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Irrigation tips

Whatever your farm, precision irrigation could deliver benefits.

Install a Precision VRI (Variable-Rate Irrigation) system to help increase yields and profitability.  

On dairy, sheep, and beef farms, the system can increase pasture and save water costs. And with drier tracks, you’d expect to have fewer lame stock and lower track maintenance costs.

On crop farms, Precision VRI can save water and increase irrigation when supplies are restricted. You could save water and save money.

No cost options


Where possible use gravity-fed supply to reduce pumping needs.


Avoid irrigating in windy or very hot conditions – it’s less efficient.

Night rates

Irrigate at night to take advantage of reduced evaporation and, if your plan allows, off-peak electricity rates.

Root system

Target irrigation at the active root zone, not below it.


Inspect irrigation systems regularly – repair leaks, blockages and worn sprinklers or nozzles. Contact us for a simple five-step guide on how to check the performance of your spray irrigation system.


Install water flow meters and rain gauges to measure water usage and rainfall. This will help manage your irrigation and water consents more efficiently.

Efficient motor

Upgrade to a more efficient irrigation pump motor to reduce running costs.

Pump size

Ensure pumps are the correct size and capacity for your requirements, so they operate at their highest efficiency and you’re not paying for capacity you don’t need.

Variable speed drive

Install variable speed drives on pump motors to even out the load — especially where land is hilly.

Options to invest in

Less is more

Irrigate little and often. Use a soil moisture monitoring system to ensure soil moisture remains between stress point and field capacity.

Moisture monitoring

Consider installing soil moisture monitors to avoid unnecessary irrigation and identify effective irrigation patterns. See Irrigation New Zealand for information about professional services.

Variable-rate irrigation

Variable-rate irrigation allows exactly the right amount of water to be applied to specific areas under a centre-pivot or linear-move irrigator, saving on water and pumping costs (providing a variable speed drive is also installed).