Farmer’s phone aids wa­ter flow

Southern Riverina news - - RURAL OUTLOOK -

Fin­ley dairy farmer Mar­cus Flana­gan has al­most dou­bled the flow ca­pac­ity of one of his ir­ri­ga­tion out­lets since com­plet­ing his Pri­vate Ir­ri­ga­tion In­fra­struc­ture Op­er­a­tors Pro­gram pro­ject late last year.

Mr Flana­gan (pic­tured) used to get about nine me­gal­itres per day out of his Dethridge wheel.

But since the in­stal­la­tion of a retro­fit FlumeGate (in­serted into old wheel em­place­ment), he is now ca­pa­ble of com­mand­ing up to 15 megs per day.

‘‘We’re def­i­nitely get­ting bet­ter flows now and there’s also less loss of com­mand,’’ he said.

While Mr Flana­gan is happy with his new out­let, it’s more the sys­tem ef­fi­ciency im­prove­ment that im­presses him most.

‘‘The ease of wa­ter­ing is great. I can or­der wa­ter on my iPhone and even mon­i­tor flows on my iPhone.

‘‘Once the out­let is set to auto, it will chase the or­dered amount so the flow stays con­sis­tent through­out the en­tire pe­riod.

‘‘At the mo­ment we’re able to make changes to or­ders in 24 hour in­cre­ments, but my un­der­stand­ing is that once the sys­tem is au­to­mated, we’ll be able to open, shut or change wa­ter or­ders at any time of day.’’

Mr Flana­gan’s prop­erty is lo­cated in Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion’s High Level of Ser­vice area.

HLOS cus­tomers are able to change their wa­ter or­ders more fre­quently, gen­er­ally al­low­ing around four changes per day if chan­nel flow con­di­tions al­low.

Mr Flana­gan says the PIIOP pro­ject over­all is great for Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion and its cus­tomers.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant that we im­prove the sys­tem’s ef­fi­ciency so we can make bet­ter use of our wa­ter.

‘‘ There are a lot im­prove­ments in farm­ing prac­tises that have been made. We can now match these prac­tises with the ef­fi­cient de­liv­ery of wa­ter.

‘‘It’s about ease of man­age­ment. If we as farm­ers can mon­i­tor soil mois­ture and recog­nise our crop re­quire­ments bet­ter — and the new de­liv­ery sys­tem al­lows us to get wa­ter onto crops when the crop needs it — we then not only utilise our wa­ter bet­ter, but push closer to reach­ing the crop’s po­ten­tial.

‘‘This en­ables us to pro­duce more tonnes of feed or food per me­gal­itre whilst cut­ting our to­tal wa­ter use.’’

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