25 Oct 2013

Deadline looms for irrigation buy-in

7:37 pm on 25 October 2013

Central Canterbury farmers have less than a week left to buy into the Central Plains irrigation scheme, which could eventually irrigate 60,000 hectares of land.

The deadline for farmers to commit financially to the first stage of the scheme, which will irrigate the first 18,000 hectares, is 31 October.

The communications and consents manager for the project, Susan Goodfellow, says it needs farmers to invest $43 million by the end of the month if it is to go ahead.

She says those already in have cottoned on to the fact that they'll get more than just water for their money - the scheme allocates a certain tonnage of nutrients to allow dry-land farmers to intensify.

"Shareholders are really engaging with that now," Ms Goodfellow says, "and recognising that it's the water and the nutrients and the potential that, both together, they unlock for their properties."