Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Major changes are underway in irrigation practices for the Ord sugar industry as it moves to implement recent findings on improving irrigation efficiency and managing rising groundwater. Significant improvement in efficiency is expected by more accurately matching water application with crop water requirements and by minimising drainage losses through improved water application techniques.

Based on findings from this work, drying off may not be an appropriate strategy for the ORIA as a means of improving crop sucrose content, but could allow for some reduction in water use towards the end of the crop cycle without adversely impacting on sucrose yield. This finding was investigated further through the subsequent irrigation scheduling trial.