Irrigation Automation in Agriculture artwork
The SIP2 Podcast

Irrigation Automation in Agriculture

  • S2E1
  • 12:32
  • July 7th 2021

Dr Alison McCarthy from University Southern Qld talks about her projects in Dairy and Cotton where she has developed the VARIwise software which is able link field sensor information from multiple sources to generate an irrigation prescription. The software enables communication with commercially available variable rate irrigation systems. Irrigation can then be applied to the field so that there are no areas of either over or under irrigation. This system enables optimised irrigation resulting in 5-10 % improvement in yield, with additional water and labour savings.

The SIP2 Podcast

Smarter Irrigation for Profit Phase II (SIP2)

Smarter Irrigation for Profit Phase II is a partnership between cotton, dairy, sugar, rice and grains, research organisations and farmer groups. SIP2 builds on Smarter Irrigation for Profit Phase 1 which enabled research in areas of irrigation system audits, irrigation scheduling, new technology, system design and water use efficiency. Phase 1 demonstrated that improved water productivity hinged on ‘Getting the Basics Right’. It found that participating Australian irrigators could achieve a 10-20 percent improvement in farm profitability by adopting best practice and precision irrigation technologies.

An essential part of Smarter Irrigation for Profit is the commercial optimised irrigation sites. These sites provide an opportunity for researchers, consultants, producers and industry support staff to share knowledge, see how irrigation technology can be applied and collaborate across industries through field walks and field days.

Smarter Irrigation for Profit Phase II has 14 sub-projects looking at:

  • New and innovative irrigation technologies,
  • Cost effective, practical automated irrigation systems and
  • The application of best practice irrigation techniques.

The objective of SIP2 is to improve the profit of over 4000 cotton, dairy, rice, grains and sugar irrigators.

SIP2 is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of it's Rural R&D for Profit program.