Case Study

Automated broad-acre irrigation with small pipe through bank (sPTB)

Smarter Irrigation for Profit phase 1 trials highlighted the potential benefits related to commercially available sPTB systems, including:
• Reduced labour requirements in starting and stopping siphons and monitoring water levels.
• Remote control of furrow irrigations from an office computer, smartphone or tablet.
• Remote monitoring of water levels in channels and ditches, with alerts based on level.
Analysis of automated sPTB farm level costs and benefits found that the seasonal net benefits of $153/ha were driven by irrigation labour savings of up to 85% and that the investment generated a NPV of $364/ha when compared to manual siphon irrigation.
The up-front investment costs can be heavily influenced by individual farm characteristics and could range from $500/ha to $1000/ha.