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About Us

Agriculture New Zealand has operated an irrigation scheduling and recommendation service since 1987. At Agriculture New Zealand we currently operate irrigation monitoring services in Marlborough, Nelson, Hawkes Bay and Tauranga. Our service operates over a number of crops including grapes, apples, berryfruit, hops and kiwifruit.

Our irrigation management service provides an irrigation decision making aid to achieve target quality and yields, while promoting efficient and responsible water use. Each week an Agriculture New Zealand Technician visits your property and takes soil moisture readings at 8-10 depths, normally down to 120 cm. In addition, information is collected on irrigation applied and rainfall received at the monitor site. Modelled evapotranspiration from local weather stations is also collected. All this data, combined with the current visual state of the crop and the growers desired strategy, is processed to provide a recommendation. This recommendation is usually available before the technician leaves the property or very soon afterwards.

Agriculture New Zealand has used a number of soil moisture monitoring technologies including Tensiometers, Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR), Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR, or Capacitance), and Neutron Moderation. While other technologies are continually being evaluated we have selected Neutron Moderation and FDR as the most suitable for the range of soil types in New Zealand.

Agriculture New Zealand also uses state of the art software, Probe for Windows, to assist with our interpretation of the data. This software has developed rapidly over recent years, through Agriculture New Zealand´s involvement and a MAF Sustainable Farming Fund project. We believe that we are now using the world leader in irrigation scheduling and presentation software.

Agriculture New Zealand´s Irrigation Service is designed to be flexible and is continually evolving. At Agriculture New Zealand we´re committed to future research and development to further improve the way you irrigate your crops.

For further information please contact

+64 (3) 543 9145
©2002 Agriculture New Zealand