Flexible funding boon for MID irrigators

Macalister Irrigation District (MID) irrigators now have the flexibility to apply for funding for on-farm irrigation upgrades when they are ready and prepared to do the works.

A revised irrigation efficiency incentive program is being launched this month.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Irrigation Extension Officer Sarah Killury said applications will be accepted and assessed on a monthly basis until all funds are allocated.

“Financial assistance remains the same and is available for on-ground works including converting to spray irrigation, constructing a reuse system or upgrading to best practice surface irrigation, including automated irrigation technology,” Ms Killury said.

“The new process will allow irrigators flexibility to come and discuss their next irrigation upgrade when they are ready.”

Nambrok Dairy Farmer and MID irrigator, Malcolm Sellen was pleased to hear he could still apply for financial assistance to build a new reuse system this year.

“We’re looking to build a reuse system to keep more water and nutrients on-farm,” Mr Sellen said.

“The changes to the program will allow for flexible decision making on-farm and it takes the pressure off trying to complete works within set dates.”

Ms Killury said if you’re thinking of on-farm irrigation upgrades this year, get in touch with Agriculture Victoria.

“Funding is limited and applications will be assessed on a first in – first serve basis, so the sooner you contact us the better your chances of receiving funding.

“With the help of the program, MID farmers are now saving over 36,000 ML of water every year, that’s about 20 per cent of the capacity of Lake Glenmaggie.

“This water would normally run off farms, often carrying sediment and nutrients into rivers and the Gippsland Lakes.

“Now with works undertaken through incentives the water is staying on the farm to grow more grass and more vegetables which is a win:win for the whole community,” Ms Killury said.

This program’s funding is part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s investment in the Sustainable Irrigation Program through Water for Victoria.

This $59 million investment over four years provides decision-making and property planning support to farmers to enable change across Victoria’s irrigation districts. The Sustainable Irrigation Program is investing over $2.7 million in West Gippsland, delivered through a partnership between Agriculture
Victoria and the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.

Interested farmers should contact Agriculture Victoria’s irrigation team at Maffra on (03) 5147 0800.

MID Fixed sprays