Smart automated furrow irrigation of cotton

Uddin, J. and Smith, R. J. and Gillies, M. H. and Moller, P. and Robson, D. (2018) Smart automated furrow irrigation of cotton. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 144 (5). 04018005-1. ISSN 0733-9437


Although furrow irrigation is one of the dominant methods used for growing cotton in Australia as well as other parts of the world because of its inherent advantages including low capital cost, energy, and ease of operation, its efficiency is low and it is still labor intensive. Various previous attempts to develop automated surface irrigation systems have not been adopted commercially despite a demonstrated potential to save labor and water. The major limitations were the complexity of the integration of hardware, software, and cost. Therefore, a commercial prototype smart automation system for the furrow irrigation of cotton utilizing commercially available hardware and software was designed, trialed, and evaluated for cotton crops in Australia. It consisted of (1) automation hardware and software for the control of flows in a farm open channel delivery system, (2) sequencing of the irrigation of fields and sets of furrows, (3) specifically designed in-field flow control infrastructure for water flows into the furrows, and (4) the sensing and simulation required for the real-time selection of optimum times to cutoff for each furrow set. Extensive field trials were conducted during two seasons in a commercial irrigated cotton field to evaluate the performance of the various individual components as well as the performance of the integrated system. These include the performance of different in-field water delivery systems, advance sensors, a telemetry system, and techniques to determine the optimum irrigation duration. The field trials showed that the integrated smart system is able to control the irrigation events with a cut-off time obtained in real time from the real-time optimization or from a simple field specific algorithm to achieve maximum application efficiency. The study demonstrated that the automation of furrow irrigation in row crops is feasible and practical with commercially available equipment and provides the potential for water, labor, and energy savings.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 04:28
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 06:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: smart automation; furrow irrigation; hardware; software; cut-off time; infiltration
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960913 Water Allocation and Quantification
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
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