Pyramid Hill farm upgrades irrigation system


Modernisation works allows this crop farmer to farm more confidently heading into the future.

When John McEwen purchased 700 acres near Pyramid Hill he had every intention to farm the block to its full potential. A key factor in reaching that potential was water security.
John runs a successful mixed farming enterprise consisting of cropping and pigs, he couldnt see that continuing without water.
Under modernisation the farm has been completely lasered, connected to the backbone channel and a re-use system dug.
We wanted to keep irrigating so it was very important for us to remain connected to the backbone channel,  John said.
The farm was pretty rough and we have spent a fair bit of money to get it to where it is today, but we now have a modernised irrigation system and a future.
John said farmers who had had works completed under modernisation were more than satisfied with the outcome.
There was a lot of negativity surrounding NVIRP initially but as farmers have embraced the concepts of water saving and manipulated their connections, kilometres of pipe has been dug to form one of the most up to date irrigation projects in the world.
The process can at times be slow and cumbersome, but patience is essential. Enormous decisions have to be made and individual projects require correct decision making to ensure there is minimal wastage.
John said it was important land holders consider all aspects of modernisation.
Talk to other farmers about their ideas, there are plenty around and they just keep getting better. Have confidence to sit down with a planner and discuss your own position, pipe dreams are achievable, but must be the decision of the land owner.
As someone who has gone through the negotiation process, John offers up these things to consider.
Do you wnat to continue irrigating?
Will a payout enable you to secure the property next door.
Do you want to increase the size of your property and concentrate on a dryland situation or would a more efficient pipeline help save water and combat the cost of rising water prices in the future?
Make sure you end up with either a compensation package or an efficient irrigation system to propel you into the future because you will never get another chance at something like this.


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