AB InBev strives to be a leader in water stewardship across our value chain. As agricultural ingredients account for over ninety percent of the water used to produce beer, we are committed to partnering with our growers in key growing regions to help improve water management and reduce water consumption.
“Water is a valuable commodity to us and we need to manage it the best we can. We want to conserve water while improving yields.”
- Clark Hamilton, Barley Grower, Ririe, Idaho
In 2014, AB InBev installed six new AgriMet climate stations in Idaho and partnered with the Bureau of Reclamation, the University of Idaho and Washington State University to pilot a mobile irrigation scheduler developed by WSU.
AgriMet, a cooperative agricultural weather network, provides accurate and relevant climate data to inform growers on barley and other crop management decisions.
Irrigation scheduling focuses on applying the right amount of water at the right time for optimal plant use based on weather data gathered from the climate stations and current crop stages.
Based on graphical data provided in the scheduler, growers make irrigation decisions with the goal of keeping moisture below the plant’s maximum absorption level but above a level where the plant would go into distress.
Preliminary data from our 2014 case studies demonstrated a 9-23 percent water use reduction in three locations.
- Growers benefit from better utilization of water resources and reduced energy inputs from less irrigation.
While we continue to develop the irrigation scheduler and work with our Idaho growers to incorporate the tool into their irrigation practices, we expanded the program into Montana with the installation of four new AgriMet climate stations and supporting field trials in 2015.