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Cautious management of irrigation needed this Winter

Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association Inc is advising all growers to maximise the use of irrigation during May whilst there is plenty of water available throughout the system.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation has advised the local region for some time  that there will be significant asset works being conducted this season which will dramatically affect the availability of supply during this crucial time of the growing season.

Growers are urged to maximise the water in their soil profile to provide an adequate buffer for frosts and/or unseasonably warm weather events.  Careful attention should be applied to young tree’s, lemons and blocks that have had a history of being affected by frosts.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s message is that during the 11 week shutdown period, they will endevour to provide a scheduling of irrigation but warn that they will not be able to provide the flexibility they have in the past.  Growers will have to make more difficult choices as they will have to decide to apply irrigation earlier than what they may intend to if the risk of availability is present.

More seriously affected growers should soon be contacted by Murrumbidgee Irrigation to discuss planning opportunities.

GDCGA advises seriously affected growers, particularly those affected from availability in early June to discuss options with their packing shed also to see if early harvest can assist in risk management.

GDCGA also advises growers to be mindful that drip irrigation is not as effective as high volume systems in frost mitigation.  Growers are advised to minimise risks of frosts by storing moisture in the soil as early as possible to act as a heat bank as well as following this  guide to manage frost risks.