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Irrigation incentives - CLOSED

Irrigation incentives have now closed. Click Read more for the full press release inviting applications for this closed incentive.

Time is running out for local growers to apply for the latest round of irrigation incentives, which includes incentives of up to $30,000 to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems.

All applications must be lodged by 4pm on April 23, which leaves irrigators less than two weeks to access a large range of incentives covering everything from improving on-farm irrigation infrastructure, purchasing approved scheduling equipment, systems checks and developing irrigation and drainage management plans.

The incentives are available to growers in the Victorian Mallee and are aimed at encouraging best management practices in irrigation with the goal of reducing salinity impacts on the Murray River.

The 2010 irrigation incentives program is implemented by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries, with funding the Victorian Government initiatives of Water Smart Farms and Linking Farms and Catchment Programs to Irrigation Modernisation, together with environmental levies collected from irrigators.

“Brochures promoting the incentives have been mailed out to 3091 irrigators from Nyah to the South Australian border and so far, we’ve seen strong interest in the incentives,” Mallee CMA chairperson Joan Burns said.

“The important thing to remember is that systems checks have to be completed during the current irrigation season, so it’s vital that growers lodge the Expression of Interest paperwork as early as possible”

Activities eligible for funding under the incentive scheme include system checks to measure the performance of irrigation systems; the development of irrigation and drainage management plans to determine plant root zone depth and optimal water application (soil surveys, backhoe hire, aerial photography); the purchase and installation of approved scheduling equipment to monitor soil moisture and system upgrades to improve on-farm irrigation infrastructure.

Ms Burns said the 2010 incentive scheme could offer growers financial assistance to improve their irrigation systems.

“These incentives are geared toward eligible irrigators who want to install new technology and improve on-farm infrastructure and management,” she said.

“The incentives will help growers increase their water-use efficiency and reduce the impacts of irrigation on the environment, particularly salinity and nutrient levels.”

Local irrigators can get assistance and advice on their eligibility for the irrigation incentives from the Department of Primary Industries at Irymple. More information and Expression of Interest forms are available by contacting DPI Irrigation Extension Officer Maxine Schache or Linda Pollock on 5051 4500, or by accessing the Mallee CMA website.

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