Maximising on-farm irrigation profitability – southern connected systems

The Crown in right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Primary Industries

  • Project code: PRJ-010083

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017

  • National Priority: RIC-Agronomy and farming systems


Rice program contribution to the CRDC ‘R&D for Profit’ project
Broadacre irrigators are seeking alternative irrigation systems that are labour, water and energy efficient and are more profitable for each ML of water used. New systems are required that are more efficient and profitable for each ML used and are flexible to allow growers to change the crop type they will produce in response to changes in markets and water availability.

Improved surface irrigation designs are needed which retain the advantages of existing systems (low capital and energy requirements) yet are faster watering (decreased accessions and greater water productivity) and better draining (decreased waterlogging and higher crop productivity). There are currently no known, reliable design, evaluation and management tools for optimizing hydrologic performance and as a result clear evidence is not available to identify, recommend and gain adoption of best practice surface design and associated irrigation management.



Research Organisation

The Crown in right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Primary Industries

Objective Summary

The aim of the project is to develop profitable, sustainable broadacre irrigation systems that increase the profitability and flexibility of farming systems in the southern connected regions of the Murray Darling Basin. The two areas of research are
I) Assess the ability of precision irrigation to apply defined irrigation depths on time and determine its potential to reduce deep drainage and waterlogging risk, and increase nutrient and water productivity; and
2) Develop irrigation design criteria to allow precision irrigation to occur.