Sam North

Research interests

  • Surface irrigation design
  • Irrigated crop water use efficiency
  • Irrigated soil structural health
  • Effects of groundwater irrigation on soils and crops


Sam has a broad background in soil and water resource management and irrigated agricultural RD&E, with expertise in soil science, irrigation engineering and irrigated crop agronomy. This has allowed a broad understanding of the complexities of irrigated farming systems and the need to integrate soil, water and crop systems to produce financially viable irrigated farm businesses.

Sam lives in Deniliquin, which is a small farming community located at the centre of Australia’s largest irrigation scheme, the Murray Irrigation District. Sam’s close connection with the industries and farming communities in this region has ensured a thorough understanding of the issues besetting irrigated agriculture in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. This understanding has meant his research has been highly relevant to these irrigated farming systems and, as a consequence, has resulted in high adoption rates.

Notable achievements to date include the following:

  • Development of design recommendations for:
    • centre-pivot and lateral move irrigation systems in southern NSW;
    • basin surface irrigation systems used by rice and cotton industries in southern NSW.
  • Development of soil and irrigation management guidelines for groundwater users in the Murray valley.
  • Investigation of the salinity tolerance of Australian rice cultivars to inform management guidelines for rice production with groundwater in southern NSW.
  • Investigation of the key constraints to irrigated grains production in the southern Murray-Darling Basin and the development of extension materials to address these constraints.

Qualifications and/or skills

  • Bachelor of Natural Resources –University of New England - 1992
  • Master of Applied Science – Charles Sturt University - 2008

Current projects

Sam is currently involved with projects improving the irrigation design and performance of basin systems used by rice and cotton industries; monitoring the effect of long-term irrigation on soil health; and determining key yield constraints and R&D priorities for the irrigated grains industry.

Recent Publications

Please refer to Sam North’s Researchgate page.

Professional associations and activities

  • Member of Soil Science Australia (President of Riverina branch 2012-2019)
  • Member Australian Agronomy Society
  • Member Irrigation Australia

Keyword phrase list of research interests

  • Irrigation systems
  • Irrigated cropping
  • Soil physics
  • Soil water
  • Salinity
  • Sodicity

Contact details

Phone: (03) 5881 9926
Location: Deniliquin