Improving water efficiency through uptake of advanced irrigation technologies in Australian Tea Tree
Project code: PRO-015822
Project stage: Current
Project start date: Monday, April 4, 2022
Project completion date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
National Priority: AFI - AgriFood Innovation
The project has been designed to introduce the AgTech to growers as a means of addressing a major constraint to improved profit- water and power costs. The extension model provides an avenue for growers to be supported as they work cooperatively with peers and local service providers (most also involved to increase their knowledge) through a “see is believing” process of demonstration of the technology. Importantly, the supported process assists growers to understand the technical climatic, weather, soil and tree physiology factors that most influence the efficient use of water and applies use of the technology to monitor the influence of these on soil moisture and plant uptake. The opportunity to come together monthly, throughout the key irrigation period, will support growers to understand and interpret the data to make more informed irrigation scheduling decisions, and do this in a trusted and safe environment. The opportunity to hear from leading experts in irrigation from other tree crops allows the industry to think more broadly about the types of new research and technology considerations that require more exploration for Tea Tree in the future and allows growers to learn more about “what is possible”. Simple economic analysis provides a connection between water use and improved profit per hectare, allowing further analysis by the farmers on the facts that will influence their adoption decision- payback period on soil moisture equipment and payback period on new irrigation systems.