Wheat crops achieve targets
Although last season was a season most farmers would like to forget about there were several irrigated wheat crops which achieved the target ideal two tonnes per ML irrigation applied.
Each season we have lots crops which achieve 17-20kg/mm or 1.7 to two tonnes per ML of irrigation water.
We used to think this response was only for our eight tonne yield crops but many of our farmers with six tonne yields are able to achieve this response from just one to two ML/ha water use.
Our high water response wheat package has consistently shown best water use is from zero autumn pre-irrigation with irrigations saved to spring.
It’s essential the wheat receives the first spring watering on time using soil moisture assessment.
Last season was very unusual with many crops partially dead before water was available and many crops died.
It was the odd season where pre-irrigation would have assisted some systems.
The irrigation response of our wheat crops was based on the response above the average 0.8t/ha dryland yield although many zero yield dryland crops in the mix probably means the real average was much lower.
Our 10 highest yielding crops yielded from 4 to 6.4t/ha.
Five spring watered crops had a 3.9 tonne response from 1.8ML which is 2.2 tonnes per ML.
A flatter risky spring watering layout was pre-irrigated with 2.2 ML which had a 5.6 tonne response which is 2.5 tonnes per ML.
Two pre-irrigated and spring irrigated crops produced 5.6 tonnes from 3.2ML which is 1.8 tonnes per ML.
Two pre-irrigated and spring irrigated Kittyhawk grazed crops responded with 3.5 tonnes from 3.5 ML which is a low 1t per ML but there was also a high lamb income per ML.
A Trojan crop following canola had the highest 2.6t/ML irrigation response from an early spring 1ML watering on August 20 and 1ML in September. The crop yielded 6t/ha.
Several farmers with 1.5 to 2t/ML responses said that at a wheat price of $410-420 /tonne for a $360-380/ML water cost there was profit in buying water.