 11 ± 9 Financial/Customer 51 ± 7 61 ± ± 13 Environmental 18 ± 5 15 ± 8 19 ± 11 Legislation/Licence constraints 3 ± 2 5 ± 3 6 ± 6 Strategic 23 ± 6 5 ± 4 12 ± 10 Note: The figures for each activity refer to just those farms carrying out both the activity and associated management practices. Figures will not sum to 100% as farms can be carrying out both nonchallenging and challenging activities. 36

37 Table 34: Management practices taken to reduce or prevent pollution Management practice No answer provided 1 ± 1 No management practices 10 ± 2 Use 6 metre buffer strips, ponds and wetlands to reduce run-off and store water 35 ± 3 Capital works to reduce pollution of surface water by farm operations 19 ± 2 Calibrating fertiliser spreaders 58 ± 3 Testing soil nutrient levels 55 ± 2 Minimum tillage 20 ± 2 Disrupt tramlines 21 ± 2 Precision application of livestock manures 12 ± 2 Follow a guidance system for managing nutrient input 27 ± 3 Reduce stocking rate when soils are wet 57 ± 2 Keep livestock out of water courses 31 ± 3 Improved storage of animal waste 20 ± 2 37

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