Evaluation of scheduling tools for the sugar industry : final project 2015/082
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This study was commissioned to Sugar Research Australia (SRA) and AgriTech Solutions to evaluate the irrigation scheduling tools in the sugar industry and assess the feasibility of using satellite imagery as part of a scheduling platform for the sugarcane industry. In the sugarcane industry in Australia, the use of irrigation scheduling tools has been rather limited in spite of the recognition that water is one of the main drivers of production. In September 2017, Sugar Research Australia (SRA) held an industry wide Irrigation Forum, in which the general consensus was that irrigation was the biggest single driver of productivity above other factors that the industry could control. Recent grower surveys1, indicate the over 63% of the growers interviewed do not use any irrigation scheduling tool; so three out of five sugarcane farmers do not measure water in the soil or as inflow applied in each irrigation event. Statistics from the last decade, indicated that only 9% of growers plan future investment in soil water monitoring equipment.