S e l f E v a l u a t i o n W o r k b o o k V e r s i o n 2 . 0 Working towards best management ractice I UE IN IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT FOR THE UEENSLAND HORTICULTURAL INDU TRY This workbook is designed to assist growers identify opportunities for increased profitability and sustainability within their existing irrigation practices. Issues are raised as a means to enable irrigators to: (a) evaluate their current irrigation activities and performance; and (b) identify practices to improvement their irrigation management.
The aim of this manual is to increase the profitability of irrigation practices and encourage more efficient and cost-effective use of irrigation resources. . About this workboo Published 2002 Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Ltd, Brisbane Acknowledgments This report has been produced as part of the c Water for Profit d project which was funded b the Queensland State Government Rural Water Use Efficiency Initiative.
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the c Water for Profit d program staff and the many horticultural growers who have contributed to the refinement o this document. Disclaimer While the Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Lt and the authors ... more. less.
have prepared this document in goo faith, consulting widely, exercising all due care an attention, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness of the document in respect of any user's circumstances. Users of the report should undertake their own quality controls, standards, safety procedures and seek appropriate expert advice where necessary in relation to their particular situation or equipment.<br><br> Any representation, statement, opinion or advice, expressed or implied in this publication is made in good faith and on the basis that the QFVG, its agents and employees are not liable (whether by reason of negligence, lack of care or otherwise) to any person for any damage or loss whatsoever which has occurred or may occur in relation to that person taking or not taking (as the case may be) action in respect of any representation, statement or advice referred to above 1 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) Why Irrigation? Water is a major input resource in all horticultural operations. Irrigation management practices have the potential to strongly influence both the quantity and quality of crop produced.<br><br> In many cases, water is both a limited and limiting resource to horticultural production. However, the ability to irrigate does not automatically guarantee profitability and long-term sustainability of horticultural farms. Inappropriate or inefficient irrigation practices may lead to crop stress, disease and/or loss, as well as groundwater and surface water contamination, erosion or salinity problems.<br><br> What is Best Practice? The measurement of current performance and the identification of practices to improve performance is commonly regarded as a cbest practice d process. It is not expected that your irrigation system will be perfect.<br><br> However, this manual is is designed to assist you identify areas where you may be able to make improvement and thus increase profitability. Specific best practices for irrigation management will vary between farms depending on a wide range of factors. Hence, it is necessary for individual growers to identify their own best practices.<br><br> This is normally achieved through benchmarking existing performance and working towards continual improvement. What 9s Involved? The approach adopted in this workbook may be simply summed up by the adage " if you aren't measuring it, then you can't manage it ".<br><br> This workbook should help you identify the factors which may be affecting your irrigation performance as the first step to better irrigation planning and management. Is this Process Compulsory? No.<br><br> This workbook has been developed to assist you identify irrigation issues which could be affecting your profitability or sustainability. Participation is entirely voluntary and for your own benefit. There is no expectation that your scores or responses will be publicly reported.<br><br> What are the Benefits? Increased profitability and sustainability are the major benefits of improved water management. However, voluntary adoption of the BMP process will also help ensure the most effective use of the water resources, reduce environmental impacts of irrigation, improve public perception of the horticultural industry and reduce the need for regulation or mandatory controls in the future.<br><br> Getting Started Step 1: Answer the questions in relation to your existing irrigation practices remembering to make notes or comments you think are appropriate for your own reference. Explanatory notes on each of the factors influencing performance and the context of each specific question are provided in the accompanying cExplanatory Notes d booklet. Step 2: Calculate your score for the individual components as well as the overall total Step 3: Compare your score with the industry benchmark figures and opportunities for improvement Step 4: Identify follow-up actions to improve profitability and set realistic achievement dates Step 5: Set a date for your next review of irrigation performance.<br><br> 2 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) Water Resources Qn 1: Do you have enough water for your cropped area? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not known Inadequate volume for cropped area in an average year Marginal volume for cropped area in an average year Adequate volume for cropped area in all years Qn 2: Can you deliver enough water to meet the peak crop water requirement? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Inadequate capacity for crop requirements Marginal capacity for crop requirements Adequate capacity for crop requirements Qn 3: Do you have a strategy in place for managing periods of limited water availability?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No plan Little consideration of strategy Some consideration of strategy Detailed strategy developed and able to be implemented Qn 4: Do you have a water management plan or strategy? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No plan Little consideration of plan Some consideration of plan Detailed plan developed Actions Required: Irrigation Infrastructure On-farm Pumping, Storage and Distribution Systems Qn 5: What are your energy costs associated with irrigation pumping? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed High cost per ML Moderate cost per ML Low cost per ML Qn 6: How efficient is your on-farm storage(s)?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or Poor performance Satisfactory with room for improvement Good but could be improved Excellent or no storage STEP 1 Irrigation Issues Checklist 3 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) Qn 7: How efficient is your on-farm water distribution system(s)? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or Poor performance Satisfactory with room for improvement Good but could be improved Excellent Qn 8: What is the current physical condition of your on-farm pumping, water storage and distribution system(s)? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Major maintenance or repairs required Some maintenance or repairs required No maintenance or repairs required In-field Application System Qn 9: Is your application system(s) operating at the design pressure in the field?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or unknown Operating outside the design pressure and/or with large fluctuations Operating at design pressure but large variations within field or during irrigations Operating at design pressure with minimal variation within field Qn 10: How evenly does your system apply water within the field? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Large variation in applied volumes Some variation in applied volumes Little or no variation in applied volumes Qn 11: Do you know the rate of water applied by your system (ie mm/hr or L/hr)? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No Yes, based on dealer supplied information only Yes, measured once some time ago Yes, regularly check using a direct measure Qn 12: How efficient is your application system(s)?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Low efficiency 3 poorly matched to crop requirement Acceptable efficiency 3 some improvement possible Highly efficient - Little or no improvement possible Qn 13: What is the current physical condition of your application system(s)? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Major maintenance or repairs required Some maintenance or repairs required No maintenance or repairs required 4 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) Actions Required: Irrigation Management Issues Qn 14: Do you measure, record and compare (ie. benchmark) crop yield/quality/returns and the volume of water applied?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not measured or recorded At whole farm level only Sometimes at the individual field or crop level Routinely at the individual field or crop level Qn 15: Do you use an irrigation scheduling tool to modify irrigation applications? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Scheduling tools not used Subjective tools used Intermittent use of objective tools Regular use of objective tools Qn 16: How well do you match your irrigation interval and volume applied with the crop requirements and soil limitations? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Unable to match Poorly matched Satisfactory matching but could be improved Well matched Qn 17: Are your irrigation practices coordinated with other farming system operations?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No integration Little coordination with other operations Moderate coordination with other operations Well coordinated with other operations Qn 18: Do you modify your irrigation application in response to weather conditions? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No modification Occasionally Usually Always Qn 19: Do you manage your irrigation and soils to maximise moisture storage and minimise evaporation losses? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score No Minimal use of practices Some practices used but could be improved Full range of practices used Qn 20: Do you have surface water run-off due to irrigation practices?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or major run-off Moderate run-off due to irrigation Minor run-off due to irrigation No run-off due to irrigation 5 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) Actions Required: Irrigation Sustainability Issues Qn 21: Is your groundwater table changing due to irrigation practices? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed Significant changes in watertable levels due to irrigation Minor changes in watertable levels due to irrigation No change in watertable levels due to irrigation Qn 22: What is the quality of water used for irrigation? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not known/very poor quality, major effects on crop and/or equipment Marginal quality 3 some effect on crop and/or equipment Satisfactory quality 3 minor effect on crop and/or equipment Good quality 3 no effect on crop or equipment Qn 23: Do you have salinity problems in the crop root zone?<br><br> Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or major effect on crop Moderate effect on crop Minor effect on crop No effect on crop Qn 24: Are you experiencing cropping or irrigation problems associated with soil structural degradation? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or major effect on crop or irrigation Moderate effect on crop or irrigation Minor effect on crop or irrigation No effect on crop or irrigation Qn 25: Do you have erosion associated with your irrigation practices? Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4 Your Score Not assessed or major erosion due to irrigation Moderate erosion due to irrigation Minor erosion due to irrigation No erosion due to irrigation Actions Required: 6 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) (a) Write your score in the box beneath each question number (b) Add up the scores for each section and record as the total (c) Add up the section totals and record the overall total score SECTION SCORES FOR EACH QUESTION TOTALS Water Resources Qn1 Qn2 Qn3 Qn4 (4 - 16) Infrastructure Qn5 Qn6 Qn7 Qn8 Qn9 Qn10 Qn11 Qn12 Qn13 (9 - 36) Management Qn14 Qn15 Qn16 Qn17 Qn18 Qn19 Qn20 (7 - 28) Sustainability Qn21 Qn22 Qn23 Qn24 Qn25 (5 - 20) MY OVERALL SCORE IS (25 - 100) STEP 2 Calculating your score STEP 3 Comparing your score OVERALL SCORE 100 84 65 25 Water Resources 16 13 10 4 Infrastructure 36 30 24 10 Management 28 24 18 6 Sustainability 20 17 13 5 Only minor opportunity to improve performance & profitability Significant opportunity to improve performance & profitability Very large opportunity to improve performance & profitability 7 Issues in Irrigation Management (vers 2) (a) Using your score for each section in step 3, identify the areas where you could improve irrigation management (b) For each area identified above, record below any action(s) which you could undertake to make your irrigation practices more profitable and sustainable.<br><br> If necessary, contact your local Water for Profit field officer to assist you identify your options. (c) Set a realistic timeframe for undertaking the actions identified above. Actions I can take to make my irrigation more profitable and sustainable Expected completion date The next date for my irrigation performance review will be ____ / ____ / 20 ___ (should be in no more than 2 years time) STEP 4 Follow-up Actions STEP 5 Next Review For more information, contact your local QFVG Water for Profit Field Officer, or ring the QFVG members hotline on 1800 654 222.<br><br> For enquires in relation to this document, contact the: Water Program Manager, Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers Ltd, PO Box 19 Brisbane Markets, 4106 Telephone: 07 3213 2444 Facsimile: 07 3213 2480