Presentation

Report
Improving
Irrigation
Efficiency
In the
Australian
Cotton
Industry A Grower
Led
Approach
IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012
Key presentation points
• Background
• The concept
• The team
• The trials
• Achievements
• Future
Background
• Low water availability
• Growers looking a ways to increase production
with less water
• 90% irrigation techniques were flood/siphon
• No valley specific research or examples of
others technologies
The project
Sort funding from National Water Commission
Timeframe 2008-2012
Approximately $500,000 of funding
To improve the irrigation efficiency in the
Gwydir and nationally within the Australian
Cotton Industry
• Grower-led approach
•
•
•
•
The team
• National Water Commission
• The Gwydir Valley
Irrigators Association –
staff and executive
(past/present)
• Trial hosts – Sundown
Pastoral Co and Australian
Food and Fibre Limited
• NSW DPI – Janelle
Montgomery
• Guy Roth
• GVIA Committee
• Gwydir Valley
Irrigators
• Other growers
• CSIRO
• CSD
• Yara
Nipro
•
•
•
•
Netafim
Aquatech
DPI
NSWIC
The concept
• Championed irrigators showing
irrigators
• Grass-roots ideas with robust
application
• Focus on practical information
• Direct industry linkages
• Flexibility to allow the project to evolve
overtime
Trial program overview
Off-season
Trials
2008:
Telleraga Trial
2010:
Redbank Trial
Core Trial
2009:
Keytah Trial, first
season
2011:
Keytah Trial,
second season
replication
Off-season trials
• Focus on improving efficiency of furrow
irrigation
• Pipe through bank trial at Telleraga, Moree
• Limited water and row-configuration trial at
Redbank, Moree
• One-on-one consultations to reducing losses
from on-farm storages
• Highly collaborative
Core trial - Keytah
• Established
and operated
four system
comparison
trial
• On-farm at
Keytah,
Moree
• Commercial
scale
Keytah trial design
Drip
Bankless channel
• 11 Ha
• Small scale
Lateral
• 32 Ha
• Rooftop
design
Furrow/siphon
• 123 Ha
• Replicated
• 86 Ha
• Control
2009-2010 Season
• Holistic water accounting
• Benchmarking
• Management streamlined and
consistent
• Variables minimised – soils, climate,
chemicals and fertilizer
2009-2010 Summary
2009-2010 Lessons
• Established process, tested the concept
• Challenges
• Operational and management
• Soil type variation
• Crop establishment
• Water monitoring technology
• Scale
2011-2012 Season
• Replication of the Keytah Trial
• Accepted inherent design challenges
• New aim to optimise each system
individually and tailor management
• Remained focussed on holistic water
assessment
• Included demonstration of water-balance
technology as water accounting ‘back-up’
2011-2012 Progress
• Seasonal challenges with extensive flooding
and reduced temperatures during growing
periods
• Interim results assumptions:
• Using field techniques to estimate yield
• C-probe data used to determine effective
rainfall
• Residual soil moisture
2011-2012 Summary
2011-2012 Season
• All yields (where crops were not lost) were
high – reflective of the season
• Performance of the Bankless assisted by luck
• Lateral move showed continued high
performance
• Furrow system appears to be most consistent
2011-2012 Season
• Challenges
• Germination issues
• Equipment failure
• Management issues with new technologies
were mostly avoided
• Difficult season for water accounting
Two-season Comparison
Achievements
• Demonstration of a grower-led approach
• Relevant
• Practical
• Adaptive project management
• Real opportunities to improve existing
technologies
• Locally specific information for decision making
Achievements
• Communication
• Broad-ranging
education and
extension activities
• Hands-on
extension
opportunities
• Multi-media
reporting
Acknowledgements
• National Water Commission – highly
supportive and flexible
• Farm hosts considerable in-kind contribution
and outside the scope of original project
• External contributors and advice
Future
• Recognition of the investment in establishing
the trial
• Growers locally want more seasons of data
• Sundown Pastoral Co ad Gwydir Valley
Irrigators Association maintained committed
• Currently, Cotton Research and Development
Corporation have provide preliminary advice
for funding in 2013/2014 season
Further Information
• Final reports for 2009-10 and 2010-2011 trials
• Final Report for 2011-2012 season available September 2012
• Brochures – due to be updated with new results
• Specific Drip brochure
• Specific Bankless Channel brochure
• Specific Lateral brochure
• Specific Furrow/Siphon brochure
• Overall Brochure with final results
• DVD
www.gvia.org.au

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