Irrigating Agriculture

Variable speed drives — an energy saving option for irrigated horticulture

A variable speed drive (VSD) is used to adjust a pump’s flow or pressure to the field requirements (actual demand). Adopting VSDs in irrigation was historically for operational reasons such as providing constant pressure outputs, ‘soft starts’, or reducing pump wear. More recently, as energy prices continue to rise, the […]

Using soil moisture information to schedule irrigations

As part of the Accelerating Change project in Northern Victoria, various soil moisture monitoring (SMM) devices were used over the last 3 years under surface irrigated pasture and other forages on farm to assist with improved irrigation timing.
Key learnings
SMM provides objective and useful information for irrigation scheduling and reduces the […]

Soil Salinity Surveys on offer for North Central irrigators

Winter presents the perfect time for Torrumbarry and Loddon Valley irrigators in the GMID to conduct surveys for soil salinity levels, an important requirement of the Whole Farm Planning process. Surveys can only be undertaken when adequate soil moisture is available. Surveys are available free of charge for eligible irrigators.
Almost […]

No seasonal adjustment to AUL in the Macalister Irrigation District

Lake Glenmaggie

Given the dry irrigation season, many Macalister Irrigation District irrigators have queried why there has been no seasonal district-wide adjustment to Annual Use Limit (AUL).
Annual use limits set a total amount of water that can be applied per hectare and ensure that farm irrigation practices limit the off-farm impacts of […]

Managing horticultural crops with less water

Irrigators may be faced with reduced water allocations at some stage in the future. In this situation a range of decisions may need to be made including:

       the purchase of additional water (at a likely elevated value);
       prioritise water onto preferred patches;
       giving other patches reduced volumes with consequent reductions […]

GMID Seasonal determinations and Risk of spill

Determinations
Every season, entitlement holders who hold high and low-reliability water shares receive a percentage of those shares.
The percentage depends on seasonal conditions and the volume of water held in the storage that is available to distribute – this percentage of the shares is called a seasonal determination.
Seasonal determinations are updated […]

Maintaining a drip irrigation system for perennial horticulture

Irrigation systems only operate well if properly maintained. This is especially important for drip irrigation, as it is difficult to detect problems before crop health problems become obvious.
The most common problems with drip irrigation are:

emitter clogging
dripper component deterioration
system pressure mismanagement.

Regular maintenance and monitoring is the best way to identify and […]

Converting mature citrus to drip irrigation

Drip irrigation is a popular method of water application for citrus growers, for both: new developments and  converting established plantings. Converting mature citrus trees to drip irrigation creates a series of challenges that can be overcome if appropriate management practices are adopted.
Where an established orchard is converted to drip, […]

What to know about Soil Moisture Monitoring

Soil Moisture Monitoring (SMM) devices provide information about the water status of soil. This information can be used to help you achieve top yields and maximise productivity from your water by being better able to plan when to irrigate and apply the right amount of water. SMM devices provide an […]