Smarter Irrigation for Profit a 'game-changer'

Smarter Irrigation for Profit a 'game-changer'

Business Management
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Dairy Australia is partnering with the cotton, sugar, grain and rice industries in a project to deliver the benefits of new efficient water use technologies to Australian farmers.

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Dairy Australia is partnering with the cotton, sugar, grain and rice industries in a project to deliver the benefits of new efficient water use technologies to Australian farmers.

More than half Australia's dairy farmers use irrigation and farms in some regions rely on irrigated water.

'Smart irrigation' can provide big efficiency benefits after years of dry conditions and high water costs - the project aims to increase average farmer profits by $20,000-$40,000 annually.

As part of its contribution to the Smarter Irrigation for Profit phase II project, the dairy industry has established 17 research and learning sites

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation said the collaboration of five rural research and development corporations, five universities and four governmental organisations underlined the importance of the project for Australian agriculture.

"Smarter Irrigation for Profit is one of Australian agriculture's major collaborative investments - it will be a game-changer for many dairy farmers who rely on irrigation," Dr Nation said.

"Efficient water use is vital to sustain dairy farming in one of the most variable climates on Earth."

Dairy Australia is investing $1.7 million in the $22 million project.

The project's first phase had shown more feed could be produced from the same amount of water or less through better timing and scheduling of irrigation.

Smarter Irrigation for Profit phase II is supported by funding from the Australian Government

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program.

It is led by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation in partnership Dairy Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, AgriFutures Australia, Sugar Research Australia and nine research organisations. It builds on the project's successful first phase launched in 2015.

Further information is available via Dairy Australia's website.

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