Precision irrigation findings
Two recent reports provide valuable information about precision irrigation.
The Review of Precision Irrigation Technologies undertaken by the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, University of Southern Queensland, with funding from the National Program for Sustainable Irrigation, identifies significant existing benefits from using such technologies. It also identifies scope, however, for further refinement of irrigation practices for production and water saving gains. This includes development of sensing measures to allow variable application rates according to weather, plant growth stages, variations in soil type across the irrigated area and soil water availability.
A project titled Long Term Sustainability of Precision Irrigation, led by Rob Murray from the University of Adelaide, was undertaken to investigate whether long term use of drip irrigation could be sustainable. While it was found that effects on soil structure were not significant, the naturally poor structure of Australian soils was a major production and management consideration. Download the final milestone report.