Victoria and Tasmania have dominated the list of Australian finalists in the Zimmatic Trailblazer Sustainable Irrigation Awards.
The national awards were launched this year to celebrate excellence and recognise farmers leading the way in responsible irrigation, innovative water management and environmental stewardship.
Victoria and Tasmania will be represented by two finalists each.
Evan Ryan, Clontarf, Yarrawonga, Victoria, runs a 1000ha property (586ha irrigated) producing broadacre winter and summer grain, hay and fibre production.
Stephen Eyles of Hillcrest Family Trust, Selbourne, Tasmania whose 400ha property (250ha irrigated) includes mixed cropping, sheep and fat lambs.
Rob and Eliza Tole, Greenvale, Cressy, Tasmania run a mixed cropping and livestock operation on a 560ha property with 350ha irrigated.
Brendan Watson of Kilter Rural, Lake Boga, Victoria runs a large irrigated cropping enterprise with a 3000-ewe sheep flock on 9070ha with 3730ha irrigated.
James Craft of Zimmatic ANZ said the awards acknowledged innovative farming operators and rewarded them for the vital role they play in the primary sector.
"We have been extremely impressed by the calibre of applications for the award and the excellence being practised by these farmers who are focused on improving their irrigation and water management," he said.
"The awards are an opportunity to help showcase the innovative farming operators who will influence future generations and play a role in strengthening Australia's success story as global leaders in sustainable and profitable farming.
"They have been supported by Precision Agriculture Pty Ltd, Ag Logic Pty Ltd and the Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) as Zimmatic's Australian partners in delivering this prestigious awards program."
Applicants were shortlisted and assessed by a judging panel of irrigation and industry professionals who undertook an in-depth review of the four categories judged including delivering efficient, innovative irrigation while protecting waterways and leading environmental stewardship of the irrigation community.
Independent judge Dr Pat Hulme said the finalists had included farmers with an incredible diversity of enterprises yet they had a common focus on resource management.
"Each of the finalists had, in their own way, adopted practices and technology to better match irrigation water supply with crop demand. They all had an eye to the long term health of their land and water assets, and played an active role in the irrigation community," he said.
The finalists are now, alongside the NZ finalists, in the running to be named the overall winner of the award which will be announced later this year once on-farm judging has occurred.
The story Victoria, Tassie farmers dominate irrigation awards first appeared on Farm Online.