They don’t need to be deep - design them to your flow rate. The faster your flow the deeper they can be. With 10 ML flows on Tim’s bay they were only a few inches deep. If you have faster flow, experiment with a greater depth.
Keep them clean all year round. They need to be clean to work effectively and in winter to get benefits as well. When cleaning them out don’t make them deeper - just buzz out the grass.
Get the spacing of the spinner cuts right. Paul’s rule of thumb is for the two outer spinner cuts in each bay to be 7 m in from each check bank. Then evenly space the remaining spinner cuts at 10 to 14 m apart, depending on the bay width.
Start the spinner cuts 10 to 15 m from the top of the bay to allow water to spread across the bay before reaching them.
Run the spinner cuts all way down the bay to the bottom drain
Keep practicing and have patience - work out what works best for you.
They are not just to fix dodgy bays. They will really improve...
Picture: Mike Morris, DEDJTR irrrigation researcher speaking about spinner cuts with the Humphris PIT team.
They can be both modelled using new research that the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) are using to improve the precision of border check irrigation.
The Humphris PIT heard about this and the importance of good drainage at the second meeting for the Accelerating Change program. At the farm of Tim and Lyndal Humphris, of Tongala, discussion focused on the use of spinner cuts and how they can reduce the duration of transient waterlogging.
Now spinner cuts may not be the first thing that comes to mind in a project focusing on new technology! They have been around for a long time and have been tried and discarded by many farmers in the region, including Tim and Lyndal. However upgrading of infrastructure meaning faster flows on farm and new science which validates the benefits of them are bringing them back into focus. Paul Price, a member o...
A key component of the project is the close monitoring and data collection of existing farm performance, definition of business goals relating to these areas and development of strategies to meet these goals in conjunction with specialised advice, leading research and access to the latest technology.
The on farm activities that are underway or are being developed to achieve these include:
In depth analysing of current farming system and future options;
Monitoring of pasture and crop growth;
Monitoring of water use; and
Measuring and monitoring of other factors that drive profitability on farm, for example business management, animal management etc
The parameters and methodology to undertake this measurement on farm are being developed with our key project partner the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Sign up to make you sure you get our next newsletter with more information.
Farmers attending the first meetings for the innovative Accelerating Change program are positive about their involvement and the benefits it will bring to their own farms.
Project Manager Amy Fay said the project is showcasing how leading farmers are using the latest research and technology to grow feed.
To do this, two partner farms – one owned by the Humphris family and the other by the Stewart family with their share-farmers the Matthews family – have started working with a team of farmers, researchers, consultants and service providers to achieve gains in irrigation and pasture efficiency by adopting leading research and technology on farm. The project is looking to a range of sources who are doing exciting things in the irrigation and pasture space, both regionally, interstate and in different sectors.
The farmers recently met with their performance innovation teams (PIT), which comprise farmers from 15 farms.
The PITs are providing feedback on how the partner farms are utilising...
Don and Meg Stewart operate three properties and along with share-farmers, Kelvin and Shelley Matthews, are participating in Accelerating Change on their Yarrawalla property, which totals 242ha and milks 600 cows.
The majority of this property has been upgraded to a pipe and riser system with full automation.
Their farm is an excellent example of a modernised system that has already incorporated the latest technology on farm, which many farmers in the region would aim for.
The Stewarts and Matthews' are expanding their use of soil moisture probes and more closely aligning individual paddock growth and utilisation with irrigation and other input application to drive efficiency and profitability.
The success of the Stewarts and the Matthews’ share-farming arrangement, leading to clear dual benefits for both parties, is a leading example to the industry.
Don and Meg are well established in the dairy industry and local community, hosting and participating in many past research and extensio...
Tim and Lyndal Humphris milk 325 cows on 150ha at Tongala.
The farm is an excellent example of a low cost, efficient and well laid out conventional gravity system with padman outlets.
This system is applicable to many dairy farmers in the region. The Humphris' have a strong interest in innovation and technology and have begun to use soil moisture probes to improve irrigation management over perennial pastures and maize to increase water use efficiency as well as overall total feed production. The Humphris' are increasing their use of soil moisture probes and installing automation over part of their irrigation base to drive the efficiency and profitability of their system.
Both Tim and Lyndal are closely engaged in the dairy industry as well as their local community. Lyndal is a Fairley scholarship recipient, member of the Murray Dairy Regional Extension and Education Committee (REEC) and has been a committee member of a number of local sporting and school committees. Tim is a former v...