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IrriGate newsletter, Issue 4 spring 2010

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Sustainable Irrigated Landscapes - North East - Mid and Upper Goulburn Broken

Logo showing the North East area in relation to VictoriaLogo showing the Upper Goulburn Broken area in relation to Victoria
North East Dryland CatchmentGoulburn Broken Dryland Catchment (excluding the Shepparton Irrigation Region)

Welcome to IrriGate Issue 4 - spring 2010. Thank you to those who contacted me on address corrections, and please check your envelope details and contact me with any changes or if you wish to unsubscribe. SIL team member, John Hunter, is now working on other DPI projects and we thank John for his assistance in the past twelve months in the SIL team.
Editor - Wendy Paglia

Inside this issue

Monitoring your irrigation over the season | SIL Incentives | Irrigation System Performance Checks | DPI NE/GB Sustainable Irrigation Team - Dryland

Monitoring your irrigation over the season

Irrigators know the importance of applying the right amount of water at the right time in order to maximise crop production, but how do you really know if it is right. In the coming irrigation season, DPI will be conducting a program to help irrigators record when and how irrigation water is applied and compare this to theoretical crop water-use.

Throughout the irrigation season, irrigators will be able to gauge if they are applying too much or too little water for the conditions at the time. This is particularly important for spray irrigation where insufficient irrigation applications can lead to compounding moisture stress.

In the example shown in Figure 1 (shown below), irrigation occurred too late and was too little at the start of the season. It was not until mid-October when moisture levels were sufficient to avoid plant stress, through to January, where the irrigation was unable to keep up with plant use. The crop has spent 40 per cent of its time under moisture stress (above the dotted red line). However, it would have only taken one more irrigation of 25 mm at the start of the year to reduce this
figure to 10 per cent.

Key - Refill point, Rain, Plant use (mm) and Application (mm). Scale -  mm (0 - 100) and date (01/09/2008 and 30/03/2009).
Figure 1: An example of irrigation and rainfall compared to plant use. When plant use is above the red line, plants are stressed.

Participants in this program will gain a better understanding of irrigation scheduling and avoiding the risk of lost production by not applying enough water or the added cost of wasting water and pumping by applying too much. If irrigators are interested in monitoring their irrigation practise over the coming season please contact Dennis Watson at DPI Rutherglen on (02) 6030 4567.

SIL Incentives 2010/2011

Rebates are available to landholders for the purchase of:
  • Irrigation farm plans for improved irrigation management.
  • Soil moisture monitoring equipment and similar tools. Help is also available for equipment selection installation and data interpretation.
Both provide a 50 per cent return on costs up to a maximum of $4,000.

Irrigation System Performance Checks

The irrigation team are available to help check your system to determine
if it is operating at the industry standard.
These system checks can include measuring the following:
  • The average application rate.
  • Distribution uniformity (evenness of the water being applied).
  • Pressure and flow variations at different locations across the paddock.

These checks will help determine if your system is applying the amount of water it is designed to, and if it is applying this evenly across the paddock

Dripper uniformity contour map (L/emitter/hr) - Latitude (deg. South) - Scale (0.2 - 4)

DPI NE/GB Sustainable Irrigation Team - Dryland

Dennis Watson

Irrigation specialist
DPI Rutherglen Centre
(02) 6030 4567
0429 304 567
Dennis Watson
Dennis Watson

Ian Gamble

Catchment Management Officer
DPI Wangaratta Centre
(03) 5723 8671
0437 362 620
Ian Gamble
Ian Gamble

Wendy Paglia

Project Support Officer
DPI Ovens Centre
(03) 5731 1206
Wendy Paglia
Wendy Paglia

If you would like to receive this information/publication in an accessible format (such as large print or audio) please call the Customer Service Centre on: 136 186, TTY: 1800 122 969, or email

Published by the Department of Primary Industries,
Sustainable Irrigated Landscapes, April 2010,
The State of Victoria, 2010

This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968.
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne 3000

ISSN :1837-4077

This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

For more information about DPI go to or call the Customer Call Centre on 136 186.
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