Dairy Farming Fertigation

Dairy farming fertigation is on the agenda as a project aimed at improving the profit of 3,000 cotton, dairy, rice and sugar irrigators has been announced by the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce. The project, Smarter irrigation for profit, is a partnership between the major irrigation industries of cotton, dairy, rice and sugar, led by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) in conjunction with Dairy Australia, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Sugar Research Australia and other partners including EcoDoseTM Fertigation Systems.

The project aims to improve the profit of each individual irrigator enterprise across the four industries by $20,000-40,000 per annum, with the support of 16 R&D partners and up to 19 farmer-managed learning sites.

EcoDose Fertigation Systems has contributed fertigation pumps to two of the diary Smart Irrigation for Profit demonstration sites so far: Tamworth and Warwick.

The Tamworth dairy site is located at Limestone Park in Loomberah, where owner Rex Tout milks a herd of 130 cows on an irrigated platform of 40 hectares via 2 centre pivots and a 1 linear irrigator. In consultation with Rex, the irrigation consultants and the project agronomist we calculated the size of the fertigation pump required. The main inputs to this being size of the paddocks to be irrigated, the quantity per hectare of nutrients to be delivered (in this case water soluble fertiliser) and the speed/efficiency of the irrigation equipment being used. As Rex already had a tank with agitator on site, we retro-fitted an EcoDose Fertigation System to it, upgraded the wiring and delivered it to farm.

Watch a short video on the Tamworth demonstration site here.
Download the overview of the demonstration site here.

Rex Tout speaks to ‘theland.com.au’ about the programme, read it here.

The Warwick dairy site, the Hoffman’s is a family run dairy farm. Recently a 25ha centre pivot was installed to grow quality crops as pit silage for the dairy herd. EcoDose became involved in the project and contributed a fertigation pump to be used on the pivot. Again, with input from David Hall (agronomist and project lead) as well as from Pat Daley from Daleys Water Service (irrigation consultant), the best fit for the required nutrient application was calculated and delivered to farm.

Download the overview of the demonstration site here.

For more information on the Smarter Irrigation Project and the Rural Research and Development for Profit Programme visit CRDC or Dept Agriculture.