Irrigation & Water

Irrigation & Water

Icon
Managing irrigation and drainage systems in severe events

In nursery production, managing severe events and their aftermath may have to be dealt with from time to time. While they cannot be prevented, careful planning and preparation can help minimise the effects of these events. The following focuses on irrigation management, irrigation infrastructure, and the three stages of events - preparation, the event, and dealing with the aftermath, with preparation being the key to achieving the best outcome.

Icon
Injection Systems

When applying fertigation, or disinfesting water, the selection of the correct injection equipment is just as important as choosing the correct nutrients, or the most suitable method of water disinfestation. The following describes the methods used to inject solutions into irrigation water, and some of the other factors that need to be considered when deciding on an appropriate system.

Icon
Managing Water Storage Water Quality

The effective management of water quality in storages needs to be flexible, and quickly react to changes in water quality. This video explains strategies that can be employed in managing water quality in water storages.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8tSWdmHVug

Icon
Improving Water Use Efficiency

Improvements to water use efficiency with genuine reductions in irrigation water use are most often achieved through upgrading irrigation layouts, or by altering irrigation scheduling practices. The following article looks at other components of the production system that affect overall water use efficiency.

One measure of water use efficiency is the volume of water applied to produce 1000 plants. If an irrigation system can be designed or managed to decrease the water volume required to produce 1000 plants, then increased production is possible from the same volume of water.

Icon
Managing Water Storage Water Quality Case Study

A biological water clarifier was added to a nursery water storage containing increasing levels of algae, plankton and surface floating weeds, leading to costly management and maintenance activities, crop production issues and an unpleasant odour. Water turbidity decreased, algal blooms had disappeared, and the previous unpleasant odour was no longer evident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzuDNpFR7P8

Icon
Water Legislation

The availability of good quality irrigation water in sufficient quantities is absolutely necessary for all nursery production. While the physical availability of water is obvious, water regulations add another layer that must be navigated through to ensure sufficient water quantities are available for irrigation, and that environmental impacts are minimised through both water use and drainage water quantity and quality.

Icon
5 Reasons to test your irrigation system

All mechanical systems require monitoring and maintenance to keep them operating at peak efficiency. Regular sprinkler and drip system ‘catchcan’ tests, and pump performance assessments are key tools in identifying and addressing maintenance issues within any irrigation system.

Icon
Port Wt Base Shed Tool Case Study 2013

The Portable Weight Based Scheduling Tool has been developed to assist growers in Nursery Production obtain a better understanding of their irrigation scheduling options to improve on-farm water use efficiency.

Icon
pH and electrical conductivity meters

pH and electrical conductivity (EC) meters are essential pieces of equipment for onsite testing of water and growing media. Onsite testing allows immediate decisions to be made on the nutritional status of crops, as well as being able to monitor changes in water quality.

Icon
Calibrating pH and EC meters

pH and Electrical Conductivity meters are extremely useful pieces of equipment used to measure and monitor basic chemical characteristics of water and growing media. Regular and correct calibration of this equipment is necessary to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. The following video describes the basic procedures for calibrating pH and EC meters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYjFVODA2mE

Icon
Solar Pumping

With the increasing cost of energy from the grid, the option of using renewable energy for pumping is becoming more attractive.

Icon
Overhead Sprinkler Selection 2011

The process of designing an irrigation system and selecting the appropriate sprinkler.

Icon
Outdoor Sprinkler Nursery Paper

This paper provides some recommendations on sprinkler selection, based on sprinkler testing, for various layouts.

Icon
Nursery Irrigation Pump Types 2013

Nursery Irrigation Pump Types.

Icon
Model For Best Practice Case Study 2010

Wallum Nurseries: A Model For Best Practice.

Icon
Membrane Filtration 2013

Membrane filtration is a technique used to separate waste material from a liquid for the purpose of purifying it. The main benefit from membrane technology is in its successful operation without the addition of chemicals, its relatively low energy use, with minimum waste.

Icon
Media Filters 2012

Media filters are effective in filtering both organic and inorganic contaminates. They have a large filter area or surface providing a huge holding capacity requiring less regular filter cleaning when compared to other filter types. Media filters are an efficient type of filtration for water heavily contaminated with algae, organic matter and other impurities often found in nursery recycled water.

Icon
Measuring Dams 2011

The measurement of dam volumes is an essential part of efficient water management.

Icon
Managing Water In Dry Times 2013

During low rainfall periods, a considered strategy is required to make the best use of available water resources. Rather than make decisions on the fly, a pre-determined plan can be put in place to ensure the most efficient use of the available water is achieved. The plan should include measuring available water and water use, and short and long term strategies.

Icon
Managing Nursery Wastewater 2013

Managing nursery wastewater - drains and drainage systems.

Icon
Managing algae in water storages

The growth of algae in water storages can cause significant problems with pumping infrastructure by increasing the clogging of filters and emitters. Algae also reduce water quality by increasing pH levels, in turn reducing the effectiveness of water disinfestation treatments. The fact sheet looks at algal species that may be present in water storages and potential methods to manage the problem.

Icon
Knowing Your Irrigation and Drainage System

How much do you know about your irrigation and drainage? Knowledge of your irrigation and drainage systems helps you to make informed decisions on required system changes. This fact sheet provides a short questionnaire to help identify those areas you may need to look at to improve your irrigation and drainage systems.

Icon
Irrigation-scheduling-basics-2010

Daily fluctuations in weather conditions can vary up to 300 percent in summer and, in winter, plants can sometimes go for days without irrigation. If the irrigation schedule is not adjusted to take these variations into account, water use will be excessive, leading to excessive leaching of nutrients, poor plant growth, leaf drop, poor internode spacing, excessive drainage and elevated or contaminated water tables.

Icon
Irrigation Pump Selection 2013

Is your current pump performing efficiently under all operating conditions?

Icon
Irrigation-management-2010
Icon
Irrigation-Controller-Features-2012

Irrigation controllers are an integral part of an efficient irrigation system. A well selected irrigation controller can significantly reduce labour costs and improve plant quality, while also reducing water use.

Icon
Irrigation water test interpretation

Regular on-site irrigation water testing is recommended for all production nurseries, but the limitation of this testing is it doesn’t show the amount of specific nutrients present in the water.

Icon
Irrigation Water Quality Parameters 2009

Irrigation water tests interpretation

Icon
Irrigation Upgrade Case Study 2012

Carbrook Nursery: Irrigation Upgrade

Icon
Irrigation System Upgrade Case Study 2009

Logans Nursery: Irrigation System Upgrade.

Icon
Irrigation Scheduling Case Study 2011

Birdwood Nursery: Water Use Efficiency

Icon
Irrigation Scheduling Basics 2010

Plants require different amounts of water depending on environmental conditions, plant type and plant size. Many nurseries just water to keep their plants alive, and this usually this means that the plants that have the highest water requirement dictate the irrigation schedule for the other plants in the same area.

Icon
Irrigation pumping in nursery production

When looking for a new pump, it is always tempting to save a couple of dollars by purchasing the pump on special from the local irrigation shop, or pick up a ‘cheap’ one at an auction. However, if the pump is not suitable to the task the savings are quickly swallowed up by the operating or running costs. This fact sheet considers the features to check prior to purchase, and things to do after pump selection to assist with efficient pump operation.

Icon
Irrigation Pump Selection 2013

An Introduction to Irrigation Pump Selection.

Icon
Irrigation Management 2010

Water availability has not been a major concern to the nursery industry until recently. Increased urban pressure, recent drought conditions, and climate change concerns have shifted the community and grower focus more to water availability, use, and sustainability.

Icon
Irrigation Drainage & Energy Management Plans (IDEMP)

Improving water use efficiency in a production nursery begins with having a clear understanding of the infrastructure and practices currently in place. Irrigation, Drainage and Energy Management Plans, or IDEMPs, describe the infrastructure and management practices in operation at a business, and outline opportunities, suggestions and designs for on-farm improvements, to ensure the business remains profitable and sustainable into the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YQXpO6IBYQ

Icon
Irrigation Controller Features 2012

Irrigation controllers are an integral part of an efficient irrigation system. A well selected irrigation controller can significantly reduce labour costs and improve plant quality, while also reducing water use.

Icon
Irrigation Water Use Nursery Paper 2006

Water intended for irrigation in nursery production can be obtained from many sources such as dams, bores, wells, streams, town supply or recycling wastewater. The quality of irrigation water can have a huge affect on the productivity of a nursery.

Icon
Iron In Irrigation Water 2013

The quality of irrigation water can have a huge affect on the productivity of a nursery. It is vitally important to the continued successful and efficient operation of a production nursery that the quality of the irrigation water supply is sampled and analyzed by an accredited laboratory before first establishing the site and then regularly throughout the productive life of the nursery.

Icon
Introduction To Biofilm 2011

An Introduction to Biofilms.

Icon
Igloo And Sprinklers Nursery Paper 2000

Sprinkler layout and selection for igloos and poly houses.

Icon
How to save water in production nurseries

There are many ways that water can be saved in a production nursery. This fact sheet lists ten suggestions.

Icon
Hand Watering Efficiency 2010

Hand watering is a common practice in many production and retail nurseries, with 55% of production nurseries using this method to some degree. Sometimes hand watering is regarded as an efficient irrigation method without full knowledge of the underlying principals and actual efficiencies of alternative methods. During 2008, DPI&F, Qld conducted an investigation into the efficiency of nursery irrigation practices on behalf of NGIA. This investigation surveyed a number of production and retail nurseries to examine labour costs and water use associated with hand watering, and compared it to the calculated costs of other irrigation techniques.

Icon
Designing an Efficient Pumping System

When considering options for improving pump efficiency, the option of designing a new system should always be investigated. It may be, over time, this will result in greater cost savings than upgrading an existing system. If a pumping system is being designed for a new development, it’s critical that the system be carefully designed to ensure it meets the required capacity, while being the most efficient system possible.

designing-an-efficient-pumping-system-lm-201016-2

Icon
Calibrating pH and EC meters

pH and Electrical Conductivity meters are extremely useful pieces of equipment used to measure and monitor basic chemical characteristics of water and growing media. Regular and correct calibration of this equipment is necessary to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. The following video describes the basic procedures for calibrating pH and EC meters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYjFVODA2mE

Icon
Improving Pumping System Energy Efficiency

Taking a whole of system approach to improving the efficiency of pumping systems can reduce energy and maintenance costs, and more closely match system capacity to pumping requirements. The following is a systematic approach that can be used to identify issues and improve man existing pumping system.

improving-pumping-system-energy-efficiency-lm-030916

Icon
Improving Electric Motor Pump Efficiency

Depending on use patterns, an electric motor can use four to 10 times its purchase price in electricity annually. Because of this it’s important to consider  operating costs as well as capital costs when selecting electric motors. The following article suggests some strategies that can be used to improve the energy efficiency of electric motors on pumping installations, but the same principles can be applied to any infrastructure using electric motors.

 

Icon
Ground Water Storage Case Study 2013

Tingalpa Wholesale Nursery - Water Use Efficiency

Icon
Filtration For Nursery Irrigation 2012
Icon
Filtration Equipment 2011

The following gives an overview of different filtration types used in nursery irrigation.

Icon
Filtration equipment

Selecting appropriate filtration equipment for an irrigation system can be a complex process. Information on the available water quality, as well as the degree of filtration required must be assessed before the appropriate options can be considered, and an irrigation specialist must be consulted. This fact sheet provides an overview of different filtration types used in nursery irrigation.

Icon
Fact sheet: Water treatment and taste and odour control

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources looks at the causes of taste and odour problems in water supplies. Possible methods on how the problems might be prevented and treated are considered.

Icon
Fact sheet: Water treatment and iron control

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources describes some of the problems that can be caused by the presence of dissolved iron in a water supply. Other topics discussed include iron levels, preventative measures and treatment measures.

Icon
Fact sheet: Water treatment and hardness

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources describes water hardness, hardness limits, and how a water softener operates to treat water.

Icon
Fact sheet: Solving the scale problem

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources discusses the formation of scale inside pipelines, as well other information including testing for scale material, water analysis, treatment methods, hardness reduction, reducing pH, and treating pipelines.

Icon
Fact sheet: Sampling your water supply

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources outlines the basic requirements for water sampling, where to send samples for analysis and the types of analyses that can be made.

Icon
Fact sheet: Iron bacteria in water bores

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources discusses the occurrence, treatment and prevention of iron bacteria-related problems in bores.

Icon
Fact sheet: Farm dams and improving water quality

This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources looks at improving water quality in farm dams, including information on turbidity, treating stored water, treatment techniques, chemical and bacterial contamination and low oxygen levels in dams.

Icon
Evapotranspiration 2009

The term evapotranspiration is simply the sum of evaporation and transpiration. It is the water lost to the atmosphere from the ground surface by evaporation and from the plant by transpiration.

Icon
Ensuring the irrigation system operates efficiently in nursery production

To ensure an irrigation system continues to operate efficiently as designed and installed in a production nursery, it is vitally important to regularly maintain the system. This fact sheet discusses the features of a regular and effective irrigation system maintenance schedule.

Icon
Drip-irrigation-design-and-managment-2010
Icon
Drip irrigation in containerised nursery production

Drip irrigation is an efficient system for applying water to nursery container production. It has the potential to out-perform overhead irrigation systems in achieving optimum plant growth and quality, while minimising water use.

youtu.be/qQbLEWvwqjo

Icon
Drip Irrigation Design And Management 2010
Icon
Drip Irrigation 2011

Drip irrigation is an effective and efficient irrigation system for production nurseries that simply drips or sprays the irrigation water onto the growing media surface where it is slowly absorbed. A well designed and correctly installed drip irrigation system provides excellent irrigation uniformity with minimum irrigation water lost to runoff, non growth areas, wind or evaporation. Irrigation scheduling of drip systems can be managed precisely to meet nursery crop demands providing the potential for increased growth and improved quality.

Icon
Disinfestation Of Water Sources For Irrigation 2010

Filtration provides the essential pre-treatment for almost all irrigation water disinfestation systems by either ensuring the required water quality for a particular system to operate successfully or by reducing the contaminates in the water and ultimately reducing the disinfestation costs.

Icon
Disinfestation Of Recycled Water Nursery Paper 2012

Managing Plant Pathogens in Recycled Irrigation Water

Icon
Disinfestation Of Irrigation Water 2012

Water disinfestation is a treatment to reduce the risk of introducing disease or disease causing organisms to the crop by way of the irrigation water.

Icon
Disinfest-recycl-water-NP-2012
Icon
Disc Filtration 2013
Icon
Designing a Nursery Reed Bed Nursery Paper 2003

This Nursery Paper briefly explains some of the factors to be considered when designing and constructing a nursery reed bed.

Icon
Constructing A Reed Bed 2013

Reed beds, also known as constructed wetlands, are useful for removing nutrients from nursery runoff before recycling, reuse or release. This article explains some of the considerations that need to be taken into account when constructing a nursery reed bed.

Icon
Conducting an Irrigation System Catchcan Assessment Video

An efficient irrigation system operating to industry best practice provides an opportunity to obtain real operational and economic benefits.

An efficient overhead irrigation system should apply the water at the appropriate application rate. evenly across the crop and apply water evenly accross the production area, minimising dry spots.

The performance of an overhead irrigation system can easily be evaluated by conducting a simple catch can assessment.

youtu.be/b_ZLl4mSfv8

Icon
Conduct An Irrigation System Evaluation 2011

As an industry, it is imperative that information gained from irrigation system audits is readily available, so that nurseries have continued access to water.

Icon
Comparison Of Irrigation Layouts 2010
Icon
Calibrating pH and EC meters

pH and Electrical Conductivity (EC) meters are extremely useful pieces of equipment used to measure and monitor basic chemical characteristics of water and growing media.

Icon
Bottom Up Irrigation Case Study 2012

Heatons Nursery: Using bottom-up irrigation & coir fibre growing media

Icon
Bottom-up-irrigation-CS-2012
Icon
BioSecure HACCP Water Testing

Knowing the pH and Electrical Conductivity or EC of your irrigation and drainage water can help you to grow better and more consistent crops. Testing procedures aren't difficult and can be done at minimal cost. This video shows a process for carrying out a practical on-site pH and electrical conductivity test on water.

youtu.be/5AYlBOZrXYk

Icon
Biofilm-Management-2011
Icon
Biofilm Management 2011

Biofilms can create many problems in nurseries including reducing flow in irrigation pipes, blocking emitters, and producing slimy surfaces. While attempts can be made to eradicate biofilm by the treatment of pipes and surfaces, there are a number of features of biofilms that make it difficult to entirely remove these organisms from a system.

Icon
Best Management Practice Irrigation Layouts

An efficient irrigation system is designed to deliver the appropriate volume of water evenly, to meet all plant needs and in the time available. The irrigation system should apply water evenly across the cropping area, apply the correct volume of water often enough to meet plant demands and apply the required water in the time available.

Upgrading an existing sprinkler layout or installing a new one to best management practice is one way of improving the water use efficiency of an irrigation system while improving crop growth and profitability.

youtu.be/huVMldwmo1U

Icon
An-efficient-nursery-irrigation-layout-2009
Icon
An Efficient Nursery Irrigation Layout 2009

The nursery industry has developed benchmarks that define an efficient irrigation system based on a standard test.

Icon
Aeration-in-nursery-water-storages-2013
Icon
Aeration In Nursery Water Storages 2013

Water storages in nurseries used for the collection and holding of wastewater from crop production activities will require aeration to maintain water quality over time. Any process that is capable of adding oxygen to the water could be considered a form of aeration.

Icon
1. AN INDEX OF WATER AND IRRIGATION TECHNICAL ITEMS