There’s about 360 acres of irrigation, 290 of that’s flood-irrigated river flats, and the other 70 acres is permanent sprinklers, and we run about 600 head. The farm has moved from from just ordinary open irrigation channels to put rubber lining in to keep the weeds out, stop leaks around channel stops.
The rubber lining has certainly made for more efficient irrigating. The water all goes where it’s supposed to when it’s supposed to.
“We used to slash the grass out of the channel before we’d irrigate, so we’re saving ourselves the time of cleaning the channel. To get the water out at the furthest point away from the pump took between five and five-and-a-half hours pumping to get the water there.” said Warren.
The flood irrigation is water syphoned directly out of the River Murray. There’s about 24 megs a day comes through the syphon, and on a six-metre bay that works out to nearly a mega-litre per bay per irrigation.
“Where we’re working on at the moment is replacing conventional open channel along what we call the Back Swamp, putting in pipe and riser. And once we get all the pipe and riser all in place and once you start the pump, the water will come out instantly available up the other end.
We’re probably saving a meg-and-a-half to two-and-a-half megs in filling the channel every time we water. That water is going straight out on your pasture instead of into filling the channel.”
Warren’s project saved 20 megalitres of water to help preserve the Murray–Darling Basin river environment.