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“Canegrass” is located 27km south-west of Deniliquin on the Walliston Road, and is supplied with water through Murray Irrigation Ltd open channel system.

Project description

The “Canegrass” project involved the decommissioning of 365ha of existing flood irrigation layouts and the installation of one 315ha pivoting lateral irrigator and one 50ha centre pivot irrigator. The project also involved the erection of new fence lines, a stock watering system, storage dams and the relocation of a power supply.

The project is estimated to generate 1,107Ml of water savings annually and has resulted in the transfer of 700 shares of general security entitlement to the Commonwealth Government.

In the autumn/winter of 2013, canola and grazing wheat were established under the lateral irrigator. The start to the 2013 season was very dry and the availability of spray allowed the canola crop to germinate and establish early before the winter temperatures set in. The proponent, Peter O’Donnell, describes the soils on the lateral site as “difficult” but under spray he was able to achieve excellent yields of up to 2.4tonnes/ha of canola, with reduced water use.

The pastures established under the pivot provided the centre piece which underpinned a significant grazing operation, resulting in the export of 4,500 dairy heifers to China. This will be a continuing operation on the O’Donnell farm. The level of pasture production has allowed the production of a large herd of cattle without the need for feedlot practices, resulting in better animal health and wellbeing.

The project proponent, Peter O’Donnell was delighted with the results saying that not only was their farm more productive with less water, there were other advantages relating to ease of operation and labour savings.

Report card

  • Higher crop yields.
  • Greater diversity of crop types possible 
  • More intense grazing enterprise.
  • Security of supply to the export cattle market.
  • Water savings of at least 3ML/ha.
  • Ease of operation and labour savings.