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.

Precision Irrigation Resource Guide


Wednesday 11 April–12 April

10:00 am - 17:00 pm

Join us for a two day Fertigation Master Class

When: 11th and 12th April 2018

Where: Lincoln Event Centre

Cost: $650 +GST

Places are limited so get in early to avoid disappointment.

The outcome of the class is to produce a resource that will provide irrigators with clear information for successful fertigation, including costs and benefits, good management practice knowledge resources and related training opportunities.

It will also enable irrigators and their service industries to inform and achieve any future regulations around fertigation equipment and practice.

The master class will help to unlock the future potential of fertigation in NZ through providing answers to the following questions –

  1. What are the costs and benefits of fertigation?
  2. What are the equipment options for fertigation and to which scenarios are they best applied?
  3. What does ‘good practice’ design, installation and management look like?

The programme involves presentations on each topic followed by discussion and agreement that these are industry accepted standards. There will be a field trip on the afternoon of day 1 as well as a dinner on the Wednesday night. Full programme will be released soon….

The price for the master class is $650 + GST

Notice of withdrawal: 7 days – 50% registration refunded or transferable to another person, 3 days – no refund – transferable to another person

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