Foley, Joseph P. and Wigginton, David and Eberhard, Jochen (2006) Optimizing overhead irrigation systems. In: Australian Cotton Conference: Product, Production, Profit - Progressing our National Advantage, 8-10 Aug 2006, Gold Coast, Australia.
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Official URL: http://www.acgra.net.au/13thACC.htm
Centre Pivots and Lateral Moves (CP&LMs) or overhead irrigation systems have been successfully installed in every cotton growing district in Australia. This industry now has the capacity to broaden the uptake of this irrigation technology, and benefit from its simplicity and improved water use efficiency while moving away from farming systems based on saturated fields. The greatest source of information that the Australian cotton industry has in respect of CP&LMs is the small number of people that have experience with these machines. The greatest disadvantage that the Australian cotton industry faces in respect of CP&LMs is the small number of people that have experience with these machines. Growers considering purchasing CP&LMs should do everything in their power to look, listen and learn from these people. Their experience is invaluable in ensuring that the Australian cotton industry implements this irrigation technology successfully. In keeping with the cotton industry's mantra of 'Concentrate on the things you can change and forget about the rest', I will outline the important parameters you can alter during design to optimize the overall performance of CP&LMs. This paper will examine the optimal design, installation and management of Centre Pivot and Lateral Moves or overhead irrigation systems. Topics will include optimizing the design to achieve an adequate system capacity or water supply rate, designs to minimize energy and labour inputs, and design to maximise the irrigation performance of CP&LMs in terms of uniformity and application efficiency. Discussion will follow on a range of recently completed tools that will assist surface irrigation growers and agronomists to more easily understand the practice of irrigation under CP&LMs.
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