The number of farmers trialling alternative irrigation systems continues to grow as more and more look to increase their water use efficiency. For Howard Rother, Rother Farming, Nangwee, the drive to be more water efficient saw him trial the N-Drip system this season.
Of their 70 hectares of cotton, 11ha was watered using the gravity-powered, micro-irrigation system and Mr Rother said there was a noticeable difference in the performance of the trial crop.
"We're always looking for ways to be more efficient with our water and when we saw this at Nic and Felicity Clapham's place next door, we realised this was potentially a way to save 20 to 25 per cent of our water," Mr Rother said.
"We want to make our water go further but other forms of irrigation like laterals are very capital intensive, so this sounded like an affordable option to start with a smaller area."
The trial crop's growth has been steady, with the system allowing them to keep up with the crop's water needs even during prolonged periods of high temperatures.
"When we had 10 days of 40 degrees, the broadacre flood irrigation slowed its growth because we couldn't apply any water, we only had one or two waters for it and we held back," Mr Rother said.
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