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2009 Regional Award Winner
Leamington Area Drip Irrigation Inc. – Leamington
Greg Dick, Paul Tiessen, Ken Stasko, Wayne Palichuk, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex Pat Hoy, Dave Epp and Pete Brunato
Ontario tomatoes are getting pumped over this innovation. The Leamington Area Drip Irrigation is a group of 13 farmers who wanted to improve water efficiency for their operations. They spent years consulting with agencies and specialists across Canada, using that expertise to design and construct a new communal irrigation system that increases the reliability of supply and quality of water to local producers. The 36 kilometre pipeline, pump house and filter system can precisely monitor the amount of water being delivered from Lake Erie to 2,500 acres of tomatoes in the Leamington area. Participating growers have seen a reduction in energy and input costs and an increase in the quality and yield of their crops. The fixed structure eliminates the need for much of the annual set-up associated with traditional drip irrigation and has reduced water costs in the growing season by 66 per cent.
The Leamington Area Drip Irrigation Inc. group is also the recipient of the top Premier’s Award of $100,000 under the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program.