Irrigation Planning and Management

Climate variability with predicted increases in temperature and dryer or wetter than average seasons highlight the need to optimise irrigation versus current weather conditions for the Bundaberg Sugarcane Industry.

The likely impact of predicted change on sugarcane yield potential is placing pressure on irrigators to adopt an adaptive strategies approach. The adaptive strategies approach is one that optimises climatic influences to maximise crop water use efficiency and economic return. This goal requires that the right amount of water is available to the crop at the right time.

The following levels of irrigation management support are available:

Field Moisture

An understanding of field moisture changes relative to rainfall and irrigation practices leading to the understanding of field moisture relationships such as appropriateness and timing of irrigation based on the soil moisture content and rate of evapotranspiration.

Current Weather information

An understanding of localised weather information to assist with planning and management of farming operations by identifying:

              a. conditions that are appropriate to plant, fertilise, or harvest;
              b. the potential for over spray (drift) that is likely to affect the application of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides; or
              c. weather conditions that may impact on the application efficiency of irrigation.