Irrigation upgrades help Gunbower farmer


The On Farm Efficiency Program has provided Matt and Vicki McGillivray with a modernised irrigation system on their 141ha Gunbower dairy farm.

Through the program they have installed a 2.7km black brute looped pipeline which now irrigates the majority of their farm. They were also fortunate to laser 55 ha.

“This program has really given us an opportunity to get work done we would never have been able to afford,” Matt said.

“The new system is easy to use and I can now water efficiently, I no longer have to worry about fixing holes or blow outs in irrigation channels.”

Another benefit of the modernised system is the ability to reduce labor and cut costs. Spraying channels with costly chemicals is a job of the past and water can be directed onto any paddock that Matt wants to water, no matter where it is located on the farm.

“All I have to do now is work out which paddocks I want to water, hit a button and the water is there. I used to run the pump for two days just to get the channel filled from a kilometre away, now it’s just instant.”

The pipeline was looped to allow the pump to run more efficiently and it also enabled the pipe size to be reduced which helped save a few dollars.

The lasering has turned the property from lots of little paddocks with laneways running every where to one easy to manage block. All in all the family couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

The new system has been in place for just over 12 months and Matt is expecting his water savings to be somewhere in the vicinity of 20 per cent. He is currently in the process of modernising another irrigation block not far from the home farm.

“The DPI, CMA and NVIRP were all really good to work with and we couldn’t fault the process at all. We were all learning as we wnet and I wouild recommend this process to any other farmers thinking about applying for this project.”

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