INZ 2012 Innovation in Irrigation Award finalists announced

Press Release – Irrigation NZ

With less than a week to the IrrigationNZ Conference and Expo in Timaru the three finalists in the IrrigationNZ 2012 Innovation in Irrigation Award in association with Aqualinc have been announced.
Media Release

March 30, 2012 – for immediate release
INZ 2012 Innovation in Irrigation Award finalists announced

With less than a week to the IrrigationNZ Conference and Expo in Timaru the three finalists in the IrrigationNZ 2012 Innovation in Irrigation Award in association with Aqualinc have been announced.

Introduced for the first time in 2010, the award, sponsored by Aqualinc, aims to celebrate, encourage and promote innovation and the positive benefits being realised in communities with, and as a result of, irrigation. It was prompted by a need to highlight the good news about irrigation and to acknowledge irrigators striving to be efficient and caring for the environment.

IrrigationNZ business manager Chris Coughlan said the level of interest had been extremely satisfying this year with a high number of quality entries.

Ten entries had been shortlisted, with the judging panel of Terry Heiler Andy MacFarlane, Magdy Mohssen and Tonny de Vries selecting Ravensdown’s On Farm Mixing System, the North Otago Irrigation Company’s Audited Self Management system, and Sustainable Water’s HERBI as the three finalists. The supreme winner will be announced at the Irrigation NZ ‘Downer’ Conference Dinner at the Caroline Bay Hall next Tuesday night.

Co-judge Terry Heiler said without exception all of the entries received this year dealt with the two big societal concerns facing the irrigation sector, namely efficient use of water and being more efficient with the use of fertilisers in irrigated agriculture and reducing run-off.

“It was really heartening to see the entrants had recognised the issues facing the industry.”

He said the judges were looking for proven impacts and the potential for significant impact on the future.

The entries fell into a number of different categories, from the use of new technology capitalising on new modern IT technology to the operation of irrigation schemes under audited self-management designed to reflect community concerns of reducing the environmental footprints of irrigated agriculture, and those that were engineering in nature, added Heiler.

The 2010 INZ Innovation in Irrigation Award went to Stu Bradbury of Feilding-based Precision Irrigation for its variable rate control irrigation system for centre pivot and linear move irrigators that gives total control of where water is applied beneath the irrigator – technology that will be a way of the future in irrigation as farmers and the industry move to ensure optimal water management nationwide.

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