One of the GVIA's greatest achievements in whole of industry engagement has been via its grower-led irrigation project, conducted in partnership with Sundown Pastoral Company, and initiated in 2008. The project was initially funded under the Raising National Water Standards Program by the National Water Commission (2008-2012). Due to the quality data produced, additional funding was presented from the CRDC (2012 to the present) and the Federal Government’s Smarter Irrigation for Profit Programme (2016 to the present), which has enabled grower-led irrigation research to continue for the past eight years in the Gwydir Valley.
The GVIA project is a grower-led initiative focused on commercial reality. The project aims to complement existing data and enable extensive collaboration with industry and research partners. Crucial to this research is the commitment of the grower partners to invest their time and resources into the trials. Their involvement ensures that there is a valid commercial assessment of the systems under review. The irrigation efficiency trials are intended to explore the resource efficiencies; water, energy and labour, of the various commercial irrigation options available to Australian producers.
There have been several components to the research including the Keytah system comparison trial, the Telleraga pipe-through-bank trial (2008), the Red Bank row configuration and water regime trials (2010-2011), the Keytah and Auscott optimised row configuration trials (2014-2017) and the current irrigation automation trial (2016-2018).
As the primary Keytah system comparison trial is run every second season, the GVIA compliments it with additional trials that focus on additional tools and techniques designed to optimise irrigation in the cotton industry. This helps to maintain momentum for the GVIA and growers, but also provides an opportunity for the project to be flexible in meeting grower needs. To see some of the more recent research click the video below or follow the link to an Interview from the 2017 GVIA Field Day on Vimeo.