Andrew Barrie owns and runs a significant soft fruit – both raspberries and strawberries – operation near the picturesque Vale of Strathmore in Perthshire, near the towns of Couper Angus and Blairgowrie. Colbeggie Farm takes pride in offering only the highest quality fruits which all goes to the supermarkets.
Andrew also takes great pride in his team and wanted to invest in upgrading the water supply to the staff accommodation for use in their showers, kitchens and general areas.
Following a site visit, Ripple Aquaplast’s technical team designed, supplied, installed and commissioned a new potable water supply by linking a borehole. 50,000 litre covered water storage tanks to WRAS approval, a twin variable speed pump set to supply 6m³/h of drinking water to the suite. Further expansion is planned in the coming months.
New Farm Produce Install Eighth Aquaplast Feed Rig System
Eight years ago at New Farm Produce we successfully installed our first Aquaplast feed rig system to enable us to have accurate control of a raised coir bag growing system. After enormous success through the years we are currently in the process of installing our eighth Aquaplast feed rig system to allow us to control fertigation on a new soil grown strawberry site, showing our confidence in the equipment for both substrate and soil grown systems. With a user-friendly interface, accurate controls and the ability to have flexible watering and feed programmes the Aquaplast feed rig system has allowed us to improve our irrigation management by delivering a precise, effective output to each and every plant resulting in reduced water consumption and reduced fertiliser costs.
And we are currently looking at additional features to our systems such as a HMI (Human Machine Interface) software package and participating in a RTM (Real Time Management) project to enable even more accurate dosing.
“Aquaplast have undoubtedly delivered great results at New Farm Produce subsequently having a huge positive impact on our business. We would like to thank Ripple Aquaplast for all their support.”
After being recommended by Dafydd and Andrew Joseph of Dingle Nurseries, Welshpool, Mark Bebb, managing director of Salop Leisure in Shrewsbury approached us to design and supply an irrigation system at a new plant. The plant centre will complement their already bustling caravan and leisure sales complex. The design involved providing a suitable sized water storage tank with a pump to supply water to the various different irrigation systems – sprinkler, drip and hand watering, which were installed across the centre.
We were requested to find an installer as the weather and other factors had caused delays meaning that it would not be feasible to meet the Easter opening deadline. We worked in conjunction with one of our colleagues to complete the installation which included some reworking along the way to take into account changes in layout and design.
Pump and Tank
We opted for a galvanised steel water storage tank complete with steel roof and a 1mm EDPM liner for longevity. The pump supplied was a variable speed Lowara unit to accommodate the differing flow rates resulting from the differing irrigation types. The pump and filter were located in a pump house. The water was pumped to the plant area via a 50mm underground header.
There were 35/40 raised beds to be constructed in three separate areas. Each of these areas where equipped with their own underground header pipe onto which we installed the control valves for the separate blocks. During the installation of the infrastructure we laid conduits with draw cords for the control system cables. The control valves were then connected to sub-headers with a take-off for each raised bed.
The shade area was equipped with a similar header and valve system to operate micro sprinklers suspended from the timber framework over each bay.
Drip on tree and specimen plant area
The areas of the larger plants and trees where equipped with a drip system allowing the number of drip points per plant to be altered depending on the pot size. This area is controlled by a single valve.
Hand Watering Points
We also installed several hand watering points throughout the centre with quick coupling connectors for hoses and lances.
All of the valves are connected back to a central irrigation controller located in the plant centre office. This allows the irrigation system to be operated automatically when the centre is closed. Irrigation can be automatically applied several times. The controller is expandable to accommodate more stations should the centre expand in the future.
The request was to design, supply and construct heated sand beds for the propagation of plants. The particular crop benefits from the implementation of bottom heat in the propagation stage, therefore we designed a system of pipes to circulate the heated water around the beds to apply the correct temperature with full automatic control. The water is heated by a commercial boiler although in the future an air source heat pump or solar panels could be installed.
The existing stone base was stripped of Mypex and timber for disease reduction
Tanalised timber frames 150mm high, supported by steel rods, were installed to contain the sand
50mm polystyrene insulation sheets with drainage holes laid in the bottom
16mm PE heating pipes, connected to a header manifold, and spaced at 30cm apart
A plastic mesh was overlaid on the heating pipes to ensure they remain buried
100mm sand up to board height
A drip irrigation system was laid on the top of the bed to allow under crop irrigation. This will leave the crop canopy dry whilst keeping the sand moist to ensure uniform heat dissipation.
In addition to the sand beds, we were asked to install a misting system for cooling/humidification over the crop. This consisted of foggers spaced at 2m x 1m and 1.2 m above the crop. The misting system is controlled by an evaposensor controller which will monitor the in-crop environment and trigger the misting at the set point. The controller can be used to wean the crop once rooting is advanced enough.