Innovation


Ord Irrigation Cooperative values Innovation that is in line with our core water distribution business. A few current and ongoing ventures include:

GIS

In 2005/06 local growers in the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) initiated a remote sensing satellite imagery trial. The images provided more detailed information about crop at a specific point in time and identified significant variation in crops which could not be seen during visual observation. The project involved purchasing regular satellite images of the ORIA to assist with farm/crop management.

The potential of the images as a management tool has been recognized, but there are many critical knowledge gaps in image interpretation. The GIS system was used to view the images and to map relationships found using electromagnetic maps and yield maps. The GIS system is also being used to support asset management functions and is an ongoing project.

SCADA

The Ord Irrigation Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Network, as its name suggests, is all about collecting data – both Ground water and Surface water from all over the irrigation area. It allows remote control of open channel gates, supply points and monitoring of water levels.

The system is used in all facets of Irrigation management, from water ordering, collects on-farm water usage, channel delivery efficiency, assists in system control, manages water allocation and looks after billing, water tariffs, and customer information.

GPS-Ag Autofarm

Ord Irrigation Cooperative is a GPS-Ag Autofarm dealer that supports precision auto guidance systems on tractors and implements. The business utilises GPS GLONASS RTK base stations to assist in accurate tractor guidance. The base stations are installed to existing SCADA telemetry repeater infrastructure and are providing a private CORS (continuously Operating Reference Stations) Network. The CMR output on the base stations are compatible with Trimble, Topcon and many other GPS hardware manufacturers.

Ord Online

The Ord Online Knowledge Platform has been developed by OIC to compile catchment based knowledge to better assist growers in making decisions with on-farm practices, irrigation techniques, and to provide a repository of catchment based knowledge. The Knowledge Platform is expected to be utilising to host broader scale knowledge outside of the irrigation network, including pastoral stations, society and indigenous projects.

On Farm Automation

OIC is supporting on-farm automation hardware, including soil moisture, automated gates, and other on farm technologies to enable farmers to become more efficient with their water use. The technology will make better use of commercial grade infrastructure that is being installed around the valley for the SCADA system.