Benchmarking cotton under centre pivots and lateral moves

The Australian Cotton Grower - Graham Harris

Type: Article
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Table 3 compares the average energy use (GJ/bale) and energy cost ($/bale) for centre pivot, a lateral move and syphon systems. This is extremely sensitive to the season.

This article covers the key finding of the Queensland Healthy HeadWaters Program from 2010/11 to 2014/15. The research looked at 5 seasons of benchmarking data related to 138 centre pivot and lateral move irrigation systems, of which 68% were growing cotton.

It also compares the results to benchmarking results of several surfaces irrigated cotton crops over the preceding three years.

Key results:

  • Pressurised systems such as CPLMs generally have a greater energy use and cost compared to surface irrigated systems. This is to be expected where the greatest proportion of energy costs is related to irrigation applications.
  • But there may also be energy savings with these systems with less tillage use compared with traditional surface irrigated systems.
  • In 2014–15 the energy use and cost for the surface system was very similar to that for the overhead systems.
2017 - Australia - The Australian Cotton Grower - Graham Harris
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