Robert O’Connor

Senior Irrigation Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria

Robert O’Connor

Senior Irrigation Extension Officer, Agriculture Victoria

Robert is based at Echuca and has been assisting northern Victorian irrigators use water more profitably and sustainably for over 20 years.

Where: International Convention Centre, Sydney – Room E5.7

When: Day 2 – Thursday, 14 June 2018, 14.00 – 14.30

Abstract Outline: The focus of the presentation is on irrigation scheduling tools used on-farm by irrigators and Agriculture Victoria staff as part of the dairy industry Accelerating Change (http://www.murraydairy.com.au/ accelerating-change), Smarter Irrigation for Profit (http://www.dairyingfortomorrow.com.au/) and Beyond SoilCare (https://www.gbcma.vic.gov.au/) projects.
The first component of the presentation describes an interactive evapotranspiration (ET) based spreadsheet tool that was developed by Agriculture Victoria and used over the 2017-18 irrigation season by a network of irrigators and service providers. Users are required to enter simple information in to the spreadsheet tool related to their particular irrigation circumstances in order for the tool to predict the optimum timing of the next surface irrigation.
The second component of the presentation is about the lessons that were learnt with different soil moisture monitoring (SMM) technologies used on dairy farms under pasture and crops. These SMM devices varied in terms of the different types of soil moisture sensors used, the data transmission equipment and the data viewing software. Soil moisture data from these different systems will be presented along with commentary about the use of this information for irrigation scheduling.
Key learnings about irrigation scheduling, different scheduling tools and irrigator and service provider attitudes and adoption of these tools will also be discussed.

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