A controversial dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Country is now allowed to irrigate, even as Environment Canterbury warns that such intensive farming in the area would not now get approval.
He says farmers with irrigation get more criticism as this is seen as the most serious of evils, but irrigation used with precision can benefit the environment: good pasture or crop growth uses up available water and nutrients and limits pollution.
And using precision technology on irrigators also greatly reduces the amount of water used to grow good pasture or crops, he says.
Irrigators using Growsmart Precision VRI get water savings of 25 - 30% and lower reducing electricity usage. And there are other benefits, e.g. being able to turn off irrigation over and around pivot ruts, tracks, water troughs, gateways, drains and boggy areas.
“Growsmart Precision VRI has been supplying these benefits for 10 years,” Gavin says.
“The original systems are still working perfectly and producing world record crops for their farmers. This technology is industry-leading and is continually updated for ease of use and the required reporting for environmental regulators.”
A new innovation enables farmers to create irrigation plans for applying effluent, fertigation and/or chemigation to specific areas under an irrigator.
This intelligent system will automatically switch to a specified plan when the nutrients are being injected into the irrigation water line; it enables farmers to target resources to maximise yields, ensuring efficient use of water and nutrients yet still preventing leaching and run-off.
The technology individually pulses sprinklers on and off while controlling the irrigator speed to modify the application depth along the length of the irrigator.
This can be coupled with FieldNet, a platform that remotely monitors and controls all Lindsay irrigation products from a mobile or laptop to receive real time information and ‘alerts’ allowing the farmer to make irrigation changes to enhance growth and save water.
New to the company’s range is FieldNET Advisor, a management system that enables faster, better-informed irrigation management, says Gavin.
“This combines 40 years of crop and irrigation research into FieldNET’s technology platform, leveraging massive amounts of data, cloud computing capabilities and machine learning in one easy-to-use tool. No need to manually track growth or make complex calculations to ascertain the daily water usage.”
FieldNET Advisor will deliver the data needed for better informed decisions without the cost of installing and maintaining extra field sensors or probes.
Growsmart Precision VRI can be installed on new irrigation systems or as an add-on to existing systems.