Commercial plantations of blueberries are not the reason for the drop in water level in Shatsky Lakes – opinion


Commercial plantations of blueberries are not the reason for the drop in water level in Shatsky Lakes – opinion

03/12/2020

The modern drip irrigation system, which is installed by almost all professional manufacturers of blueberries, allows the economical and rational use of water

Commercial blueberry plantations will turn Ukraine into a desert … Such publications have recently appeared in the Facebook news feed with numerous reposts and comments by couch ecologists and other fighters with anyone who is trying to do anything in this country to develop entrepreneurship and create workers places or increase exports. About this writes SEEDS.org.ua with reference to the publication of Oleg Bosogo, managing partner of FruTek LLC.

“As an example, the authors of the publications cited a sharp drop in the water level in the Shatsk Lakes (sometimes illustrating this with terrible photographs of cracked clay from some African countries, and, of course, they blamed it on enterprises that laid nearby plantations of blueberries (blueberries) garden and yet, at the same time, they received subsidies from the budget for this.

Why the lakes in neighboring Poland (where the area of ​​this culture is ten times larger) and why the Great Lakes of Michigan have not dried up yet (where blueberries have been cultivated in vast areas for more than a century) why our linguists do not explain why … “, – said Oleg Bosy.

As for the negative impact of tall blueberries (blueberries) on the water balance of the Shatsky Lakes – in reality, everything is quite the opposite, says Oleg Bosy.

After all:

  1. Plantations of blueberries (blueberries) in Volyn are quite often laid on reclaimed lands, many of which have not been used for many years and overgrown with forest, which, before planting, has to be unrooted;

  2. Forest vegetation (especially such where willow, poplar or coniferous species prevail) negatively affects the water balance, because:

– from 10 to 25% of precipitation is retained by the crown of broad-leaved species and immediately evaporates into the atmosphere (the so-called intersepation), for coniferous species the moisture loss for intersepation is from 25 to 45% (that is, a significant part of the precipitation does not reach the soil surface and does not replenish reserves groundwater);

– the forest annually uses about 5000 m3 / ha of water for transpiration (moisture evaporation by the surface of the leaf), on a hot summer day, each tree receives from the soil and evaporates from 500 to 2000 l of water into the atmosphere;

– Water use by trees depends on their age and species, weather conditions of the season. At the same time, the evatranspiration rate of trees is much higher than that of berry plantations (after all, the area of ​​the leaf surface of the forest is several times greater than the area of ​​the leaves of bush berries). In addition, the intensity of moisture evaporation by the forest is practically independent of the amount of rainfall – a powerful root system allows you to get water from the deep layers of the soil.

See also: What you need to know about the repairing varieties of strawberry garden: says Oleg Bosy

  1. Plantations of blueberries (blueberries) are laid using synthetic or organic mulching material, such mulching significantly reduces unproductive moisture loss (evaporation from the soil surface);

  2. The modern drip irrigation system, which is installed by almost all professional manufacturers, allows the economical and rational use of water;

  3. With the correct regime, only 20-30% of irrigation water penetrates into the deeper layers of the soil, below the plant root system (infiltrates), however, in reality, this moisture is not lost, but replenishes the groundwater level (for example, it enters the drainage channels, from where it can be used for irrigation repeatedly);

  4. Aisles (with a planting pattern of 3.00 x 1.00 m, their area occupies 40-50% of the planting) are sown with a mixture of cereal grasses. Such a lawn, provided it is regularly skewed, passes almost all the water that comes in the form of precipitation into the soil, and a small leaf surface area provides a low level of moisture loss through transpiration;

  5. Standard growing technologies include planting 3,000-4,000 blueberry bushes (blueberries) per hectare, even in adulthood, reaching a height of 1.5-2 m, these plants use much less moisture for transpiration compared to forest vegetation;

  6. The actual withdrawal of water from the agrobiocenosis with the harvest (for a 5-6 year plantation in full fruiting) is only 10-15 m3 / ha.

“If we assume that only Svityaz Lake (whose area is 27.5 km3) would be used to irrigate a 100-hectare young plantation, then the water level would ultimately decrease by only 6 mm (for comparison: if the field where it was planted blueberries remained wooded – the water level in the lake would drop by 18-20 mm), ”adds Oleg Bosy.

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