Among visitors to last week’s Water Technology Cluster Irrigation and Energy WTC Expo in Shepparton was a contingent of farmers from the Macalister Irrigation District in East Gippsland.SHARON WRIGHT June 3, 2014 3:06am
Gippsland farmers visiting Goulburn Valley.L-R Greg Hair, Neil Lett, gavan lamb, Rod Cannon, Brett Matthews.
Among visitors to last week’s Water Technology Cluster Irrigation and Energy Expo in Shepparton was a contingent of farmers from the Macalister Irrigation District in East Gippsland.
Southern Rural Water is in the process of rolling out modernisation of the district and farmers wanted to see first-hand how to capitalise on the expected improved level of service delivery from the water authority.
Led by DEPI senior irrigation officer Gavan Lamb, the group — comprising dairy farmers, DEPI and Southern Rural Water staff — spent two days in northern Victoria.
‘‘I came to the expo with a colleague two years ago and thought it would be great to organise a tour for our farmers to have the opportunity to see the latest technology in the one spot,’’ Mr Lamb said.
‘‘The tour was really prompted by the plan to modernise the MID and funding for that is now starting to flow.
‘‘Farmers are keen to see what their options are for on-farm works.’’
As well as visiting the expo, the group toured two farms which have different automated irrigation systems.
Greg Pell and Kerry Beattie’s organic dairy farm at Byrneside uses a WiSA flood irrigation system and Leslie Farms at Arcadia has installed an Observant surface irrigation automation system.
‘‘There is some irrigation automation in the MID so we chose to view two different systems that we don’t have,’’ Mr Lamb said.
‘‘The farmers were really keen to see the technology we’re not familiar with and to talk to the people first-hand who use those systems.’’
Maffra farmer Rod Cannon runs a 120
‘‘I’m unsure yet as to which way I will go as there are so many systems out there,’’ Mr Cannon said.
‘‘It has been great to see the systems other farmers are actually using.’’
The group members were unanimous in praising the WTC expo for having so much information available in the one place.
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