Case Study

Review of Existing and Planned Broadacre Irrigation Research, Development and Extension SIP2- Desktop Study 27 June 2021

This review was commissioned by SIP2 to better understand existing and future broadacre irrigation RD&E needs. Over 50 industry representatives, researchers, farmers, and service providers helped inform the review. The key findings from the review are:
• Monitoring – Reliable sensors are available but there is a challenge around their correct selection, installation, and support.
• Data Transfer – Reliable telemetry systems are available but there is a challenge around their correct selection, installation, and support.
• Data Integration – Data integration is the biggest challenge including, data ownership and privacy; poor rural connectivity; multiple different approaches to data schema and transfer; cost of developing systems to support data integration; no overarching strategy for data integration at a national level; poor technical understanding at service provider and farm level.
• Decision-support – There are some decision-support systems now available that combine sensor and weather forecast data to provide future predictions, but most have reliability and accuracy issues unless actively supported by an expert user.
• System Control – Reliable proprietary options exist for broad-acre spray irrigation systems and to a lesser extent surface, but there are no proven open architecture options available for broad-acre systems.
• Farm Support – Strong farmer extension systems exist, but these need to evolve to better support technology adoption and enable farmer co-innovation.