Irrigation Investment Pays For Itself With Results
Dairy farmer Brenton Gray used to struggle to reap the benefits from his old, slow and poorly-laid out open channel system.
Weeds, couch and kikuyu grasses were all that seemed to grow, and many hours were spent spraying the channels and waiting for the water to arrive where it was needed.
All that changed when he switched to a Pipe and Riser system four years ago.
“I’m saving a lot more water now and my pasture, feed-wise and tonnage wise, has nearly doubled,” says Brenton.
About 80 per cent of the Gray’s 350 acre property at Stanhope is now irrigated using a Pipe and Riser set-up. They lasered 100 acres.
Brenton says the change has been significant.
Instead of waiting three to four days for ordered water to be processed, only to find the crop was now too dry, he can water his fields with the push of a button and have the water on it virtually instantly.
“I always knew Pipes and Risers would make a difference for us, but the old man was really surprised at the result. He hadn’t wanted to do it but now he thinks it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”
Brenton says being able to do all the watering himself, with no need to spray channels, has meant his father can ease off the workload and gained more time to relax, something they hope to both be able to do soon.
The property is up for sale and the Grays are excited at the added value the irrigation system brings to the land.
“It has proven its worth and really paid for itself,” says Brenton.
Total Eden Shepparton worked with the Grays to come up with the best design for the new system, being sure to take into account the pump running and other ongoing costs of the investment to produce the most cost-effective result for their needs.
Total Eden’s branch manager Andrew Chittick says it’s important to look at the big picture when designing an irrigation system.
“With the ever increasing cost of power and fuel, planning for those ongoing costs is critical,” he says.
Total Eden is a part of the extensive Ruralco network, giving farmers access to a wide range of support services, including finance, for these projects.
Andrew says one of the advantages of the Pipe and Riser system is it can be easily installed in stages – and automation can be included in the initial set-up, or added in later on.