7 Apr 2014

Irrigation conference starts in Napier

7:41 am on 7 April 2014

The organisers of an irrigation conference that starts on Monday in Napier are hoping for rain - so that it drives farmers off the land, and to their conference.

Irrigation New Zealand chairman John Donkers says Hawke's Bay was chosen to host the conference because it's where the action is - with the proposed Ruataniwha water storage scheme in the pipeline.

He says decision makers, those running irrigation schemes and tradespeople will be there and he'd love it if farmers turned up in droves because the proposed scheme would have a major effect on them.

"This is a big change for their business probably one of the biggest business decisions they will make in their farming lifetime.

"Because it means they probably can't continue to do what they've done if they take water. They're going to have to run more livestock, or different livestock, or they're going to have to move from livestock to cropping or a much more intensive cropping system - it's all about change."