Wheat crops achieve tar­gets

Southern Riverina news - - RURAL OUTLOOK - By John Lacy

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.

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