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The main barrier to the adoption of PAM seems to the timing of the cost of outlay. This could add significantly to the initial crop establishment costs at a time of year when rowers receive no income. However, the partial and parametric analysis indicates that there re benefits from using PAM as part of the crop management cycle. These benefits are from ving water, retaining sediment on-farm and reducing the cost of delving drains. There are ther potential economic benefits including the retainment of phosphorus as a plant nutrient n-farm and subsequent yield increases.

Additionally, the off-site environmental impacts seem to be negligible. Even so, PAM would need to be monitored in the drains and lower Ord if it were to be widely adopted.

The potential for the use of PAM in the expansion area is significant because of the caveat for tailwater recycling. It could be used for reducing contaminants in tailwater as well as reducing seepage in storage facilities.

Growers at the workshop identified PAM as the most likely practice to be adopted to improve tailwater quality. However, the survey results showed that most growers have tried using PAM and have since abandoned the practice. There is a need for more researcg before PAM can be widely and successfully re-adopted. Application rate, application method, number of applications and the interaction with soil type needs further investigation. Extension of the properties of PAM is also needede to address concerns about off-site impacts.

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Western Australia, ORIA, Ord River, irrigated agriculture, Kununnurra


Horticulture | Hydrology


Research funded from Caring for Country and Rangelands Natural Resource Management Committee.

Report on polyacrylamide, a practice to reduce sediment and insoluable chemicals in tailwater