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Improving Irrigation Efficiency In the Australian Cotton Industry - A Grower Led Approach IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Irrigation Efficiency In the Australian Cotton Industry - A Grower Led Approach IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Irrigation Efficiency In the Australian Cotton Industry - A Grower Led Approach IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012

2 Key presentation points Background The concept The team The trials Achievements Future

3 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

4 The project Sort funding from National Water Commission Timeframe Approximately $500,000 of funding To improve the irrigation efficiency in the Gwydir and nationally within the Australian Cotton Industry Grower-led approach

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 Core trial - Keytah Established and operated four system comparison trial On-farm at Keytah, Moree Commercial scale

10 Keytah trial design 11 Ha Small scale Drip 32 Ha Rooftop design Bankless channel 123 Ha Replicated Lateral 86 Ha Control Furrow/siphon

11 Season Holistic water accounting Benchmarking Management streamlined and consistent Variables minimised – soils, climate, chemicals and fertilizer

12 Summary

13 Lessons Established process, tested the concept Challenges Operational and management Soil type variation Crop establishment Water monitoring technology Scale

14 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

15 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

16 Summary

17 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

18 Season Challenges Germination issues Equipment failure Management issues with new technologies were mostly avoided Difficult season for water accounting

19 Two-season Comparison

20 Achievements Demonstration of a grower-led approach Relevant Practical Adaptive project management Real opportunities to improve existing technologies Locally specific information for decision making

21 Achievements Communication Broad-ranging education and extension activities Hands-on extension opportunities Multi-media reporting

22 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

23 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

24 Further Information Final reports for and trials Final Report for 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


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