Variable Rate Irrigation – Clovelly Dairy

Clovelly Dairy has a total of 1,133 hectares of pasture that is irrigated by 14 central pivots.

Four of these pivots were installed with VRI software. However, because of uncertainty around how it could be effectively applied, only the basic technology (exclusion zones) was originally in use. Clovelly wanted to explore the full potential of this technology and demonstrate how this could be done elsewhere.

Although they knew that they had low water holding capacity due to a sandy soil type, the varying topography meant that there was still great potential to improve returns by being more precise with irrigation quantity, timing, and placement. Clovelly saw an opportunity to better utilise VRI to both increase pasture production, and reduce costs. The ability to turn off the water when the pivot was traveling over the laneways and drains could result in less laneway maintenance (saving money and time), improved animal health, and less wasted water.

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