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Step 1 - What do I want to achieve?

Step 1.1 - What do I want to achieve from this investment?

Step 1.2 - Will this investment be consistent with my long-term business goals?

This step helps you to assess your needs and circumstances before undertaking a significant irrigation investment. The step helps you clarify your investment goals and aspirations. It does not give you answers, but prompts you to think about where you want to get to.

Step 1.1 - What do I want to achieve from this investment?

Before you can make decisions on your irrigation infrastructure investment, you need to know what you want to achieve. To make good decisions, you need to have clear objectives or goals. The goals can be related to economic, environmental or social considerations or a combination of these factors. Economic goals may concentrate on increasing productivity to achieve better returns while reducing labour inputs. Social goals can be related to lifestyle issues, such as getting a good night's sleep without chasing water. Environmental goals may relate to the reduction of run-off and deep drainage.

Examples of goals you might consider:
  • You want to reduce your water usage, to reduce your water bill;
  • You want to reduce your farm's labour requirement, so that you can comfortably run the farm by yourself; or
  • You want to stop irrigation run-off from the farm, to save water and to prevent river pollution.
It is important to reflect on your goals and consider whether these goals are relevant to your decisions to invest in irrigation infrastructure. At this stage, it is important to know if the goal(s) fit within your long-term business goals.

Step 1.2 - Will this investment be consistent with my long-term business goals?
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Before undertaking a major irrigation investment, you need to consider your long-term business goals and circumstances in detail. Your goals depend on many things including your family circumstances, age, financial situation and the duration for which you plan to be in the farm business. You can attend seminars, workshops or training courses that cover issues that can help you to better define your long-term goals so that you can work towards achieving what you want.

A few references for further information:
  • Private Farm consultants
  • Rural Financial Counsellors
  • Universities and TAFE, National Centre for Dairy Education in Australia
  • DPI Dairy Training courses

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Your farm consultant can help

It is important to know what you want to achieve through your investment. For example, your objective may be to increase yield, to reduce water use per hectare, to reduce labour costs, or to grow a more valuable crop.

This step cannot give you the answers; you have to determine yourself what your priorities are.
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