best bet management of ameliorated non-wetting soils for the geraldton port zone (GPZ)

Commencement date

July 2016

Completion date

February 2019

Aim

This project aims to investigate the best way to apply nutrients on a cultivated non-wetting soil.

Funding Provider

GRDC-RCSN

Project lead organisation

Collaborators

Liebe Group, DPIRD, CSBP, and Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG)

Project background

Water repellence is a significant constraint to production in Western Australian (WA) broadacre farming systems. It is estimated that 6.9 million hectares are considered at moderate risk of water repellence, whilst 3.3 million hectares are considered at high risk, based on the area of coarse sands with low clay content (van Gool, 2008). In the Geraldton Port Zone (GPZ), approximately 52% of the arable soils are at moderate to high risk of water repellence, with the Shires of Irwin (87%), Coorow (67%), Northampton (66%), Three Springs (62%), Carnamah (53%), and Perenjori (50%) all having 50% or more of their soils at medium-high risk.

Water repellent soils are defined by having slow permeability to water, characterised by uneven wetting at the surface, water run-off and ponding, and/or flow through the soil via preferential pathways leaving surrounding soil dry (Roper et al., 2015). The consequential impact on the crop is uneven germination, poor crop establishment, reduced nutrient use efficiency, and reduced yields. The opportunity cost of the constraint is an estimated $250million for WA agricultural production, and $68.8million for the Northern Agricultural Region (Herbert, 2009).

This project will be looking closely at the impact of soil cultivation practices, which have been adopted to mitigate water repellency, on the interactions of potassium (K) and nitrogen (N) within the soil profile. Sites were selected based on prior farmer knowledge that non-wetting was an issue at the site and have accordingly used a cultivation practice to mitigate this. The sites selected have either been mouldboard ploughed or spaded, approximately 2-4 years prior to establishment of this trial. The purpose of this cultivation time gap is to investigate the effects of a settling cultivated soil on nutrient availability. It is understood that cultivation practices can release an uneven ‘burst’ of nutrients throughout the soil profile, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies or toxicities in the first season after cultivation. While this is widely understood, yet difficult to measure, it is the settling period greater than one season out of cultivation which requires further research and development.

The outcomes of this trial will provide new rules of thumb on nutrition rates and application methods, on a range of soil types, influenced by cultivation practice.

Results and Reports

This project was funded by GRDC-RCSN

© 2020 by Liebe Group Inc

Proudly created with Wix.com

Contact Us

Address

  • YouTube

P: 08 9661 1907

E: admin@liebegroup.org.au

ABN: 44 748 432 382

 

 

17 Johnston Street

PO Box 340

Dalwallinu WA 6609

 

LIEBE LOGO NO BACKGROUND.png

Disclaimer

Information, recommendations, suggestions or opinions on this website do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Liebe Group. This website is not a scientific journal and all information has been prepared solely as a means of disseminating information to the members of the Liebe Group and the community. Content on this website has been prepared in good faith on the basis of information available at the date of publication. Although all reasonable care has been taken in producing the reports within, no person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific independent professional advice. Products may be identified by propriety or trade names to help readers identify them, however, this is not an endorsement or recommendation of any product or manufacturer referred to. The Liebe Group will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information provided on this website.