Improving Irrigation Efficiency in
the Australian Cotton Industry
A Grower Led Approach
Irrigation Australia Limited Conference 2014
Background
• Limited and variable water availability
• Growers looking to improve production per
mega litre
• Furrow/siphon the most commonly utilised
system
• No commercial comparisons of alternatives
Funding
• A grower led project to investigate irrigation
efficiency alternatives
– Initial funding from the National Water
Commission
• Project to run from 2008-2012
– Additional funding through the Cotton Research
and Development Corporation (CRDC)
• Project to run from 2012-2015
The Grower Led Approach
• Working with innovative irrigators in the Gwydir
Valley
• Quantify water efficient irrigation practices on a
commercial basis
• Practical approach to irrigation
• Commercial observations and information
• Flexibility to allow the project to evolve overtime
– Investigation of energy and labour requirements
needed for adoption.
Trial Program Components
Off-season Trials
Comparison Trial
2008:
2009:
Telleraga Trial
Keytah 1st season
2010:
2011:
Redbank Trial
Keytah 2nd season replication
2014:
Optimised Furrow Trial
2013:
Keytah 3rd season replication
Furrow/siphon
Overhead Lateral Move
Bankless Channel
Drip
Keytah Trial Details
• 4 systems
– Drip
– Bankless
Channel
– Lateral
Move
– Furrow /
Syphon
Storage
Drip
11.43ha
Bankless
Channel
32.53ha
Lateral (Lateral 1)
122.95ha
Furrow/syphon
85.69ha
Lateral (Lateral 3)
122.99ha
N
Yield, Seasonal Water Use and GPWUI 2009-2010
18
16
1.28
1.27
1.4
1.3
1.12
14
12
1.2
1
10
0.8
8
0.6
6
0.4
4
0.2
2
0
0
Furrow
Lateral
Yield bales/ha 2009-2010
Drip
Seasonal Water ML/Ha 2009-2010
Bankless
GPWUI GPWUI 2009-2010
Yield, Seasonal Water Use and GPWUI 2011-2012
18
1.35
1.4
16
1.22
1.16
1.2
14
1.05
12
1
10
0.8
8
0.6
6
0.4
4
0.2
2
0
0
Furrow
Lateral
Yield bales/ha 2011-2012
Drip
Seasonal Water ML/Ha 2011-2012
Bankless
GPWUI GPWUI 2011-2012
Yield, Seasonal Water Use and GPWUI comparison between
2009-2010 and 2011-2012
18
1.4
1.35
1.3
16
14
1.28
1.27
1.22
1.2
1.12
1.16
1.05
1
12
10
0.8
8
0.6
6
0.4
4
0.2
2
0
0
Furrow
Lateral
Drip
bales/ha 2009-2010
ML/Ha 2009-2010
bales/ha 2011-2012
ML/Ha 2011-2012
GPWUI 2009-2010
GPWUI 2011-2012
Bankless
Focus of the Current 2013/2014
Season
• Objective was to add to the grower information
package.
– Project expanded to capture management data and
practical information on resourcing the individual systems
• Labour
• Energy and
• Water
• Further investment in tools to aid in water monitoring.
• Seasonal challenges with hot, dry conditions and very
little in crop rainfall
Grower Considerations
•
•
•
•
•
•
Soil type
Topography
Water reliability
Financial capital
Operation and maintenance commitments
Crop type
Initial Input Comparisons
Operating Labour Time (hrs p.a.)
Furrow/Siphon
Bankless Channel
Lateral Move
Drip Tape
Initial Input Comparisons
Operating Energy Cost
(fuel usage in L/meg/ha)
Furrow/Siphon
Bankless Channel
Lateral Move
Drip Tape
Initial Input Comparisons
Total Operating Costs
($/ha/p.a.)
Furrow/Siphon
Bankless Channel
Lateral Move
Drip Tape
Grand Total Cost of Operating,
Maintenance, Ownership
($/ha/p.a.)
Furrow/Siphon
Bankless Channel
Lateral Move
Drip Tape
Achievements
• Demonstrated that the grower led approach is
– Practical
– Realistic extension model for industry
because it can adapt to grower needs and address questions as
they become apparent.
• Developed a case study which is relevant for growers.
• Broad communication and extension activities continue to improve
the understanding of the alternative irrigation systems for growers
• Irrigators in the cotton industry have started adopting to alternative
irrigation systems.
• We are currently undergoing a strategic review to determine the
most practical way forward to address grower needs.
Thank You
Download

Improving Irrigation Efficiency in the Australian