Water Smart Cotton and Grains in NSW
Irrigators want to improve WUE in terms of bales per ML or tonnes per ML, with the intention to maximise their profitability or $/ML. An important step to achieving this is through the adoption of irrigation management best practices. Consultants will be mentored to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver a range of irrigation services. Irrigation training, farm walks and technology demonstrations will provide the platform of knowledge transfer and encourage the adoption of irrigation best practices to improve WUE. Water use indices will be calculated for both the cotton and grains industries to provide a benchmark to gauge future changes in WUE.
During the first half of 2009, the project team will be surveying cotton and grain irrigators to establish water use efficiency benchmarks. NSW DPI previously conducted a survey of 36 cotton farms from Hillston to Emerald and found a 40 percent increase in water use efficiency since 2003. This project will expand the collection of this important benchmarking information to include the both the cotton and grains industries. Data will be obtained from around 60 cotton and 60 wheat irrigators located from Southern NSW through to Central Qld so as to benchmark irrigation water use for the cotton industry during the 2008/09 season and for irrigated wheat during the 2008 season. Consultants will play a role in the collection of this data through the consultants support program. After receiving training in the on-line benchmarking tool Watertrack Rapid, project officers will provide support to improve consultant’s knowledge, skills and confidence to offer benchmarking as an irrigation service.
The project will continue the delivery of training workshops on a range of irrigation topics such as those developed as part of the Cotton and Grains Irrigation Workshop Series and the Centre Pivot and Lateral Move National Training Course.
1) Benchmark irrigation water use efficiency in terms of bales per ML or tonnes per ML for the irrigated cotton and grains industries.
In recent times, cotton irrigators have shown a growing interest in irrigating winter cereals as the profitability of these crops has improved. Irrigators want to improve their WUE in terms of bales per ML or tonnes per ML, with the intention to maximise their profitability or $/ML. An important step to achieving this is through the adoption of irrigation management best practices.
ProgramNational Program for Sustainable Irrigation
- Irrigation (442)