Evaluating drop tube and sprinkler irrigation for white clover seed production


Following on from RIRDC funded research in the 200609 period in centre pivot irrigated white clover seed crops in the Frances/Bool Lagoon region and as an extension of the findings of Mock’s Innovation Project (200709), the proposed project aims to compare drop tube irrigation technology to spray technology on a centre pivot of white clover sown for seed production in 2009 in the Frances region. The project will specifically study the comparison between the two technologies in terms of $ net return/ML of irrigation applied, with seed yield being the key comparator. The project will compare ‘traditional’ grower irrigation scheduling practices with technology based soil moisture monitoring equipment used to understand crop water use patterns as well as irrigation and rainfall application infiltration and drainage patterns. The project aims to determine if a form of reduced deficit irrigation during the flowering phase can maintain or improve seed yield as well as determine if the same irrigation application volumes result in significantly different seed yields when irrigated by different technology.


Pasture Seeds

Research Organisation

Alpha Group Consulting P/L

Objective Summary

Improvement in the delivery of irrigation that can reduce environmental losses, increase efficiency in timing and potentially $net return/ML applied, enhance pollination and exhibit to the wider public a significant advancement in irrigation practices that are not wasteful and represent a professional approach to irrigation management. The project will further enhance the benefit and need for continual monitoring soil moisture technology for the purpose of irrigation scheduling, give leverage and be leveraged by the increasing awareness and use of ETo, crop factors and crop evapotranspiration in irrigation management. The project will serve as a good case study for the use of improved and state of the art irrigation delivery for centre pivots for all pasture seeds as well as focus on the importance of soil moisture monitoring and the advantages it presents.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Project Completion Date

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

PSE-Production and processing efficiency and profitability


Related publications


Irrigating for white clover seed production