Irrigation New Zealand

In your average paddock, there’s plenty of room for both your irrigator and your tractor right? Well not always so, given how often the two seem to meet each other with disastrous consequences.

During the past 5 years FMG has received over 280 Impact or Accident while in use claims at a total cost of $3 million – and this amount doesn’t include related damage and liability claims for damage to farm bikes, fencing or third-party property!

The vast majority of these losses could have been prevented or minimised, saving the businesses concerned a whole lot of money, time, hassle and the loss of production. Irrigator damage isn’t cheap to fix and the cost of repairs can seriously affect cash flow.

Just a few examples we’ve come across include:

–          An employee driving a tractor under a centre pivot irrigator didn’t have the required clearance. The roof of the tractor caught the supporting rod, tipping the irrigator and damaging the two spans costing more than $50,000.

–          A pile of debris was left in the field on the irrigator tracks. The centre pivot has run over the debris, causing the corner arm to disengage and become damaged from the fall to the tune of $37,000.

 

The extra time taken to walk the irrigator track before flicking the ‘on’ switch could mean saving thousands of dollars.

  • It makes sense to check the paddock for foreign objects and any changes to the ground or surrounding trees, shelter belts and hedges. This is particularly important before making the first run of a new season, as there will undoubtedly have been some growth since the last time the irrigator was run. And don’t forget about any new fences!
  • Where an irrigator crosses a roadway or farm track, there is potential for a trailer, or other extended height unit to strike the irrigator. Irrigators are difficult to see in bright light or dull, overcast weather. Fitting reflective signs that hang lower than the main pipes can reduce this event from happening.
  • Management of the irrigator wheel tracks should be included in the farm maintenance programme. Wheel ruts significantly increase the load and the wear on the drive train and can slow a section of the irrigator down affecting the irrigator alignment and the ability for the irrigator to travel in a straight line
  • Read the operating instructions thoroughly and walk the track with any employees before they operate the machine for the first time. This will also ensure all users avoid any obstacles including trees, hedges, fences or buildings.

NEWS

How farms are working to reduce environmental impacts in Selwyn 

14th February 2018

It’s been a busy time for many Selwyn farms over the past few months. After a record breaking dry spell in late 2017, we received some welcome rain in January.  In conditions like these, irrigation is really important both for….. Read more

NZ needs more water storage in a changing climate

8th February 2018

The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ. “We are seeing the effects of poor future….. Read more

What can we learn from 2017’s wild weather about managing water?

8th February 2018

  As year’s went 2017 was a fairly dramatic one. In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills amid tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to be evacuated. In March, the….. Read more

Free irrigation workshop for Bay of Plenty farmers

18th January 2018

Bay of Plenty dairy farmers have the opportunity to join a free workshop showing them how to optimise their irrigation use. The workshop will be run by IrrigationNZ and will cover how to assess how well irrigation systems are performing…… Read more

Irrigation Workshops – Marlborough and Tasman

7th December 2017

With challenging dry conditions continuing across the Upper South Island, Marlborough and Tasman irrigators will have the opportunity to find out how to be more efficient in their water use at upcoming workshops hosted by IrrigationNZ. “Understanding how to monitor….. Read more

EVENTS

Irrigation Efficiency Summer Programme

November 7, 2017 - February 28, 2018

                                 Is your irrigation equipment operating as it should? What improvements could be made? These are questions that can be technically challenging and costly. To help irrigating farmers navigate to Good Management….. Read more

Foundations of working with tangata whenua workshop

March 6 - March 7

Given the considerable interest shown, INZ have organised a workshop on how to be effective working and negotiating with tangata whenua. Proudly supported by our training partners The learning objectives of this are to: Have a basic idea of who….. Read more

Irrigation Accreditation

Smart Irrigation