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Interest in irrigation conference ramps up

Interest in irrigation conference ramps up

On the back of a dry summer, reduced dairy pay-out and increasingly complex regulatory regimes across the country, irrigating farmers are showing more interest in IrrigationNZ’s biennial conference and expo.

Registrations are up 30% on numbers booked two years ago for the last conference in Hawke’s Bay and IrrigationCEO Andrew Curtis believes a tougher rural outlook is behind the trend.

“Things are tight in the rural sector so there’s a real focus on cutting costs and making sure any water being applied is doing its job. Our conference brings together irrigation experts from around the globe so it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from the best and ensure your irrigation strategy is delivering results. More than ever irrigators and their support industries need solutions to achieve efficient irrigation and the conference provides this."

Between 400 and 500 people are expected to converge on Oamaru between 5-7 April to discuss issues relevant to irrigators and their support industries. This is the first time Waitaki District has hosted the event sponsored in 2016 by principal partnersAnderson Lloyd, ANZ, Monadelphous, Network Waitaki and Waterforce.

Keynote speakers include author Julian Cribb, scientist Dr Christopher Neale, advertising guru Peter Biggs, irrigation researcher Stuart Styles and agricultural engineer Robert Milla.

“We’re excited to have speakers of this calibre who will bring global perspectives on everything from improving irrigation practice to how the irrigation sector can better connect with communities. They are all ‘big picture thinkers’ who will stimulate and challenge current industry thinking and we’re hoping our irrigating community will turn out in force to hear their insights,” says Mr Curtis.

Alongside the keynote speakers, workshop sessions will run on topics as diverse as developing irrigation on hills, the case or not for piping of irrigation schemes, making sense of OVERSEER and attracting and retaining staff. Pre-conference tours around Waitaki District will take in irrigation developments, the district’s past and future attractions and tourism and food history. The recipients of IrrigationNZ’s Innovation in Irrigation Award, in conjunction with Aqualinc, and Ron Cocks Award for service to the irrigation industry will be presented at the conference dinner on 6th April.

The early bird registration special to attend the IrrigationNZ conference will close 23rd February but registrations will remain open right up to the start of the event.


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