Irrigation Planning and Management Project

Climate variability with predicted increases in temperature and dryer or wetter than average seasons highlight the need to establish an interactive irrigation and weather information centre 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 Bundaberg information centre was developed to provide the following levels of irrigation management support:

Field Monitoring

Demonstration sites across the Bundaberg sugarcane production area monitoring moisture change relative to rainfall and irrigation practices to illustrate relationships such as appropriateness and timing of irrigation based on the soil moisture content and rate of evapotranspiration.

Current Weather information

Strategically located automatic weather stations linked to the web site to provide localised real time wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, humidity, rainfall and soil temperature.

The purpose of localised weather information is 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.

Bundaberg CANEGROWERS Ltd members can logon and review data for each site by selecting the desired probe or weather station shown on the map below.