Water Use Efficiency program
Eight irrigation focus sites have been developed on the South Coast as part of the Water Use Efficiency program supported by Bega Cheese and South East Local Land Services. Real time, continuous soil moisture monitoring has been established at the sites that represent the major irrigation system types used across the industry: centre pivots, travelling irrigators, K-line pods, fixed sprinklers and bike shift systems.
The coastal dairy industry has enormous potential to achieve more production from each valuable, and often limited, megalitre of water pumped from our coastal river systems. South East Local Land Services, in collaboration with Bega Cheese, is working with farmer discussion groups to promote and demonstrate cost effective management technologies.
Technologies such as remote soil moisture monitors and satellite imagery are recognised across the irrigation industry as best practice management of irrigated pasture.
Newly adopted technologies play an increasing role in farming efficiency. Uptake of new technology is continually improving the management and monitoring of soil fertility, development of livestock feed rations and predicting pasture growth.
Technologies and skills that increase water use efficiency have the benefits of improving both the profitability and the environmental sustainability of irrigation. This is achieved by ensuring water is applied at the right volume, at the right time and monitored.
South East Local Land Services is keen to work with industries like the dairy industry to develop these and other new technologies which make farming more efficient and help land managers protect their natural resources.
For more information contact:
Senior Land Services Officer - Pastures/Irrigation
02 6491 7829
Real time soil moisture data can be accessed anywhere there is internet access. Angus Johnston and Tony Inskip, at the 300 cow Johnston dairy in the Bega Valley, make daily management decisions of this newly developed 15Ha K-line irrigation and effluent re-use area based upon their soil moisture monitoring system.