Pivot irrigation system on grasslands

Description

Pivot irrigation system was introduced on grasslands belonging to the farm. A drilled well (200 meters deep) was dug as a source of water for irrigation. Three machines are used to irrigate three separate grasslands that have different location, size and shape. The parameters of every rampe pivot irrigation are adopted to specific agricultural plots.

Reason for the innovation

The farmer processes milk (20% of yearly production) into dairy products at the farm level and sells them under his own brand. He is the owner of one the Internet domain and he is going to promote his products through a farm website in the future. The idea of the farmer is to increase the amount of grass in feed up to 80% as well as to increase the scale of production of processed products on the farm. As Poland is the second country, after Albania that has the smallest water resources in Europe, irrigation systems are used almost exclusively on vegetable farms and nursery. The use of rampe pivot irrigation on grasslands is new in the country.

Farm description

Environment

  • Soil types: Sandy, Sandy-loam
  • Climate: Warm-summer humid continental
  • Altitude: 70 m a.s.l.
  • Slope: 0%

Grassland management

  • All of the grasslands are exclusively mowed.
  • The sward is conserved by making haylage.

Structure

  • Annual Work Unit: 6
  • Agricultural Area: 63 ha UAA
    • Main forage area: 63 ha
    • Temporary grassland area: 33 ha
    • Other green forage area: 30 ha
  • Average stocking rates:
    • agriculture area 2.4 LU/ha
    • main forage area 2.4 LU/ha
    • grassland area 4.5 LU/ha

Animal performance

  • Dairy cows: 100
  • Total livestock units: 150 LU
  • Milk production per head: 8200 (l/year)

Why it is working

The irrigation system is working on the farm, because it allows to get expected grass yield regardless of seasonal droughts. The farmer increased the number of heads in a herd. Despite of having the same area of land the farmer had adequate amount of roughage for all cows kept on the farm. Furthermore, buying the irrigation machines was more economic than buying more agricultural land in the surrounding area.

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

machinery, tools, product processing

Main types of animal

dairy cattle

Country

Poland

Product type

Farmer portrait

Language

English, Polish

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