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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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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Background

  • The concept
  • The team
  • The trials
  • Achievements
  • Future
slide3

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
slide4

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
slide5

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
slide6

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
slide8

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
slide9

Established and operated four system comparison trial

  • On-farm at Keytah, Moree
  • Commercial scale
slide11

Holistic water accounting

  • Benchmarking
  • Management streamlined and consistent
  • Variables minimised – soils, climate, chemicals and fertilizer
slide13

Established process, tested the concept

  • Challenges
    • Operational and management
    • Soil type variation
    • Crop establishment
    • Water monitoring technology
    • Scale
slide14

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’
slide15

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
slide17

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
slide18

Challenges

    • Germination issues
    • Equipment failure
    • Management issues with new technologies were mostly avoided
    • Difficult season for water accounting
slide20

Demonstration of a grower-led approach

    • Relevant
    • Practical
  • Adaptive project management
  • Real opportunities to improve existing technologies
  • Locally specific information for decision making
slide21

Communication

    • Broad-ranging education and extension activities
    • Hands-on extension opportunities
    • Multi-media reporting
slide22

National Water Commission – highly supportive and flexible

  • Farm hosts considerable in-kind contribution and outside the scope of original project
  • External contributors and advice
slide23

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
slide24

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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