Wednesday 23 September 2015


Being an Irrigating Farmer has many benefits with increased land value and production to less reliance on rainfall events being at the top of the list.
But with these benefits comes responsibilities and duties to ensure success at being an irrigating farmer.  So, what is involved?

1. Regular System Maintenance

1.       Irrigation System checks should be undertaken pre-season and at least twice over the irrigation season.  This involves doing pressure tests, checking sprinklers and nozzles, cleaning out filters, checking and fixing leaks.  Click on the link below for checklists and guides.

2. Irrigation Evalulations

Irrigation Systems need to be evaluated much like getting a vehicle Warrant of Fitness.  Evaluating your system allows you to check that it is working to the design specifications and performing as you would expect.  High distribution uniformity (how evenly the system applies water) is the key to achieving an efficient and effective irrigation system.  

Ideally, irrigation systems should be ‘farmer’ evaluated annually using the ‘Irrig8lite’ guide -  

Should your system show low performance, a full system evaluation should be undertaken by a qualified evaluator:

3. Measuring Soil Moisture

Measuring your soil moisture is the BEST way to manage and schedule your irrigation efficiently.  If you don’t know what your soil moisture content is, it is likely you are either under irrigating or over irrigating which can be detrimental to your crop and/or the environment.  There are a number of options when it comes to measuring soil moisture whether it be an on farm service or telemetered continuous soil moisture sensors.  

The Irrigation Season has already arrived for some and is fast approaching for others.  If you haven’t completed your pre-season system maintenance checks already, now is the time to do it!