4 October 2019
New Zealand’s modern Agricultural Industry continues to respond to todays challenges with ongoing improvements - “raising the bar” with Good Management Practice (GMP) and Farm Environmental Planning (FEP).
WaterForce is no exception - our evolving systems continue to make a big contribution by supporting our growers with irrigation and effluent management tools and hardware.
“Bucket testing” has been an important part of that GMP/FEP space over the past couple of years.
This is a method of collecting data about an irrigation system and scoring it on its efficiency.
Such a score is often expressed in terms of Distribution Uniformity or Christiansen Uniformity - two different scientific measures used to describe how well a system applies its water to a crop; and to answer the question: Is the water going where it’s needed?
Irrigation NZ’s easy-to-use tool “Check-It” provides the answer for growers to get a “quick snapshot” of how a system may be performing.
Develop for the grower to support a range of equipment this tool encourages farmers to get out in the field with a few buckets and a smart phone. A little work with this easy-to-use app gives an immediate indication of how well the irrigation is performing.
Throughout 2018/19 WaterForce spent a lot of time reviewing the outcomes the tool was delivering to our growers. The result was the realisation that the Check-It app, as a “big picture” tool, didn’t offer the critical review and solutions many of our growers were looking for.
Our response was to move away from Check-It field testing and its Pass/Fail outcomes, towards a solutions-based offering to clients.
So what does this mean for the grower using “Bucket testing” as part of GMP/FEP requirements?
WaterForce continues to offer “Bucket testing” solutions from most branches; plus we offer system audits and review, pump testing, and other services to keep your system running at its best.
However, our “Audit” process for bucket testing has evolved. It now takes a couple of hours longer than previously, and it focuses on identifying and rectifying the issues it highlights.
Our aim is to deliver this as a seamless process from testing to rectification, with our field and design teams supporting growers to Good Management Practice and beyond.
If you want to look at system or applicator audits - from bucket testing to pump testing - please get in touch with your Sales and Design Engineer or local Service Manager.
Small changes to systems – or just updates to operator’s manuals or to staff training - can make great improvements to system functioning and to seasonal outcomes.
Contact your local WaterForce Branch on 0800 4 36123