Benefits and barriers of converting conventional border irrigation systems to pressurised systems for crops and pastures in northern Victoria: farmers’ perspectives
Rabi Maskey1, Amjed Hussain1 & Rebecca Pike2
1 Agriculture Victoria, 255 Ferguson Road, Tatura, Victoria 3616
2 Agriculture Victoria, PO Box 441 Echuca, Victoria 3564
Abstract. Conventional gravity border check irrigation systems are generally less expensive to install and operate than pressurised irrigation systems and have traditionally been the most common irrigation system in northern Victoria to grow crops and pastures. However, due to high water prices and labour costs, pressurised systems are becoming popular with irrigators, who argue that they increase water use efficiency, decrease nutrient loss and reduce labour costs. The results show that the reasons for conversion varied amongst farmers; however, all identified that they saved water and increased production using pressurised systems. Farmers discussed that energy costs are the major ongoing cost for operation of pressurised systems. The findings of this study can assist extension staff to develop extension packages that could guide irrigators to make informed decisions on the adoption of irrigtion upgrades that meets their needs and generate water savings.
Keywords: extension learnings, irrigation upgrades, pressurised irrigation, water use efficiency