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Maurie's banana farm is situated on the northern banks of the beautiful North Johnstone River near Innisfail. In this instance the Rainspray sprinklers are mounted on 6 metre high galvanised steel risers so that the irrigation water runs down the leaves into the growing heart of the banana plant. Water is drawn for this project from the North Johnstone River and is pumped by a centrifugal pump pulley driven by a 6 cylinder diesel.
This large farm at Ninghi, north of Brisbane grows over 2 million strawberries each year. Strawberries require overhead spray irrigation create a micro environment to strike the runners before the under mulch drip irrigation takes over to provide water and nutrient to the crop. The overhead spray and the under mulch drip operate at widely differing pressures so pump selection is critical. Whilst performing at these differing duties the pump must still operate at its best efficiency points to achieve optimum operating economics. Water for this project is drawn from a large dam and pumped by a centrifugal pump direct coupled to a 6 cylinder turbocharged diesel.
The advent of the Childers/Isis irrigation scheme meant that farms which had traditionally been dry farms suddenly had access to irrigation water. Many farms opted for travelling irrigators, however Pierson Memorial Trust Farm chose the then new technology of sub-surface drip irrigation. The results were spectacular with cost of production well down and yields dramatically raised.
While pumps were installed on the project, they were seldom used as the Childers/Isis scheme provided adequate flow and pressure the majority of the time to drive the system.
This large mixed farming property outside Moura developed a large area for ponded irrigation to improve pasture for cattle fattening. Water supply was from the Dawson River, notorious for floods. The large flood lifter pump, 600 l/s @ 140kPa, had to be able to work with an up to to 4 metre suction lift or submerged under 4 metres of flood water.
The pump selected was a TKL MFV14” direct coupled to a 75kW, submersible electric motor. Control of the pump unit was from the homestead eight kilometres away by telemetry.
The Burnett Bowls club in Bundaberg has three greens which they irrigated using Toro 650 pop up sprinklers. Control of the system was from a Toro Custom Command irrigation controller out to the Valve in Head sprinklers. Pressure from the potable supply was inadequate for the sprinklers so a TKL centrifugal pump was installed to boost the pressure.
The iconic Queen's Park in Toowoomba is renowned for is magnificent trees, its beautiful gardens and it broad playing fields. Right in the centre, just down from the formal gardens is this large sandstone fountain. The central jet is variable from a single large jet to a fleur-de-lis pattern. The submersible pump unit for this feature fountain is offset into the nearby garden.
Tinana Creek Plantation is a macadamia plantation set up in the late 1980's to early 1990's. There were in this period a lot of tax incentives available to investors to develop these type of operations and in the main they were well designed and installed. With a change of Federal Government, a lot of the incentives were withdrawn and these plantations fell into dis-repair. Tinana was in this bracket and in 2013 Jim carried out an audit to assess the state of the irrigation on the plantation and its operational capacities.
The Wallace family have had a large citrus orchard for at least two generations in the Mundubbera area. Water for irrigation comes from bores situated around their property. Micro irrigation has proven to be the optimum irrigation type for citrus in this region however with the escalating cost of electricity, pump operating efficiency has come increasingly into the spotlight. Jim and Merv Jessen carried out a pump energy audit on behalf of Ergon and Craig Wallace in 2014.
Phots beside this show the IPERT energy report on one of the pumps on Craig's property.
Mark Mammino has a sugar cane farm on the red soil country just outside of Childers, Queensland. The increasing cost of electricity has severely impacted the profitability of the cane farms so many growers, Mark included, are looking at an initial irrigation audit of their system and from the audit, implementing procedures that will lower their pumping costs, and optimise their irrigation scheduling. Even with a traditionally inefficient system such as a travelling irrigator, significant savings can be made with correct motor control systems (VFD) and machine speed and operating pressure control. This audit was carried out in 2014 by Jim and Merv Jessen.
The Chateau Royale is a large resort complex situated at Cotton Tree. With these resorts presentation and street appeal are very important. During the years of drought it became increasingly difficult to maintain this with the water restrictions and the cost of water so Chateau Royale had sub-surface drip irrigation installed under all of its lawns and gardens. Water supply was from both an on-site bore and a supplementary supply from the town mains.