Conserving Water and Maintaining Quality
Clean water is a precious resource to farmers and wildlife alike. Walker Farmss and Gold Dust are committed to doing our part conserve water.
In the Klamath Basin, water can be a contentious issue. With all of the competing needs of this resource, Gold Dust and Walker Farms try to find ways not only to use less water, but also use that water wisely.
Over the years, out in our fields we’ve been switching from less efficient aluminum irrigation pipe to plastic pipe. We also use more water-efficient sprinklers and use water monitors in all of our fields to ensure we’re not over-watering our crops. All of these measures ensure we not only use as little water as possible, but we also turn out the best chipping potato crop possible.
However, our water conservation practices don’t end in the field. In our potato processing plant, which also uses quite a bit of water, we installed a re-circulation system. This system allows us to process the same amount of potatoes in our packing shed without using more water than necessary.
And while conserving water is important, we also try to keep water cleaner. In fields where we do use conventional farming practices, we have set up buffer zones to prevent sensitive waterways from absorbing the chemicals we use that are sometimes necessary. To further ensure unwanted chemicals stay out of the water, all of our pumps have chemigation valves installed on them. One last way we work to keep our water clean is our participation in the Fall Flood Fallow program. In the fall after harvest, we allow some of our fields to be flooded. Not only does this fall flooding help clean the water by using the soil as a natural filter, it also provides more habitat for waterfowl.
We understand that in order for us to be able to keep farming and remain profitable, we need to take care of what we have. Walker Farms and Gold Dust strive to minimize the water we use and our impact on its quality. It’s good for business – today and tomorrow.