HWP has published a series of Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help our farmer shareholders plan their farm irrigation with HWP.
Scroll through the questions below or Download each individual Fact Sheet
What is my irrigable area and how many water right shares will I need?
Each share will provide enough water and Nitrogen allocation to irrigate one (1) hectare of land (4mm/ha/day). This equates to a flow of 0.46 l/s at the farm turn out. The irrigable area of your land is largely dependent on the type of irrigator you use and the layout and features of your farm, such as shelter belts, buildings, gullys and other land forms. Establish how you want to use irrigation, what the soil types are, and work out what part of your land is feasibly irrigable. This will give you a good guide as to how many shares you will need. Once a farmer converts to irrigation, they generally want to irrigate more rather than less. It’s important for you to consider future proofing your system to allow for growth and to maximise the opportunity.
What type of irrigation system is most suitable for my farm?
There are a variety of irrigation systems available, and many things to consider when selecting the ‘right’ irrigation system.
Factors may include the shape of your farm, contour, desired water efficiency, and expected land use or farm system.
Different irrigation systems have different advantages and disadvantages, and there may be trade-offs. For example, K-lines or guns may have a lower purchase cost, but will likely require more labour and could have higher operating costs, compared to other systems such as pivots and solid set.
Irrigation consultants are well placed to assist you to develop a system that best suits your farm and business needs.
Is anything likely to change in the future that should form part of my decision making now?
There are many considerations that will influence the area of irrigation farmers choose to implement. Having access to irrigation water provides options for future land uses, whereas non-irrigated land will be limited in the farming systems that can be sustainably operated. Environmental compliance, good management practice and nutrient limits/restrictions will become a significant part of farming, whether you irrigate or not. We will all be held accountable for the things we do on-farm and whilst this may be a challenge today, it will become a normal part of farming in the future. Having reliable access to water, matched with the right nutrient budget, will provide options for the future and improve your ability to cope with unforeseen challenges.
What other things do I need to do?
HWP will build and operate the infrastructure to deliver water to the farm turn-out (usually located close to the farm boundary). There are other components to factor in. These will depend on your existing farm set-up, proposed farming system, proposed irrigation method, and other physical constraints on your farm. Irrigation companies will be able to give you advice on what you need to consider when planning your new layout. Farm advisors and farm accountants are often good sources of information in this space, as are farmers that are already experienced in irrigation.
Once you have decided what system is right for you, you will want to develop a project plan to ensure you do all the right things at the right time. Irrigation companies often provide project management and project planning services to make sure you capture all of the tasks required, to ensure a smooth transition to irrigation.
Who will help me to implement what I need to get done?
Whilst most farmers will be quite capable of managing the various tasks in the lead-up to first water, there are businesses that specialise in managing the process. Irrigation companies and farm advisors are a good place to start.
Are there things I can work in with my neighbours for mutual benefit, for example boundary realignments
There is always room for innovation.
Sharing the capital cost with neighbours can improve the profitability of your investment. There are cases where neighbours have constructed a large pivot on a boundary and shared the appropriate costs – giving you a larger area irrigated at a smaller outlay. In some cases, land swap can also be advantageous. Have a chat with your neighbours once your plan is done, you could have more options than you think.