NZ Dairy Spring 2021

46 | nz dairy Online learning enhancing knowledge Karen Phelps W ater and effluent, and how to utilise them effectively, are key factors driving profit- ability in farming. That’s why Irrigation New Zealand is offering an online e-learning training course aimed at manag- ers and operators of irrigation systems to help them to get the most out of this increasingly important aspect of farming. “The focus is to help irrigators achieve good practice irrigation,” explains IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Vanessa Winning. The E-learning course helps to build on farm- ers and growers’ knowledge of soils, water, and climate, to help them understand how to sched- ule irrigation applications and the range of tools available to help. It also focuses on the important aspects of operation and maintenance of irrigation equipment to ensure farmers are always getting maximum efficiency. “The safety and efficiency of an irrigator depends on regular maintenance and correct procedures being followed. The course covers how farmers go about developing procedures specific to their farm,” she says. The course also helps farmers to begin building an operations and maintenance manual specific to the farm. Also included are take-home resources and support for reference and further learning. Vanessa says farmers end up with an extremely useful qualification for running their irrigation more efficiently meaning saving time, money and increased environmental compliance. “The irrigation E-learning platform allows farm- ers to gain or refresh their knowledge on a range of irrigation topics, as and when suits them. The platform uses short videos and completion of the courses will allow farmers to demonstrate to their Farm Environment Plan Auditor that they’ve undertaken training in irrigation.” The course is just one aspect of IrrigationNZ’s SMART irrigation philosophy: Sustainably Managed, Accountable, Responsible and Trusted irrigation. “SMART irrigators aim to minimise their environ- mental footprint through efficient water use and run a profitable business. This allows them to reinvest in new and improved technologies which ensure sustainable and responsible irrigation over time.” She says that the requirements of SMART irrigation include ensuring that the irrigation system is efficient, irrigation is scheduled, operators are trained, and auditable records are kept. To ensure an irrigation system is efficient any new develop- ment, upgrade or redevelopment must be consist- ent with the irrigation design and installation Codes of Practice and Standards. Vanessa says that using an accredited company is the best way to achieve this. She urges farmers to look for the IrrigationNZ The E-learning course helps to build on farmers and growers’ knowledge of soils, water, and climate, to help them understand how to schedule irrigation applications. K-Line 5 (below). Irrigation » Irrigation NZ • to page 48 Call or email us to discuss your farm planting needs! 09 2928 661 We've been growing plants for over 45 years, and have riparian plants, shelter trees and more, in a huge range of sizes. Farm Effluent Services P: Trevor de Malmanche on 0508 GET FES M: 021 964 150 A/H 07 873 8224 Effluent Spreading of Oxidation Ponds • We have over 2 kilometres of hose • We run high horse power pumps and WE HIRE: WATER PUMPS, STIRRERS, TRACTORS, TRANSPORTER secondary pumps to boost flow when needed