Wheat

Farming for the future

Monday 19 October, 2009
Splash: Hamish Crawford with the flow from the groundwater pump, which helps keep groundwater levels in check. Photo: Shepparton News
Splash: Hamish Crawford with the flow from the groundwater pump, which helps keep groundwater levels in check.
Splash: Hamish Crawford with the flow from the groundwater pump, which helps keep groundwater levels in check. Photo: Shepparton News

Improving irrigation at the farm level hit two important milestones today.

Minister for Northern Victoria, Kaye Darveniza, officially handed over the 300th incentive payment for groundwater pumping to the Crawford family of Harston. At the same event Minister Darveniza also handed over the 500th incentive payment for drainage re-use to the Snell family of Merrigum.

The celebration was held at a gathering on Ross and Yvonne Crawford's "Fenton Hall" property at Harston, on Thursday 27th August to mark the occasion. Minister Darveniza was delighted to hand over the two certificates saying, "the milestone certificates reflect confidence of the government and the rural community in farming in the region."

Minister Darveniza went on to say that it was pleasing to meet these two families and see how they are investing in the sustainable future of their industry and their communities.

Chairman of the SIR IC Peter Gibson said, "Both incentives are part of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Regional Catchment Strategy in the Shepparton Irrigation Region. The incentives are provided through the Australian Government and Victorian Government through Water Smart Farms, Our Water Our Future, the National Resource Investment Program and Caring for Our Country."

"Fenton Hall" farm is a 650 ha property milking 600 Holstein cows. Ross Crawford said, "Groundwater pumping improves downward drainage through the soil profile. This means salt does not build up in the rootzone as it is regularly flushed downwards."

The drainage re-use incentive has helped the Snell family to install a 4 mega-litre storage dam on their 270 ha property. Property owner, Jamie Snell said, "Our property had all the right features to make this a viable option; capturing and making use of every drop of water just makes good sense."

A ‘drainage re-use system' prevents run-off irrigation water from leaving the farm. This saves the farmer money by catching the water and making it available for other irrigation events. The run-off water is usually higher in nutrients as it has travelled across fertile pasture. Keeping this water within the farm is a practical way of returning nutrients to the paddocks where they can do most good, rather than getting into natural waterways where high nutrient loads upset eco-systems.

Landholders wanting further information on irrigation incentives should contact Ken Sampson, Executive Officer, GBCMA on 5833 5360.

Release Ends

More information:

Marli Kelly 0409 410 178

Additional Notes - Incentive details:

The Sub-surface Drainage Private Groundwater Pump Incentive

Capital Grant: A percentage rebate, paid upon receipt, up to a maximum of $20,000 for installation of new or upgrading of existing groundwater pumping systems.

The Drainage Re-use Incentive has three components:

  1. Earthworks and structures: A percentage rebate, paid upon receipt, up to $6,000 per property for earthworks and related structures. The rebate for earthworks is paid on a pro rata basis calculated by determining the appropriate size reuse system for the size of the property and the expected irrigation run-off.
  2. Pumps, motors and related structures: A percentage rebate, paid upon receipt, up to $6,000 per property for pumps, motors, structures. This is for permanent systems for new and existing re-use systems.
  3. Electrical connections: A percentage rebate up to $6,000 per property for conversion and connection to electricity for new and existing re-use systems.

In both instances, the level of incentive payable is determined from scoring the property for undertaking works or activities as part of other Catchment Strategy Programs.

Eligibility guidelines apply. Landowners interested in these incentive schemes must contact a relevant project officer before any works are undertaken.

For more information on these or other programs of the Shepparton Irrigation Region Catchment Implementation Strategy, contact the GB CMA.