Rain delays irrigation season start

Rain delays irrigation season start


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Later start to irrigation season, due to rain

Rain throughout northern Victoria would be a cost saving for irrigators, pushing the start of the season out by up to a fortnight.

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Mead dairy farmer Di Bowles said the property she ran with husband Gary received nearly 30mm of rain from the latest event.

“I’m very happy. We won’t be irrigating on August 15, so that means dollars saved,” Ms Bowles said.

“We have been getting pretty desperate. We haven’t had much rain at all so this rain has been extremely welcome.”

The farm’s improved pastures of lucerne, oats and Shaftal clover needed rain or irrigation.

“It’s getting really dry on top but the water table is up high,” she said. “It’s very different to last year with the mud and we didn’t irrigate until October.”

Dry conditions would have meant irrigators would all have been seeking water on August 15, “which would have made it difficult to get onto the system.”

Victorian Farmers Federation Water council chairman Richard Anderson, Echuca, it would be at least another fortnight, before irrigators needed to put water on their paddocks. 

“It depends on what the weather does, over the next fortnight, but we’ve had showers  every day or night for the past three weeks.” 

He said irrigators also had a significant amount of carryover. “Because of the last season, Rochester has carried over two and a half times what it has previously carried over,” he said.

Boort cropper Tyler Nelson agreed a lot of irrigators shouldn’t have to enter the market just yet.

“We just received around 25millimetres of rain and our soil profile was near full prior to the rain,” Mr Nelson said. “I don't think will be irrigating any time soon, not in August anyway,” Mr Nelson said.

“Due to the wet start we had, our irrigation country could not be sown until quite late and therefore we adjusted our rotation to mainly wheat and barley and some canola.

“We will also look to put some corn in later.”

DELAYED START: Good rainfall has delayed the start of the year's irrigation season for Mead's Di Bowles.

DELAYED START: Good rainfall has delayed the start of the year's irrigation season for Mead's Di Bowles.

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