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Location

The Hommes property is located 8km north-east of Kyabram and covers an area of 147ha, all of which is irrigated. It has traditionally been a “stand alone” dairy farm but has now been developed as a feeder farm to a large scale dairy hub established nearby by John Hommes and his partners.

The Group has also been successful in establishing Australian Consolidated Milk Pty Ltd, a new dairy processing company which is demonstrating that farmers can improve their “farm gate” yield by becoming more closely involved with the value add chain.

ACM have recently opened a new $25 million UHT milk manufacturing facility in Shepparton which is geared to new local and overseas export opportunities which are emerging on a large scale.

John is the Chairman of IEP and is very pleased with the demonstration effect the project on his farm is providing. He is seeing clear evidence now that more local farmers are following the lead to improved irrigation systems and pasture flexibility.

Farm Enterprise

The property has been previously run as a grazed dairy farm with focus on traditional rye and perennial grasses common to the area. The new area under pivot has been converted to Lucerne and is already providing increased quality and quantity of feed – along with significant reductions in water use.

John has also reported significant savings in time and effort associated with irrigating this way as compared to the old system of operating water wheels and floodgates into each paddock.

Project Description

The project involved the decommissioning of 72ha of existing border check flood irrigation layouts and the installation of one towable centre pivot irrigator over two 36ha circles. The project also included all underground pipelines, power connection, pump, construction of a storage dam and the erection of new fence lines.

It is estimated that the conversion of flood to spray irrigation will produce water savings of 4ML/ha/year, resulting in a total of 288ML of savings over the project area.

273ML of high reliability water entitlement has been transferred to the Commonwealth Government under the OFIEP funding formula.

Report Card

  • Increased pasture production to support a larger number of dairy cows.

  • Water Savings of 4ML/ha/year expected.

  • Lower labour requirements