Farmer’s phone aids water flow
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.’’