Irrigation Leader
  • Featured,  Interview,  New Zealand

    Nicky Hyslop: The Importance of Irrigation and Water Storage for New Zealand Agriculture

    Nicky Hyslop brings more than 20 years of experience to her work as a New Zealand farmer and a member of the boards of several industry groups and agricultural co-ops. In this interview, she shares her views about agriculture’s role in New Zealand’s water future and talks about her experience with joining a then-new irrigation scheme to increase the profitability of her own farm. As New Zealand contemplates new water sustainability standards in the face of drought and climate change, she believes creating more multiuse community water storage is a smart strategy for increasing resilience. 

  • Featured,  Interview,  New Zealand

    New Tools to Boost Efficiency at the Middle Republic Natural Resources District

    The Middle Republican Natural Resource District (MRNRD) is one of Nebraska’s 23 natural resources districts (NRDs)—local, watershed-based agencies that handle a wide variety of environmental issues across the state, including groundwater quantity and quality, soil erosion, and flood prevention. In a district in which the largest source of water is groundwater—with an estimated 77 million acre-feet of water stored beneath the land surface—one of the MRNRD’s main focuses is groundwater management. To further this goal, it is using a WaterSMART grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to put updated telemetry meters on all its wells. The end goal is to provide all its farmers with real-time information on their water…

  • Flipbook,  New Zealand

    Volume 13 Issue 8 September New Zealand Edition

    By Kris Polly To build and maintain large networks of canals, laterals, and pipelines spanning many miles of territory, irrigation districts rely on fleets of vehicles and heavy equipment, which they must successfully and cost-effectively acquire, maintain, keep track of, and retire. This month, we focus on those assets.  First, we speak with Nicky Hyslop, a South Island farmer who served as the former chair of Irrigation New Zealand and currently serves as a director of Beef+Lamb New Zealand and Ravensdown, about the importance of irrigation and the possible benefits of more multiuse community water storage.  Turning to equipment, we speak with Bryce Evans, the co-owner of Missouri-based Evans Equipment,…

  • Featured,  Interview,  New Zealand

    Vicky Bloomer of DROP Consulting: Supporting Irrigated Agriculture in Hawke’s Bay

    Vicky Bloomer, the owner and director of DROP Consulting, has long experience with irrigated agriculture. Her time at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, an irrigation company, and Irrigation New Zealand (IrrigationNZ) gave her a thorough understanding of the pressures affecting irrigated farmers, water suppliers, and regulators, which she brings to her consulting work. In this interview, she tells Irrigation Leader about recent changes in metering and data collection and explains why and how Hawke’s Bay farmers can become more water efficient. 

  • Flipbook,  New Zealand

    Volume 13 Issue 7 July/August New Zealand Edition

    By Kris Polly In our cover feature this month, we interview Vicky Bloomer, the owner and director of DROP Consulting. Ms. Bloomer’s long experience with irrigated agriculture at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, an irrigation company, and Irrigation New Zealand, has given her a multifaceted view of the climatic, economic, and regulatory pressures affecting water users and irrigated farmers.  We also interview Rick Reinders, the co-CEO of Watertronics, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of a wide variety of pump stations, control panels, and telemetry products for the agricultural, industrial/municipal, landscape irrigation, and golf irrigation markets.  Irrigation districts are not usually awash in cash, yet they face high capital expenses for the construction…

  • Featured,  Interview,  New Zealand

    Chris Frost: New Reservoirs for New Zealand’s Northland Region

    The Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust was created in 2020 to build new water storage and distribution infrastructure in New Zealand’s Northland Region. The trust’s goal is to create economic opportunities in horticulture for two areas in Northland by providing a reliable water source and eventually developing full irrigation schemes. In this interview, Chris Frost talks about the project’s history and potential. 

  • Featured,  Interview,  New Zealand

    Mayor Neil Brown: Navigating Irrigated Agriculture in New Zealand’s Ashburton District

    With its rich soil and abundant water, New Zealand’s Ashburton District has a thriving economy based on dairy farming and crop production. The 67‑kilometer (42‑mile) Rangitata Diversion Race is an irrigation and power generation scheme that diverts water from the Rangitata River to irrigate the district’s farmlands. In this interview, dairy farmer and district Mayor Neil Brown talks about local farmers’ contributions as well as their challenges, such as how to prevent nitrates from leaching into the aquifer. 

  • Flipbook,  New Zealand

    Volume 13 Issue 5 May New Zealand Edition

    By Kris Polly Ashburton District’s rich soil and abundant water make it an agricultural powerhouse, but those resources must be carefully husbanded to ensure economic success and environmental protection. In this month’s cover story, district Mayor Neil Brown discusses Ashburton’s farming prowess as well as the challenges posed by regulation, climate change, and nitrate leaching.  We also learn about several new developments in horticulture. First, we speak with Mathias Levarek, the CEO of Agrotonomy, which manufactures aeroponic tower farms that drizzle plant roots with nutrients and water. Next, we speak with Dr. Trentee Bush, Jill Heemstra, and Richard M. Wright of Northeast Community College about its Horticulture and Golf Course…

  • Flipbook,  New Zealand

    Volume 13 Issue 4 April New Zealand Edition

    By Kris Polly The success and flourishing of an irrigation district depend on many things—weather, funding, upkeep, modernization, and planning, for instance—but perhaps no factor counts as much as does a good manager. A manager must know their district’s distinctive characteristics and challenges, their employees, and their board. And they must have a clear vision of the future and what it will take to bring their district success.  This month, we bring you our first Managers Issue since January 2020. In this issue, we interview 21 managers, hailing from across the western United States and even across the world, about their top issues, their training and safety programs, the lessons…

  • Flipbook,  New Zealand

    Volume 13 Issue 3 March New Zealand Edition

    By Kris Polly This month, we are pleased to feature Waimate District Mayor Craig Rowley in our cover story. Water is the lifeblood of this highly agricultural district, and Mayor Rowley gives us a good sense of how national regulations and reform proposals are affecting it on a local level. We also bring you several stories of U.S. water management policy. The new commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Camille Calimlim Touton, is from Nevada and is a well-known friend of the western water community. She has many years of experience in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee, and she previously served as…