Making Efficient Use Of Rainfall

Australia's rainfall and streamflow are among the most variable in the world (Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management [SCARM], 1998). Lack of rain is the main factor limiting plant growth and agricultural production in general. The combined effects of rainfall, temperature, and evaporation determine the productive potential of crops and pastures. For those managing agricultural systems, the challenge is to respond to seasonal fluctuations in a timely and planned manner.

Rainfall is often described in terms of its annual average or seasonal quantity to characterize an area or to provide a regional indication of production potential. However, the amount of rain required for a productive pasture or crop varies from region to region. For example, in South Australia, 400 mm may be considered reasonable annual rainfall, while in Queensland it may be 700 mm. This is largely due to the decreasing "effectiveness" of rainfall for maintaining plant growth due to increasing evaporation (Tow, 1991).

Roseworthv. South Australia

Roseworthv. South Australia

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Dry cereal residue_._Pasture

r '--------------1. Drv pasture residue

Pasture >

0 0

Post a comment