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The best farm-level irrigation strategy changes seasonally with fluctuating water availability


Gaydon, DS and Meinke, H and Rodriguez, D, The best farm-level irrigation strategy changes seasonally with fluctuating water availability, Agricultural Water Management: An International Journal, 103 pp. 33-42. ISSN 0378-3774 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2011.10.015


Around the globe farmers managing irrigated crops face a future with a decreased and more variable water supply. To investigate generic adaptation issues, a range of on-farm strategies were evaluated for apportioning limited water between fields and enterprises using a typical case-study farm from Australia’s Riverina region. These strategies are compared for a range of seasonal water availability levels. The analysis did not address investment in new irrigation technologies or new crops, but focussed on irrigation intensity and crop choice amongst existing enterprises. Participatory engagement and whole-farm simulation modelling were our primary tools of research. The adaptation options found to best suit irrigation farming in years of high water availability were substantially different to those when water supplies were low. This illustrates strategic differences between irrigation farming in land-limited circumstances and water-limited circumstances. Our study indicates that the cropping and irrigation strategy leading to greatest farm returns changes on a season-by-season basis, depending primarily on the water availability level.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:irrigation, resource allocation, whole farm modelling, farming systems modelling
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Water and waste services
Objective Field:Water and waste services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Meinke, H (Professor Holger Meinke)
ID Code:70199
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2011-06-07
Last Modified:2017-08-25

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