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Water Use

  • Integrate irrigation with nutrient management, particularly nitrate leaching or phosphorus runoff. Your focus should be to provide optimal soil moisture for best plant performance while reducing or avoiding nutrient leakage.

  • Reduce water use and wastage. If you observe ponding or runoff during irrigation review your water application rate or method.

  • Reduce water use at farm dairies. This will reduce the effluent volume and storage.

  • If you have flood irrigation system consider converting to other efficient irrigation methods. It is difficult to control the application rate of a flood irrigation system, no matter how good the ground levelling is. Higher application will not only result in water wastage, but nutrient leaching or runoff.

  • If economical store water in water short areas.

  • Maintain soil moisture probes for every major soil type. If affordable install variable irrigation system which integrates detailed soil moisture status with application rates. Ensure variable irrigation system contains sufficient soil moisture probes that reflect soil variability.

  • When irrigate try and maintain soil moisture levels below field capacity for every irrigation event.

  • More frequent and smaller application rates are better than less frequent and large applications.

  • Keep a record of water use by installing water meter. All consented takes > 5 L/s would require water meter installation by RMA regulations.