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Smart Water Precision Irrigation with audio description


(peaceful music) – So my name’s Andrew Peace, from Andrew Peace Wines. We’re a family operated wine company. We’ve been living in this property for about 35 years. Our farm’s situated 41 kilometers from Swan Hill on the
banks of the Murray River. It’s very diverse range of trees and fruits and vegetables grown here, we grow everything from
stone fruit to avocados. We grow apples, almonds,
then the last couple of years we’ve sort of tooled up and we’re growing different crops as well. So we grow winter crops, which is wheat, barley, and canola. Our main crop is grapes, wine grapes. One ton of grapes gives
you about 750 liters of clean wine that’s
ready to go into bottle. So we would generally make and export about 2 million cases. As a family, we feed about 50,000 people. Which is a pretty good number, we’re pretty proud of that. A lot of people don’t realize that, to make one liter of
wine it generally takes between two and four liters of water, and it can take upwards
of 200 liters of water to grow one kilogram of beef. We get a lot of our rain
during the winter periods, and the rain we do get,
which is very precious, is only, I would say generally is about 300 millimeters, so 12 inches. If you’re just talking about efficiencies of pumping water for irrigated crops, it’s sort of an unwritten rule that about five kilometers from the river is usually efficient. You need to work out how
you’re gonna get your water. We’re actually on the
Murray River, so we’re a private diverter, as opposed to someone who gets water pumped
to them from a pipeline. Being a private diverter, that means we own all our own diversion
pumps and all our pipes. We’ve had to install them over the years. So you need to have a license for it that you can use anually, it’s called AUL, on your property. And you get a license from the government, you’re allowed to use a certain amount of water on the land. And then obviously, once you’ve got that then you need to actually
purchase the water that you would divert through your pump. We have 4,000 acres, 1,600 hectares, and all our land is licensed to irrigate. So the watering system we currently use is called WISA. We’ve probably half the water use that we use to, we flow to irrigation and we’re probably getting about an extra 20% increase in the water that we do put in the
effectiveness of it as well. – Working with WISA, we
could actually program it from our computer, start
it from our computer, monitor it from our computer. Well having a good, fully-automated irrigation system, you’re
using your time efficiently, you’re not chained to the pump or in your vehicle
continuously going around, it gives you time to do your
other day-to-day duties. – We provide irrigation automation and monitoring solutions like those we’ve provided to Andrew Peace Wines. – Well the company
itself was brought about to give farmers the edge
over the rest of the world, in being able to apply
water to their crops, in saving time which is very important for them to do other
jobs, and to save water. – [James] Basically comprises three main components, if you like. Software, which runs on a PC and controls the system. Hardware out in the field, which is radio linked back to that PC, and the firmware on that
hardware out in the field, which allows us to connect all sorts of different hardware to those actual units. – [Anthony] This is all
done either in your office, on your phone, you can be in Swan Hill doing the shopping. – So we’ve got soil moisture monitoring, talks to the computer. We’ve got center pivots.
We’ve got drip tape. Sub-service drip tape
which is in the ground, and then we’ve got drip
tape for our vines. So all those formats are
controlled by a system. So it makes the impossible, possible. – This automation makes life a lot easier. You still have to check
it, it’s not foolproof, but it just takes a lot
of the guesswork out. – Certainly on a property like this, the size of this one here, one person running around doing the water manually would be, actually I don’t think it
would even be possible. So in essence, the labor savings we gain from automation here, probably a good couple of labor units, if not more. – With the infrastructure we have, and being so close to the river, if we didn’t have water, we wouldn’t have this winery, these grapevines. Water is gold to us. Without that, we’ve got nothing. (peaceful music)

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