Irrigation farm plans for Newry upgrade

A new era for farm businesses in Newry is about to begin with the start of major upgrade works and opportunities to improve farm efficiency.

Farm businesses in the Newry River Channel supply area of the Macalister Irrigation District will be supported to develop a new irrigation farm plan as part of the planned upgrades to the irrigation network.

“This is a great opportunity for those 30 farm businesses in the area being upgraded to get an irrigation farm plan done free of charge that will allow them to get the maximum benefit of the broader upgrade,” said Land Programs Coordinator with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Mr Anthony Goode.

The next stage of the MID 2030 modernisation program will improve and replace channel delivery with pipeline and is being managed by Southern Rural Water (SRW) with funding from both the Victorian State Government as well as the Federal Government.

“We are only managing small part of the broader project, but we’re delighted to be able to offer this irrigation farm plan initiative with our partners Agriculture Victoria as well as SRW,” added Anthony.

Farm businesses in the Tinamba area that saw a similar upgrade in 2019 report that the changes the upgrade allowed them to make to their operations have seen them save time, money, water and lessen impact on the environment.

“The efficiency increases on farm are to the magnitude of 30 to 40 per cent water savings and time saving by up to 50 per cent,” said Tinamba dairy farmer Hans Van Wees.

Similar sentiments are expressed by Francis Gannon, also of Tinamba.

“The upgrade gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to make radical and big changes. It gave us an opportunity to look at ways we could improve…It’s massively reduced the workload…in some cases we’re probably using 30 percent less water.”

As part of the consultation and planning process SRW, AgVic and WGCMA will be hosting an online virtual meeting for farm businesses inside the upgrade boundary at 1pm on Thursday July 30.

More information about the irrigation farm planning project can be found at wgcma.vic.gov.au

For details about the virtual meeting, please contact Andy Fullard at  midproject@srw.com.au

Irrigation Farm Plans offered to Newry farm businesses.