Weekly Irrigation Requirements – Macalister Irrigation District

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Macalister ETo Update

28th November to 4th December 2019

    • Flood irrigation interval for the last week was 9 days
    • Spray irrigators needed to have applied 29 mm of irrigation water for the week
    • The predicted weekly pasture water use for the MID in the next week is 42 mm, Yarram 34 mm and Bairnsdale 42 mm. 
    • Glenmaggie is at 75.3%
    * These figures are approximate and do not take into account rainfall on farm*

The Odd Spot

Dry seasonal workshops in Orbost 18th December and Newry 19th December      
Agriculture Victoria is inviting farmers to attend dry seasonal workshops where our experts will give you an update on the latest seasonal outlook including irrigation management and planning in a dry season, grain and fodder market forecasts, securing water for a rain-fed farm, and so on.
They will be held on Wednesday 18 December in Orbost (9:45am-2:00 pm) and on Thursday in Newry (9:45am-2:00 pm). Both workshops will be followed by a free lunch. For registration, ring on 5624 2206 (Del Delpitiya) or 5147 0843 (Maria Rose).

New grants are available for drought-affected farmers/farm workers/farm suppliers/contractors

Drought Community Support Initiative 
One-off payment through the Drought Community Support Initiative of up to $3,000 for those affected in Wellington, East Gippsland, and Latrobe shires. Eligible expenses are groceries, vehicle maintenance, energy & utility bills, health & medical expenses. You need to apply through the Salvation Army either by calling 1300 551 030 or visiting https://bit.ly/34xmGh1 and completing the application process.

Victorian Government’s household financial relief 
A grant payment of up to a maximum of $3,000 per individual applicant and/or household is available for farming families, farmworkers, and contractors in East Gippsland and Wellington Shires, to assist with meeting urgent household expenses such as residential rates (not for farm rates), groceries and food, school expenses, rent, household, and medical bills, and telephone expenses. To access an application form or to find out more, visit https://cwaofvic.org.au/drought-relief/

On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant Program-Round 2
A grant up to $5,000 is now available to eligible farm businesses in Wellington and East Gippsland Shire, to assist eligible farm businesses to implement on-farm infrastructure improvements and or undertake business planning and advice activities.
New funded activities include business decision-making activities like undertaking a whole farm plan, engaging professional services to prepare, review or update strategic business plans, undertake a business risk assessment and many more. For information on the grant go to https://bit.ly/2L3kNkE

Wind and ETo rate
After a decent amount of rain across the district, along with some low ETo days, we will hopefully be thinking that we do not have to irrigate for a few days extra at least. As it is very windy for the last several days, please remember this wind has a greater effect on evapotranspiration than hot and humid days. Wind like these rips water straight from your pasture. Therefore, adjust your irrigation schedule and irrigate earlier than you think.

 ETo – Last Week Totals

Location ETo mm Effective rain* mm (R) Dairy pasture coefficient Required irrigation mm
 (ETₒ – R)
Tinamba 24.0 23.6 1 0.4
Boisdale 28.2 16.8 1 11.4
Denison 36.7 13.2 1 23.5
Cowwarr 26.8 20.0 1 6.8
East Sale 31.7 17.8 1 13.9
Bairnsdale** 32.1 14.4 1 17.7

Tip:  To convert mm to megalitres/ha, divide by 100.  Eg. 50mm = 0.5ML /ha.
* Effective rainfall = daily rainfall minus 2mm.
ETₒ   and the “crop coefficient” (conversion factor) of 1.0 applies to a healthy productive pasture 12 cm high.
** Bairnsdale’s Data is not included when doing any of the below calculations

MID average daily pasture water use over the last week was 4.2 mm/day.
The approximate MID flood irrigation interval based on last week’s daily pasture water use rate was 9 days. (This figure assumes that 30 mm of readily available water is held in the pasture root zone divided by the 4.2 mm/day = 7 days and then add an extra two days to account for waterlogging). This does not take into account any rain your farm may have got during the week which will extend the interval.

Spray irrigators in the MID needed to have applied on average 29 mm of irrigation water for the week to meet pasture water use (4.2 x 7). This irrigation figure does not take into account any rainfall on your farm, which must be subtracted from the required irrigation figure, and assumes that the spray irrigation system is applying water at 100% uniformity. This figure may be greater depending on specific spray irrigation system uniformity.


For Thursday 28 November to Wednesday 4 December

Location Predicted weekly pasture water use (mm/ha) Predicted weekly pasture water use (ML/ha) Predicted daily pasture water use (mm/day)
MID 42 0.42 6.0
Yarram 34 0.34 4.8
Bairnsdale 42 0.42 6.0


The intention of this service is not for the information to be used in isolation when making decisions about irrigation scheduling.
This publication is provided solely for information purposes and no representation or warranty is made as to its quality, accuracy, completeness, suitability or fitness for any particular purpose. You should make your own inquiries as to its appropriateness and suitability for your particular circumstances. The State of Victoria as represented by its Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources accepts no duty of care and disclaims all liability in relation to use of this publication.

AgVic also provides weekly ET email updates for North East Victoria (contact dennis.watson@ecodev.vic.gov.au), Northern Victoria (robert.oconnor@ecodev.vic.gov.au) and the Mallee (maxine.schache@ecodev.vic.gov.au).

You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Further information:

For more detail about using evapotranspiration data refer to this Agriculture Victoria fact sheet “What is evapotranspiration and how do I use it to schedule irrigationsor this scientific paper.


If you would like to subscribe to this email or if you have any questions, comments or feedback related to this email service please don’t hesitate to contact Alexis Killoran on the email below.

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