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Irrigation Solutions

Apply your dairy effluent back onto your farm soil

and never over-spend on fertilisers again.

Put your herd's effluent to work for you with the right system!

There are typically two categories irrigators fall into, high application rate and low application rate. However, choosing the right irrigator is really a case of deciding the risks associated with the application rate and depth.

Choosing the method of irrigating is the most important part of the decision-making process. Remember that the value of the nutrients is measured by the amount that is utilised. If you over-apply then there is a wasted amount that becomes valueless. A good system design will try to utilise as much of the nutrients as possible. So an objective in this process is to minimise the amount of fertiliser brought onto the farm - this cost-saving will be the repayment method and reason for irrigating effluent onto land in the first instance.

The soil type and infiltration rate will determine the rate and depth that suits. What this means is each soil type will have a maximum application rate or how fast the liquid should be applied. This is measured by mm per hour. The soils also have a maximum application depth. This is measured by the total volume that it receives in a pumping session. Application depth should however always be no greater than the soil moisture deficit.

The implications of getting it right are the nutrients are staying in the root zone and the plant can uptake those nutrients. Any nutrients that pass the root zone are lost. They can make their way into underground water which becomes an environmental (and compliance) issue.

Applying at a higher rate will also cause ponding and runoff. Both are undesirable results. When designing a system you should set parameters around volume pumped, uniformity and labour requirement. E.g. you should be able to pump one days' waste in one hour or spend no more than 3 hours a fortnight in total labour. The uniformity should be consistent over the application area (equal amounts applied to the irrigated area).

Image by Jakob Cotton

Irrigator Systems


Low application rate irrigators simply mean that they can apply effluent at a lesser rate than any soil type can absorb while at 50% water holding capacity, without causing ponding or runoff. Typically rates of less than 10mm per hour is considered low rate.


Typically rates of more than 10mm per hour are considered high rate







What our clients have to say. 

Cattle at Sunrise

“Savings I made on the project management alone was well worth the exercise of upgrading my effluent system. I’m very happy!”


David Dodunski, Farm Owner, Whatawhata


Effluent and Irrigation DesignTM provide an independent consultancy service that analyses your specific farming needs & current process to design the ideal system to suit your land and the way you farm.

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