Thursday, 03 September 2020 06:55

Fertigation all about farmer control

Written by  Staff Reporters
Fertigation could help solve several issues that are facing all irrigated farmers. Fertigation could help solve several issues that are facing all irrigated farmers.

A process that combines fertiliser and irrigation gives farmers control, says Graeme Pile, Fertigation Systems co-founder.

“They can apply urea when it suits them, at a quantity based on pasture supply and demand,” Pile says.

“At the same time, through fertigation farmers don’t need to worry about people coming onto their farms spreading viruses and everyone can rest assured that such a method of fertiliser application is friendly to the environment.” 

Pile has worked with fertigation for ten years and joined forces with Andy Nurse in 2018 to establish Fertigation Systems. 

He says the company vision is “helping farmers enhance their environment and protect their future”. 

“Given the numerous government and regional council demands being placed on farmers along with questions around a ‘license to farm’, we like to think we are the ideal answer,” Pile says.

He says fertigation helps solve several issues that are facing all irrigated farmers. 

Fertigation increases nitrogen efficiency, meaning farmers can apply less fertiliser and produce the same milk volume. Achieving more with less, allows them to beat the 190kg N cap government regulation.

He says the other plus of fertigation is to successfully address the N surplus or N quantity that farmers need to reduce by up to 35% in the next three to five years. 

Fertigation allows farmers to quickly and easily adjust how much fertiliser they apply, based on seasonal and weather conditions. If the grass starts growing fast, they can reduce or not apply any nitrogen the next day. 

Convenience is another big factor why farmers are requesting that we install fertigation units, says Pile. 

The four to five days that it takes between ordering urea and for a truck to get onto the paddocks are days that the pasture doesn’t receive the optimum nutrient levels to grow. With fertigation they get the nutrients on the next day after grazing, allowing them to grow more grass.

“Farmers and their partners have told us they feel more in control of their fertiliser applications through fertigation, which allows them to focus on other important tasks,” says Pile.

 “One farmer would spend a whole day sorting out how much urea to apply on what paddock based on the maps the managers gave him. Now, he has allocated that task back to the managers and he reviews what they have completed by looking at his phone or computer each week.”

Fertigation Systems custom designs a system based on the farm’s existing irrigation system, farmer requirements and fertiliser types.

Pile points out that a fertigation unit is not just a dosing pump and a tank. It includes robust injection pumps, flow meters, tank level indicators, text alerts and control from a smart phone or office computer.

Pile says Fertigation Systems installation fully complies with ECAN regulations, permits for chemigation valves, interlocking power supply and bunding if required. 

“We train all the staff who will be using the system and show them how to get the most out of the unit,” he says. 

More like this

Spring up with fertilisers

With spring in the air and soils starting to warm up over the next few weeks, farmers will be preparing to fertilise their paddocks.

The power of a soil probe

Do you know what’s happening in your soil? Water usage and productivity company Watermetrics believes it’s essential for farmers to know this.


Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.


Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.


Expat workers ready for NZ

Dairy industry recruitment company Rural People Limited is seeing a huge increase in overseas interest to fill New Zealand farming…

Machinery & Products

Kubota ROPS tractors here

Kubota New Zealand product specialist Shaun Monteith says Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) tractors make up 30% of all tractors in…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Dung paint

India now has its own cow dung paint, a world-first. 

Fresh for 60 days

A Queensland-based company is set to release its own production of milk this year that stays fresh for at least…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter