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Shareholders: Arthur Sykes and Caroline Antony, Cook Rock Farm, Chrystails Beach, South Otago

Arthur and Caroline expressed interest in irrigating their dairy farm back in 2001. The 470ha farm is fully self-contained, with a milking platform of 1 60ha, supporting 470 cows. The balance of the farm is used to raise replacements and steers. It borders the Pacific Ocean.
CRT TFO Nigel Henigan and former TFO Richard Devlin undertook an initial site visit to look at the feasibility of irrigating 55ha of basically flat to light undulating land. There were two distinctly different types of soil that required irrigation - sand and silt loam/sand mix.
This in itself required two different irrigation return periods as each soil type has a different soil moisture holding capacity.
The sandy soil required a return period of not more than six days, while the silt loam/sand required a return period of not more than ten days.
Basically the irrigation area was able to be split into two equal sized areas, each containing either sandy soils or silt loam/sand. This made the design process less daunting than it first looked to the team.
Then came the process of finding enough suitable water. Water harvesting was initially considered by damming a gully to capture winter/spring rainfall for use in summer. However, as with all projects of this nature, second thoughts led to the option of installing a bore.
A bore was sunk to a total depth of 125m below ground surface level. Because of the depth of the bore the Otago Regional Council had concerns that the water in the bore may have contained excessive salt water content - the bore is 700m in a straight line from the Pacific Ocean. However, subsequent water tests proved that this was not the case.
In due process a Resourse Consent permit was granted allowing the installation of the irrigation system.
The next issue was how to power the pump as there was only dual phase (460 volt) electricity. Diesel was also considered (the costs back then was less than 90c per litre).
Finally, Laser Electrical of Milton came up with a power option that proved to be more price competitive than diesel.
Over the space of about four to six weeks Arthur, Caroline and their staff installed the pipe work and hydrants. Dean Turner from Brighton dug the trenches with some on-farm supervision from Nigel and Dean Matheson.
The system is using lrripod regulated sprinklers and pods. These fight the wind better than other options and the distribution of water along the pod lines is consistent - the last pod gets the same amount of water as the first pod.
This season will be the second season that the pods have been operating.
Nigel outside the Cook Rock Farm pumping station, and the Irripod system at work.
Are you ready for summer? With the Irripod Lifestyle pod sprinkler irrigation DIY kits you could be up and running in half a day. lrripod Lifestyle is a flexible, cost effective pipeline sprinkler irrigation system for pasture and forage crops.
Designed to operate at low pressure, Irripod Lifestyle distributes water on a slow absorbtion rate over a 12-24 hour period allowing for effective absorption into the soil, eliminating pooling and run off. The system only requires movement once per 12-24 hours.
In recognising the demand for flexible systems lrripod Lifestyle is available in a range of DIY options to suit individual needs. With its durable stock-proof construction and light 'footprint' the system is both effective and environmentally kind as there is minimal soil compaction.
The lrripod Lifestyle range is available in three options:
lrripod Lifestyle 32-6 Starter Kit is a six pod-sprinkler irrigation system that is ideal for blocks up to four hectares in size. The kit comes complete with pods, sprinklers, pipe, fittings and one hydrant to hook onto an existing mainline. With an easy to follow step by step illustrated installation and user guide the system can be installed in half a day.
For those on smaller blocks or for those odd-shaped paddock corners the lrripod Lifestyle 25 End-of-Line single pod-sprinkler irrigation system is the answer. The Lifestyle 25 has a 20 metre spray coverage. It's simple to install (you can be up and running in less than an hour) and move around.
For those block holders with an existing pod sprinkler irrigation system the lrripod In-line Multi Fit is ideal for in-line pod-sprinkler replacement or system extension. Designed to fit 32mm or 40mm LDPE pipe the Multi Fit caters for all LDPE fitting and sprinkler configurations. The pack includes a black Pod Skid and BSP and Acme Risers.
Forecasters are predicting a dry summer particularly on the east coast of the South Island so there really is no excuse for not being ready for summer now. Talk to the team at your local CRT FarrnCentre or technical field officer today about the best optior for you. Call CRT on freephone 0800-278-583.
The Irripod Lifestyle pod is simple
to install and move around.

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Article appears courtesy of CRT Agline publication - November 06