Monitoring Sites - Beacon Farm

Introduction | Contacts | Purpose | Site Description | Measurements | DEM | Pictures

Site Description

The Beacon Farm flux site is located in the Mid-Canterbury plains, South Island, New Zealand (GPS coordinates: -43.593, 171.928).

The entire land area was converted from a dry-land deer farm to intensive dairy farming in 2008/09 by soil tillage and sowing ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and clover (Trifolium repens L.).

Elevation is 209m, mean annual precipitation 900mm and mean annual temperature 10.9°C.

The irrigator is a central pivot, 896 m long and covers an area of 263 ha which is divided into 19 sectors. Irrigation aims to keep the soil moisture between 31 and 40% which is constantly monitored by a farm-operated soil moisture sensor. The resulting average water application rate is 4.6 mm/day.

Approximately 850 Friesian cows are kept at the farm year round. They are separated in two similar-sized herds and milked twice a day. Grazing is done at intervals of about 21 days during peak season (summer; Dec-Feb). As winter approaches the rotational plan is spread out according to biomass availability.

In addition, fertilizer and effluent are applied at regular intervals.

The instrumentation includes two micrometeorological EC flux towers, one in an irrigated paddock and one in an adjacent non-irrigated paddock.

Midway between both sites a hut was set up, supplying electrical power to both sites. In addition, the hut contains communication systems and a Fourier transform infrared analyser (FTIR) which measures concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O and δ13CO2.

The FTIR samples air from two inlet heights (0.81 m and 2.04 m) at each site and from a 10 m mast located next to the hut.

Within 30 min all intakes are measured once. Meteorological data is recorded every second and subsequently averaged over 30 min.

Modified: 7/10/21