Benchmarking wheat water-use efficiency in Tasmania

FarmPoint - Tina Botwright Acuña, Shaun Lisson, Geoff Dean

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

It would have been interesting for them to add in input and grain prices to see the economic results of these models.

This fact sheet summarizes desktop modeling work performed to benchmark water-use efficiency of wheat. The secondary aim was to model the sensitivity of changes in management practice on WUE.

Key findings

  • Maximum potential WUE was determined to be around 20 kg/ha.mm
  • A trend for WUE to increase with decreasing N stress, which indicated that nitrogen supply and demand dynamics were an important driver of WUE in Tasmania
  • Increasing the irrigation by 60 mm resulted in an average yield gain of 602 kg/ha and an increase in WUE of 0.4 kg/ha.mm of the control, with 15/30 years generating both an economic yield gain and an increase in WUE
  • Increasing the total N rate from 70 kg N/ha (control) to 140 N/ha (unchanged irrigation of 20 mm), resulted in yield gains of 437 and 660 kg/ha, respectively.
  • Increasing both irrigation and applied N resulted in much larger and more consistent gains in both yield and WUE. For example, average yield and WUE gains of 2119 kg/ha and 1.9 kg/ha.mm were reached with an additional 120 mm irrigation and 140 kg N/ha of fertilizer with positive gains in both occurring in 22/30 years.
Australia - FarmPoint - Tina Botwright Acuña, Shaun Lisson, Geoff Dean
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