SISCOweb: Cruise Control for Surface Irrigation Part 2: Optimising the Irrigation Event

In Part 2 Malcolm Gillies and Joseph Foley from the University of Southern Qld discuss Optimising Irrigation Events. In an optimised irrigation event water is applied uniformly across the field to satisfy the target soil moisture deficit. The aim is to deliver as much of the applied water into the crop root zone, minimising losses to deep drainage below the root zone, and minimising water in the tail drain. SISCOweb uses data on flow rates and water advance to determine the infiltration characteristics of the soil during the event. Utilising the data from the field SISCOweb will be able to determine the optimal time to shut off an irrigation event. It is essentially ‘Cruise control for surface irrigation’ helping growers to apply enough water into the root zone all the way down the field. Utilising SISCOweb to send SMS messages to the irrigation operator or to an automated system will potentially reduce irrigation losses, improve labour and energy efficiency.

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