Review farm energy and water use now
AUSTRALIAN farmers are quick to adapt to technology to automate irrigation.
In the past 20 years we haveseengovernmentsprovide incentive for upgrading an outdated irrigation system, particularly in the VictorianGoulburnMurray irrigation district.
The catalysts were drought and the establishment of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) which have forced farmers to become efficient and look to nutritionists for grain supplement and to moveawayfrompermanent summer pasture irrigation.
The shift has been from flood irrigation with open delivery channels to piped automated risers activated by mobile phone, higher flows,lesswaterappliedper watering, less fertiliser and less cooling of soil.
The acceptance of lowpressure, centre pivot or linear move provides improvedproductionoffodder and crop.
On the federal level it is pleasing to read that the government will minimise buyback in the southern MDBA.
The assessment, in my opinion, is justified as demonstrated by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holders’ (CEWH) loss of about 112 gigalitres due to the spill policy in 2013-2014.
In 2014-2015, the CEWH will be trading allocation, which seems to be at odds with the original mission statement.
Farm gate price profit will be increasingly dependent on farmers taking theopportunitytominimise labor and energy by using technology.
Duringthelast100years, government and private industry have pursued oil, gas and coal at any cost to initially provide the transport of people and freight.
The car industry now leads the manufacturing industry around the world, while providing jobs.
The motorist is much like a farmer - by being a price taker.
Current diesel prices are on the rise, so I suggest you review your usage and try to minimise.
Electricity use for dairy and irrigation should also be reviewed.
Models presented for return on investment (ROI) need to be current (not three years or older).
A major price reduction on solar panels means that what was not feasible in 2011isworthgettingquotes for in 2014.
Applications are designed to provide for your needs, not for the feed-in tariff. Quotes regularly show 20 per cent ROI for business applications. This is the way to go.
Diesel and electricity are costs that you can ignore or manage to increase your profits.
For irrigators in Victoria the State Government has announced major changes to the transfer of land.