Agriculture Victoria and Southern Rural Water are encouraging Victorian irrigators to budget their water allocations this dry season, helping them get the most out of irrigations in challenging conditions.
Acting Regional Manager Irrigation for Agriculture Victoria, Janice Dowe, recommends doing a water budget. “A water budget can assist farmers decide how many irrigations to have, if they need to dry off areas of the farm and which parts of the farm give the best production per megalitre of water. Often a better quality pasture can be grown by irrigating a smaller area to match pasture water use, compared with a larger poorly irrigated area.”
Agriculture Victoria irrigation officers can help farmers with water budgets and irrigation advice, and can provide information about incentives available for more efficient irrigation infrastructure.
“Customers who schedule their irrigations against soil moisture levels get maximum pasture growth for their water spend,” observes Gavin Prior, Acting Manager Water Supply East, at Southern Rural Water. “This translates to better production and more efficient use of water and time.
“Irrigators should also plan irrigation to allow for adequate lead time in delivery because this can vary significantly depending on customer demand,” said Gavin.
Southern Rural Water actively supports water trading, so that customers who are not using their full allocation can trade it temporarily or permanently to those who need more water in the short-term or as part of their long-term plan for farm development.