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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(8), 239; doi:10.3390/ijgi6080239

Farm Level Assessment of Irrigation Performance for Dairy Pastures in the Goulburn-Murray District of Australia by Combining Satellite-Based Measures with Weather and Water Delivery Information

1
Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, 32 Lincoln Sq N, Carlton 3053, Victoria, Australia
2
Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, 255 Ferguson Road, Tatura 3016, Victoria, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tao Cheng, Eugene Genong Yu and Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 30 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 6 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in GIS and Remote Sensing for Sustainable Agriculture)
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Abstract

Pasture performance of 924 dairy farms in a major irrigation district of Australia was investigated for their water use and water productivity during the 2015-2016 summer which was the peak irrigation period. Using satellite images from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2, estimates of crop coefficient (Kc) were determined on the basis of a strong linear relationship between crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and vegetation index (NDVI) of pasture in the region. Utilizing estimates of Kc and crop water requirement (CWR), NDVI-dependent estimates of Irrigation Water Requirement (IWR) were derived based on the soil water balance model. In combination with daily weather information and seasonal irrigation water supply records, IWR was the key component in the understanding of current irrigation status at farm level, and deriving two irrigation performance indicators: (1) Relative Irrigation Water Use (RIWU) and (2) Total Irrigation Water Productivity (TIWP). A slightly higher proportion of farm irrigators were found to be either matching the irrigation requirement or under-watering (RIWU ≤ 1.0). According to TIWP, a few dairy farms (3%) were found to be in the category of high yield potential with excess water use, and very few (1%) in the category of limited water supply to pastures of high yield potential. A relatively high number of farms were found to be in the category where excess water was supplied to pastures of low-medium yield potential (27%), and farms where water supply compromised pastures with a sub-maximal vegetation status (15%). The results of this study will assist in objectively identifying where significant improvement in efficient irrigation water use can be achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation water requirement; irrigation performance indicators; soil water balance irrigation water requirement; irrigation performance indicators; soil water balance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Abuzar, M.; Whitfield, D.; McAllister, A. Farm Level Assessment of Irrigation Performance for Dairy Pastures in the Goulburn-Murray District of Australia by Combining Satellite-Based Measures with Weather and Water Delivery Information. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 239.

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