Business Rural Winter 2021

48 | MEAT & WOOL » Rough Ridge Farm: Fraser McKnight Fixed-grid irrigation a versatile, cost R ough Ridge Farm in Ida Valley east of the Manuherikia Valley in Central Otago has almost been drought-proofed, says Fraser McKnight who owns the farm in a 50/50 partner- ship with his parents Murray and Sharon. The family has been slowly adding in fixed-grid irrigation as funds allow and it now covers 30ha of the farm with plans to expand an extra 70ha over the next five years. “It’s like a meccano set,” describes Fraser. “This means you don’t have to outlay a lot of money up front if you don’t want to as you can just keep add- ing to it over time.” The family has purchased the system off SSS Irrigation and installed it themselves. The sprinkler system was designed by Stuart McNeill (mechani- cal engineer) who purchased a dry farm property with the intention to develop it as a deer unit in 2004 and needed to find better ways to utilise what water was available leading him to seek a better alternative. The system targets long throw radius, high water volume and soft watering of crop and pasture. Fraser says the system also works well on their farm as they have not needed to cut through treelines as they would have to install a centre pivot system. They irrigate at night to allow maximum opportunity for water to soak into the ground and reduce loss by evapouration. The system is supplemented by strategic k-line and wild flooding. The aim is to eliminate the wild A fixed-grid irrigation system is proving its worth at the McKnight’s Rough Ridge Farm in Central Otago. Roughridge Farm. PolsonHiggs are proud to partner with Our specialist Rural Team o er everything you need for success, including Peter 027 433 3522 (03) 448 6378 Servicing wool growing clients in Southland, Otago & South Canterbury P ETER L YON S HEARING Construction of the 19,000 cubic metre storage dam which feeds the sprinkler system. Karen Phelps Profile your farm with Business Rural DO OUR READERS KNOW YOU EXIST ?