IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012
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IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012. Background The concept The team The trials Achievements Future. Low water availability Growers looking a ways to increase production with less water 90% irrigation techniques were flood/siphon

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Ial conference adelaide june 2012

IAL Conference, Adelaide June 2012


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Background

  • The concept

  • The team

  • The trials

  • Achievements

  • Future


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • GVIA Committee

  • Gwydir Valley Irrigators

  • Other growers

  • 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

  • CSIRO

  • CSD

  • Yara Nipro

  • Netafim

  • Aquatech

  • DPI

  • NSWIC


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Established and operated four system comparison trial

  • On-farm at Keytah, Moree

  • Commercial scale


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Holistic water accounting

  • Benchmarking

  • Management streamlined and consistent

  • Variables minimised – soils, climate, chemicals and fertilizer


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Established process, tested the concept

  • Challenges

    • Operational and management

    • Soil type variation

    • Crop establishment

    • Water monitoring technology

    • Scale


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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’


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Challenges

    • Germination issues

    • Equipment failure

    • Management issues with new technologies were mostly avoided

    • Difficult season for water accounting


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Demonstration of a grower-led approach

    • Relevant

    • Practical

  • Adaptive project management

  • Real opportunities to improve existing technologies

  • Locally specific information for decision making


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • Communication

    • Broad-ranging education and extension activities

    • Hands-on extension opportunities

    • Multi-media reporting


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • National Water Commission – highly supportive and flexible

  • Farm hosts considerable in-kind contribution and outside the scope of original project

  • External contributors and advice


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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


Ial conference adelaide june 2012

  • 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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