Fact Sheet

Beyond Water Smart: Advancing Dairy Irrigation System Performance

At the centre of this project are five optimised dairy irrigation sites linked to satellite farms across Northern Tasmania.  These optimised dairy irrigation sites are providing an opportunity for farmers and service providers to work with researchers to identify and demonstrate the farm scale costs and benefits of using good irrigation practice and supporting technologies.

The project is also trialling existing and new autonomous irrigation technologies that have potential to increase irrigation performance whilst reducing labour and energy costs. Project sites are located at Lileah, Sisters Creek, Waterhouse, Meander and Cressy.

The selected strategies to address the yield gap implemented on the five optimised irrigation sites include:

  • Using the Wildeye telemetry and associated dashboard and capacitance probes for soil moisture monitoring at all sites with support from AgLogic.
  • Using the online Irripasture irrigation budgeting tool at all sites.
  • Testing the Pasture.io platform for satellite based automated pasture growth rate data on all 5 sites to provide critical benchmarking data and to compare with manually collected data (cages and harvest cuts, plate meter and C-DAX)
  • Testing a commercial decision support system (SWAN systems) that uses local soil moisture, weather and pump water flow data to assist with water budgeting and irrigation scheduling.
  • Assessing autonomous variable rate technology (VARIwise) at the TIA Research farm in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland. T
  • Assessing the impact of application rate and infiltration under the pivots at the optimised farms for various soil types (sand, loam and clay) to better understand the impact of effective irrigation and limitations.
  • An assessment of the impacts of compaction on various soil types in relation to the time grazed after irrigation and its impact on effective irrigation.

For further information download the fact sheet or contact Dr James Hills, Project Leader. Contact details found in the downloadable PDF.

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