Which irrigation system is best suited to your farm?

Comparing Irrigation Systems

Investing in the right irrigation solution is crucial to ensuring you make the most of your water. No two farms are the same, so it’s important to consider the right solution for your needs. Take a look at the pros and cons of some of the main irrigation systems below.

Centre pivot

The leading method of crop and pasture irrigation in many areas, pivot systems boast up to 95% efficiency in water dispersion at a relatively low cost.


  • Automation. Centre pivots can operate 24/7 if required; providing control over water pressure/levels that ensures optimum pasture growth across the seasons and pastures
  • Highly durable. They maintain their value and usually require lower maintenance
  • Low labour required. One person can manage multiple machines and these can be managed remotely
  • Flexibility. Their construction allows them to straddle fences, sheds and obstacles so they can be set up in just about any paddock


  • Larger initial investment
  • Capturing corner area may require corner arms
  • Wind tolerance can be lower than other systems
  • Limitations in undulating land

Solid set (fixed grid)

Properly planned solid-set systems lend themselves to their low labour requirement and can be gun, fixed sprinkler, or solid set. And unlike centre pivots, they’re suited for irregular shaped blocks or hard to water areas such as pivot corners and areas that make others forms of irrigation unviable (i.e. protected trees).


  • Low labour cost - often little or no input to operate the system which can be fully automated from a computer or mobile device
  • High coverage area
  • Flexibility to tailor the irrigation to certain soil types and requirements
  • Easy to repair and maintain with standard parts
  • Ability to isolate paddock areas


  • High initial setup includes labour requirements and costs of materials
  • Restrictions around raised posts
  • Wind tolerance can be lower than other systems


Drip or subsurface irrigation is recognised as the most efficient and advanced irrigation solution because it allows for the system to be localised for maximum accuracy, control and automation. The flipside, however, is that these systems require a level of maintenance and system knowledge to maximise their potential.


  • Advanced and efficient, they conserve energy and maximise the use of your water by feeding directly to the rootzone
  • Low labour cost
  • Below the paddock’s surface which reduces risk of damage
  • Suitable for undulating surfaces and irregular shaped paddocks


  • Careful consultation and analysis of soil profiles are required to determine the suitability of subsurface drip
  • Requires knowledge and expertise to manage after install
  • Has a higher initial financial investment
  • If not managed correctly there may be risk in clogging soil or risking pasture quality through uncontrolled irrigation


Whatever system you choose, it’s important that it’s tailored to your needs and with expertise and support on hand. From the initial consultation and design, through to the install and after care support that comes with your new system, you can rely on our experts to help make the most of your water. Get in touch for a free consultation.

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