Lending irrigation acres opens opportunities

With a spike in Alternate Parcel Irrigation agreements for the upcoming water season, more than 100 irrigators now have additional acres thanks to the cooperation of fellow irrigators.

A fresh marketing initiative helped to explain the process to let other irrigators borrow acres for a year. The WID Board reviewed and approved the agreements, and there may be more yet to come.

“It was important for those with irrigation acres that they don’t plan to use, to understand how they can easily lend the acres for a season at a time,” says Donna Mitchel, Executive Manager of Administration. “When they understood that they set the price, the number of irrigation acres, and that contracts are year-to-year, many more stepped up to help.”

There is always a need and more demand than there are irrigation acres available.

“This is a perennial challenge,” continues Mitchel, “we need to continually be looking for ways to increase the acres available.”

Since the effort to lend acres between irrigators began in 2018 with just 370 acres, the growth has been exponential – there are 6,800 acres being used when they would otherwise be sleeping, a 20% increase over last season.

With the boost in Alternate Parcel Irrigation Agreements, the system will be operating at a higher capacity, using 93% of the irrigation acres allowed by the Province.

“Our irrigators are so relieved to have arrangements in place, and we are pleased to have a higher portion of our allotted acres in use.”

Effective and straightforward, the Alternate Parcel Irrigation Agreement is mutually beneficial to both parties.

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