Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:45

Irrigation prospect welcomed in the Bay

Written by 

THE PROSPECT of irrigation addresses some of the woes of Hawkes Bay’s annual drought, says Beef + Lamb NZ chairman Mike Petersen.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council is developing the Ruataniwha water storage scheme, in the Tukituki river catchment, near Waipukurau. 

This involves building a 90 million m3 dam which could irrigate 30,000ha. It could also be used to generate electricity.

Petersen can see the catchment from his farm but he wouldn’t benefit from it because he’s in the hill country. 

Considering the years of drought such as the present one, the Ruataniwha scheme is what the district needs, he says.

“Frankly a year like this is a graphic example to naysayers of why it needs to happen. We have a district severely impacted by dry conditions. Having a 30,000ha area capable of being watered year-round is going to be a big benefit for the area.” 

Petersen says history shows that where you build irrigation the dairy cows soon follow. But there are spin-offs for the wider farming community, he says.

“In this area we’ll see a focus on sheep and
beef finishers and they will see how they can integrate their operations with the irrigation. Remember we’ve got McCains and Heinz in
this part of the world, so there will be benefits for people who want to do cropping as well.  It’s a massive opportunity
and dairy hasn’t got it
all its own away in this area.”

More like this

Joining commodity producers online

The time is right for new initiatives in providing greater business-to-business engagement through the use of a digital marketplace, says Mike Petersen.

Green light for irrigation scheme

North Canterbury's Amuri Irrigation Company (AIC) is pressing ahead with plans for a new irrigation scheme for the Hawarden/Waikari area, following a positive response from potential users.

Featured

 

Zespri opens new head office

Zespri last week officially opened its Mount Maunganui head office as part of the kiwifruit industry’s marquee Momentum 2020 conference.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Biased?

Your old mate was disappointed, but not surprised to see a ‘study’ out of Otago University – quoted all over…

A dilemma

Your canine crusader reckons the fiercely anti GE, but pro sustainability Green Party has a dilemma on its hands, following…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter