One of the pioneers of broad scale mesclun mixed salad production in Australia is introducing an automated, radio-controlled irrigation system at its properties in northwest Victoria. The Mait monitoring and control system – tailored for the customer’s optimised water use and production needs by irrigation specialist Water Dynamics – includes base radio stations that feed extensive remote-controlled systems, which all serve their farms near Mildura, Wemen, and Finlayson.
The innovation used to enhance production is an integral part of the customer’s plans to expand their operation, which was originally formed in the early 1980s. Since then, they have grown from a 45 (18.25 hectare) acre operation on the Mornington Peninsula to a total of more than 2,000 acres (800+ hectares) in Victoria through to the Victoria / NSW border – serving major markets, including Melbourne and Sydney.
Back in the beginning, our customer used to sell its produce from a truck at the Melbourne Wholesale Market, says veteran irrigation specialist David Bell, Sales Manager of Water Dynamics, whose experience extends from Tasmania through SA, Victoria, and NSW to the Northern Territory.
“This new radio-controlled system will assist in the customer’s quest to maintain quality, freshness, and cost-efficiency – while also producing the number of varieties necessary for market appeal. This allows for environmentally sustainable rotation of crops with a very short harvest cycle,” says David.
Efficient water management
Mait Industries is a national leader in the design and manufacture of hardware and software for monitoring and control systems for agriculture, turf, and environmental applications. Their horticultural products focus on being efficient with water management – not only saving water, but also applying the correct amount of water, at the correct time. This precise and automated timing increases crop quality and yield, reduces leaching of fertilisers, reduces crop stress and susceptibility to disease and pests. It is future-focussed to increases the long-term sustainability and profitability of enterprises, while ensuring best use of water as a community resource.
To provide ideal coverage for the two farms, the system chosen for this project was Mait iC24R for the remote radio control of 24VAC solenoids. This two-farm system can control 16 solenoids, or 16 pumps, or any combination of them. Multiple control or monitoring boards, as required for changing production needs, can be linked via cable where more than sixteen solenoids are required to be controlled, or where more sensors are required to be monitored. Radio transmission distances extend up to 8km line-of-sight, or further where multiple radio sites can act as repeaters.
For more information:
Tel.: +61 1800 571 812