A Guide for Irrigation Management in Cotton
About this publication
Water is the major limiting factor of cotton production in Australia and efficient water management is paramount for cotton growers to achieve high yields and profits. An unpredictable climate coupled with a range of soil types forces farmers to make management decisions in a complex and variable environment.
The challenge for irrigators is to find the balance between the higher costs of improved water use efficiency and environmental stewardship and the maintenance of farm profits.
WATERpak provides technical information and practical advice to help irrigators improve irrigation practices, minimise environmental impacts and increase farm profits from irrigated cotton crops.
For the first time, WATERpak brings together in one place the many years of irrigation research conducted by a variety of organisations in the Australian cotton industry.
The easiest gains to improve farm water use efficiency are within the field: minimisation of tailwater losses, drainage and the potential improvement in yield through the reduction of waterlogging effects.
Harder to achieve but very significant in terms of water use efficiency, gains exist in the control of evaporative and seepage losses from storages and channels. This is where most water is lost on cotton farms and it is essential that researchers and growers combine forces to address evaporative and drainage losses. WATERpak and the cotton industry’s Best Management Practices Program
The Cotton Industry’s Best Management Practices Program prioritises issues for attention, provides a process of identifying the potential management risks and provides an outline on how to manage those risks.
WATERpak provides detailed technical and practical advice that growers maybe looking for when using the BMP Manual. Thus, the order of topics in WATERpak and the new BMP Land and Water module are similar.
This is aimed at minimising the time that cotton growers need to spend looking for information, and maximising the time spent implementing better solutions.
Another companion resource is SOILpak for cotton growers, generally referred to simply as SOILpak in this publication.
Please note new Section 3a Irrigation management of grains
added in May 2008