Given our last two posts have focused on the recurring issues we’ve found with irrigation systems, for this one, instead of pointing out the problems, we thought we best talk about solutions!
The team at Water Strategies has spent the last few months working through how we can cost-effectively deliver a service that meets Farm Plan irrigation requirements, but with a focus on adding value to the farm business rather than compliance. The Water Strategies Irrigation ‘warrant of fitness’ (WOF) is our solution.
The Water Strategies Irrigation WOF is a package which provides an upfront analysis of your irrigation system to ensure it is fit for purpose along with an on-going monitoring programme to ensure it remains in the best of nick.
The reason we have landed with the WOF package as one of the most effective ways to help, is because we have had several clients tell us the ‘bucket test’ is providing limited or no value to them.
Unfortunately, the bucket test has become a compliance tick box exercise, rather than a meaningful measure of irrigation performance. In part, this is because the people undertaking the tests are not technical experts in irrigation, which means if the results indicate there’s an issue, there’s no sense check as to why. This creates a headache for the irrigation service companies as they are only told a bucket test has been undertaken and the irrigator has failed, but the reason is not explained. This is not helpful and can result in increased cost to irrigators as the investigations must be repeated to find the cause.
We’ve also had clients investing in soil moisture monitoring, but despite best efforts, they are struggling to make sense of the information provided. Hence, the Water Strategies Irrigation WOF. This is how it works:
After a conversation with you, which is always a key first step, a full irrigation system analysis is undertaken. This tests pressure, flow, application depth, application rate and uniformity, alongside an assessment of infrastructure lifespan, energy efficiency, cost of irrigation and irrigation scheduling effectiveness. Energy has been included to align with the primary sector’s recent commitment to reducing impacts on climate change. One of our points of difference is that the Water Strategies Irrigation WOF adds a list of prioritised and costed actions to address any issues or gaps found.
Industry standards suggest a full analysis should be undertaken at a 5-year interval, provided the irrigation system is regularly monitored (is checked and maintained).
The other point of difference is the Water Strategies Irrigation WOF also provides a monitoring programme with set actions and times. As part of this, we highlight where monitoring can be automated prioritising where the greatest value can be achieved from doing this. The move to automation must be carefully considered if the information gained is to be useful.
Our focus is on creating value. The specialist knowledge the Water Strategies team maximises your investment – through utilising expert help to optimise your irrigation water.
The goal of the Water Strategies Irrigation WOF is to guarantee irrigation is effective and efficient – giving you confidence your irrigation is performing.
Our approach focuses upon informing farm management decision-making in a way that is useful to your business. The by-product of this is robust evidence to ensure the irrigation component of your Farm Plan audit is all up to date and ready for inspection.
Call us today to book in your Water Strategies Irrigation WOF.