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Irrigation NZ workshops on making irrigation pay

News Release
6 September, 2012

Irrigation NZ workshops on making irrigation pay

IrrigationNZ will be in Hawke’s Bay again on 13 September with workshops for irrigators on “Making irrigation pay - working within limits”.

Following the success of the 2011 ‘Making Irrigation Pay’ programme that connected with over 700 irrigators, the programme of irrigation information workshops has been expanded for 2012 and is being run from Northland to Southland. The aim is to support irrigators to understand and adopt good management practice for managing water use within limits.

There will be two workshops in Hawke’s Bay on Thursday 13 September –
9 am – 12 noon for Heretaunga Plains consent holders, at the Green Shed, Hastings
2 -5 pm for irrigators in the Tukituki River catchment, at CHB Municipal Theatre in Waipawa.

More information and the full programmes for each of the workshops can be found at www.irrigationnz.co.nz

Water quantity limits and allocations have been in place for a number of years, but water quality limits and associated nutrient discharge allowances will soon also become part of day to day farm management. The 2011 National Policy Statement (NPS) for Freshwater Management has mandated freshwater objective and limit setting, along with the phasing out of over allocation.

While irrigators are increasingly familiar with the practical implications of water allocation limits and the use of water meters for compliance monitoring, water quality is about to join water allocation limits as another bottom-line for the farm business. These workshops are an opportunity to up-skill in the wider range of knowledge needed to operate efficient and effective irrigation systems to maximise crops.

IrrigationNZ has worked with local irrigators in each area to develop regionally specific workshops that will put ‘managing within limits into context’ for their area. Group discussion will cover if and how farms may need to change, and what tools and knowledge gaps will be required to meet the challenges ahead.

The basis of each programme is the National Policy Statement (Freshwater) – Managing within Limits. The Hawke’s Bay workshops will also look at the Land and Water Strategy put out last year by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

As the Hawke’s Bay workshops coincide with the release of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s discussion document Tukituki Choices about the future of the Tukituki River catchment, the workshop at the CHB Municipal Theatre in Waipawa will have an additional focus on this document. Other public and sector meetings on Tukituki Choices are being held through the region over the next few weeks.

The technology and tools aspect of the workshop - “Irrigation Essential’ - will address GPS application for irrigation pod placement, Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) and the challenges and opportunities around Drip Micro irrigation. Audited Self Management (ASM) will also feature in the programme this year. Much of this technology session will be taken from regional case studies.

IrrigationNZ is working with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to deliver the 2012 workshops in Hastings and Waipawa. Other sponsorship partners are Fonterra, DairyNZ and the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) which have made it possible to run the pasture, arable and vegetable specific workshops. Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) partnering with IrrigationNZ have sponsored the Drip Micro component of the workshops. http://www.irrigationnz.co.nz/events/making-irrigation-pay/


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