N-Drip irrigation system boosting water efficiency

A new water efficient irrigation system has become a permanent part of Rother Farming’s cotton growing strategy, after a successful trial over the past few months.

Howard Rother, from Nangwee on Queensland’s Darling Downs, said the N-Drip system has been outstanding, after using the trickle irrigation on 11 of their 70 hectares of cotton.

“All my farming life we have been trying to grow more with less water,” Howard said.

“We’ve cut back and cut back, and its raining less and less, so we have tried to be sustainable with the same amount or less water, so this is a way to save at least 20 to 25 percent of our water.”

Howard is not taking all the credit for the decision to implement N-Drip. His neighbours used it first, but when he saw their results, he assessed his other forms of irrigation.

Howard said one of the benefits of the N-Drip system was the relatively low cost of installation and maintenance with very few moving parts, no filters and low running costs.

Howard said his 11-hectare trial crop was performing noticeably better than the other crops, considering that there were 10 days of 40-plus temperatures and he was forced to hold back on watering. The drip system kept going and the growth did not slow.

Up to early February, 2.4 megalitres of water had been applied to the flood-irrigated crop, versus 1.5 megalitres on the drip-irrigated cotton.

Words by Darrin Davies