Duncan Family Farms® Launches New Water Efficiency Initiative
- by Lilian Diep
BUCKEYE, AZ - Duncan Family Farms® is doing its best to commit to water efficiency and has taken on the help of Measure to Improve to solve this sustainability issue. Through this new partnership, the grower launched a new company-wide Water Use Efficiency initiative for measuring, collecting, and analyzing water data.
“Sustainability is more than a strategic initiative for us, it is an acknowledgment that it is at the core of who we are,” said Will Feliz, President of Duncan Family Farms. “We need to be able to articulate what we are doing in sustainability. While we have done an excellent job talking about our practices, we don't have the metrics in place to measure and validate. This commitment will allow us to continue our sustainability journey and authentically quantify the benefits for ourselves and our customers.”
The new Water Use Efficiency initiative at Duncan is the next step in documenting, measuring, and validating the company’s sustainability practices. The overarching goal of Duncan’s Water Use Efficiency initiative is to change the company culture and define a new way of thinking for its supervisors and irrigators.
“We want to get the point where we can be predictive of how much water our crops will need and when we have applied the right amount of water,” said Arnott Duncan, Founder of Duncan Family Farms. “It will take a lot of measurement, data collection, and analysis to get to that point. But, this is what will get us to the next level where we have conversations about water inches applied, not hours irrigated. It will allow us to relate moisture levels to soil texture, and how water will move through the soil based on the current moisture levels.”
Since it was founded in 1985, Duncan Family Farms has invested in water-related research and development (R&D), new irrigation equipment, a sophisticated weather station, and training programs.
According to a press release, the company needed real-time data in order to evaluate new efficiency measures.
That’s where Measure to Improve came into play.
“It is really difficult for farmers to measure water in drops per crop,” said Nikki Cossio, CEO and Founder of Measure to Improve. “Duncan Family Farms is taking a real leadership role with its Water Use Efficiency initiative by putting the measurement and data systems in place to be able to provide buyers and consumers with the documentation, data, and third-party certifications needed to validate their sustainability claims and demonstrate improvement over time.”
Congratulations to both companies as they advance sustainable initiatives in the fresh produce sector.