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Satellite water monitoring system takes the stress out of summer

Satellite water monitoring system takes the stress out of summer

Satellite water monitoring system takes the stress out of summer

Sheep and beef farmers Michael and Anne Smith recognised they needed to improve the accessibility and quality of water being fed to the hillside paddocks on their Hanmer Springs farm. To complement their new stock water system, the Smiths installed a Gallagher Satellite Water Monitoring System.

Michael and Anne have owned Ayrdale for over 40 years. On 208 ha, the farm is a mix of flat and hill country. The paddocks on the flat are sown in winter crops for the ewes and hoggets to feed on, followed by pasture grass for finishing lambs.

The Smiths run 1,300 ewes, 375 hoggets, and finish 45 to 50 cattle a year along with around 1,500 lambs which they sell when they reach 19 kg.

At the end of 2022, the Smiths upgraded their stock water system to include a tank to supply the paddocks on the hill.

“The stock water system that supplies the flat land has been in for years. So, two years ago, we decided we needed a better system for the hill. We now have water being pumped 400 m in total, and this includes 140 m up the hill to the tank where the water is then gravity-fed to the paddocks. The new system has made such a difference; we know our stock are drinking clean water,” shares Michael.

Having installed the stock water system for the hill, Michael and Anne then considered what monitoring system to install. With the help of the Culverden PGG Wrightson store team, they chose Gallagher’s Satellite Water Monitoring System.

“The Gallagher system is brilliant. The app is on my phone so it's easy for me to check the tank's water level. As they have forecast a dry summer, monitoring the tank is important. I check it twice a day to ensure there’s plenty of water for the stock. You just never know, a ballcock say could be stuck open and a lot of water can be lost in a short time.

“Installing the app on my phone went smoothly. I’m not tech-savvy, yet I find the app easy to use and it allows me to see the water level from wherever I am. If it drops too low, an alarm notifies me.”

For the 40 years the Smiths have run Ayrdale, they have been customers of PGG Wrightson. Currently, PGG Wrightson Trainee Technical Field Representative Dylan Benny assists Michael and Anne.

“Dylan helps me with my seeds and spray chemicals along with my animal health products. He is up to date with the latest seed varieties, so I say to him, if he believes a new variety will work on the farm and produce better results, then I’m open to trying it,” says Michael.

“We have always had a great relationship with everyone at the Culverden store. Whenever we need something, it is always there for us. We purchase everything we need from the store including our fencing and water components. Both Anne and I think the service is second to none.”