Mincha West farmer prepares for the future


mincha westA modernised irrigation system will help Pat Quinn take his dairying business into the future.

Dairy farming at Mincha West with a newly modernised irrigation system will be a lot easier for Pat Quinn. He is looking forward to watering at the flick of a switch when modernisation works under NVIRP finish on his 1250 ha farm early next year.
 "Water was a huge concern for us and it was made even more so by the drought. Shortages in water allocations meant we had to make some serious decisions and really look at our efficiencies. A lot of water was lost through seepage and evaporation on the way to our farm," Pat said.
Under the old irrigation system, water had to travel up to 30 kilometres just to get to Pat's property - the old system was outdated and unreliable.
"You didn't need to be Einstein to realise the old system was in trouble, our irrigation future was uncertain at its best." Pat said.
The Macorna National Channel runs along the north boundary of Pat's farm only 1km from the dairy.
"Logically that's where our future lay for water delivery, modernisation came along and rationalisation began.
 "As a family we are very involved in our local community and we were keen to see that prosperity continue and the future of irrigation in the area assured."
 Pat said the Mincha West irrigators (nine irrigators in total) held a series of meetings to talk about what each wanted for their farming future.
"Whether the farms were big or small, we wanted to get a full understanding of where each individual irrigator wanted to be. Everyone wanted to connect to the backbone, so we presented a community vision to NVIRP."
Fast forward 12 months and works are now underway on Pat's farm.
Pat is combining modernisation works with the On Farm Irrigation Efficiency program to fully pipe and rise the total irrigated area of his farm. When the works are finished he will have 13 km of pipe, 137 risers with electronic rams, and 2 pumps capable of delivering 20 Ml per day.
"I had a vision for a sustainable efficient system and this is really like all my Christmases have come at once.
"I can select an area based on soil type and location and put in a crop most suited to that particular paddock turn on the pump and water will be delivered exactly where I want it. I don't have to wait for the water to be delivered or for the channel to fill. With a flick of a switch it will all be done.
"On a big farm irrigation is my job and as you get older, things have to get easier and you couldn't get any easier than this," he smiles.


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