Water Efficiency (part 2)

 Constant improvements in efficiency

At Avowest we always seek to improve our water use efficiency.  We have proudly been involved in many projects over the years to improve our knowledge.  These include.

Installation of overhead netting

Avowest is currently enclosing 3.5 Ha of avocados in netting. We are doing this primarily to save water as we believe it may be possible to use between 10-25% less water. This is no light undertaking given the cost of netting is about $50,000 per Ha.

Overhead Netting

National Landcare Program – Irrigation and Fertiliser Efficiency in a Drying Climate 2018-20

We are using an innovative plastic mulch and drip irrigation system to deliver water to our avocado trees with smaller losses to evaporation. Drip irrigation has a well-established reputation for water savings. The plastic mulch prevents water from evaporating. Because of the poor water holding capacity of the soils we have to intensively monitor water availability to our young avocado trees. The water savings however look impressive.

Drip Irrigation & Plastic Mulch
  • Waterwise on the Farm.  Perth Region Natural Resource Management (2006 – 2012).
    • Evaluating sprinkler efficiency and upgrading the whole orchard to a more efficient sprinkler based on testing different irrigations on farm. 
    • Evaluating irrigation losses below the rootzone and modifying irrigation practices to manage this better. 
    • Evaluating a trial with larger trees on drip irrigation.
  • Cooperation with Dr Richard Stirzaker of CSIRO Land and Water.
    • Innovative use of CSIRO Fullstops and lysimeters to measure strength of irrigation wetting fronts.  Use this information to modify irrigation strategies to irrigate only what the roots can take up and manage occasional leaching irrigations.
    • Measuring electrical conductivity of soil solutions at different depths to manage salts in the rootzones with irrigation
  • Site of fieldwork for PhD Project of Dr Andreas Neuhaus.  Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Western Australia. 
    • Studying physiological responses of avocados to different irrigation strategies.
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