Irrigation New Zealand

Efficient water management plays an important role in irrigated agricultural systems.
Under conventional irrigation (Uniform Rate Irrigation or URI), parts of
an irrigated paddock are over or under-irrigated due to spatial variability in soil water-holding capacity, infiltration rates and topography. Under-irrigated areas are subject to water stress, resulting in production loss, while over-irrigated areas suffer from poor plant health and nutrient leaching.

Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) systems are designed to address the need to better achieve
irrigation efficiency, aiming for the best conversion of each millimetre of irrigation water
to plant growth. Irrigation efficiency is commonly referred to as application efficiency and
depends on three main factors:

  • Applying the correct depth of water.
  • A uniform application.
  • The application rate being less than the soil’s infiltration rate.

Application efficiency is the percentage of applied water that is retained in the root zone
(or target area) after an irrigation event. VRI allows for maximum application efficiency
of centre-pivot or lateral-move irrigators. VRI systems achieve this by utilising nozzle and
speed control, soil mapping technology, site-specific soil moisture monitoring, and other
decision support tools.

INZ has produced a Precision Irrigation Resource Book to aid irrigators in their understanding of VRI systems.

 

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