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  • Writer's pictureLiebe Group

Celebrating 20 years of partnership with CSBP

The partnership between Liebe Group and CSBP has reached a major milestone, with June 2020 marking 20 years of sponsorship of the group.

CSBP have been a valued partner since 2000, having been involved in countless Liebe Group activities, projects, committees and events throughout the years. Their guidance and expertise has provided comprehensive information and project support that has helped direct the research, development and extension for our local farming community.

The Main Trial Site has been host to over 20 CSBP trials, along with various other trials and demonstration in the Liebe region. James Easton, Senior Agronomist with CSBP, who has been involved in the partnership from the very beginning, stated that CSBP have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Liebe Group on researching opportunities for improved crop productivity and increased grower profits from fertiliser.

Seeding CSBP trials at the Liebe Group Main Trial Site, 2006

Summary of CSBP and Liebe Group Trial History (By James Easton)

Early trials demonstrated the importance of adequate potassium (K) for profitable responses to nitrogen (N), showed big efficiency gains from banding nitrogen (N) and provided data to support the adoption of Flexi-N. Other N trials looked at the opportunity for late applications of Flexi-N to boost protein, interactions with seeding rates (‘Canopy Management’), and management of N for different crop species and varieties. These trials showed that the best returns come from matching N to yield potential (irrespective of seeding rates and crop varieties), and that late applications produce unreliable results.

‘Alternative’ phosphorus (P) sources including liquid P, and various additives have been tested to see whether they improved P availability to the crop. Other ‘alternative’ products/nutrients tested include liquid K, granular lime, and magnesium. While we haven’t seen any benefits over conventional fertiliser strategies, CSBP are still interested in putting new products to the test.

James Easton presenting at a Liebe Group field walk,1997.

Variable rate technology has been around a long time now, and the opportunities for increased profitability were investigated in paddock scale trials with Stuart McAlpine (1998) and the Carlshausen’s (2001). The potential gains from varying fertiliser inputs in different management zones was also looked at in small plot trials from 2011 to 2013. These trials highlighted the complexity involved in arriving at a good fertiliser recommendation but also the opportunities for more profitable returns.

The value of lime, dolomite and gypsum applications to wodjil soils was studied in a three year trial with Keith Carter (2003 – 2005), and more recently with Dylan Hirsh (2017 -) in a trial which has highlighted the importance of incorporating lime products into the subsoil, in this case with inclusion plates fitted to deep ripping tynes.

There’s no doubt that overcoming soil constraints gives us the biggest opportunity key to increased crop productivity and more profitable grower returns from fertiliser. And adequate nutrient supply is critical to capturing the full benefit of soil amelioration.

Increasing reliance upon N fertiliser (in the absence of a productive legume in the rotation) also means that future trials should probably focus on more efficient strategies for supplying N, and/or nutritional packages that support more productive legumes for a more sustainable future.

Local trials are important and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Liebe to support its members.

Click here for a list of all of the trials that have been implemented by CSBP in collaboration with Liebe Group since 1997.

Looking Forward

As we move into another year of partnership, CSBP Agronomist Angus McAlpine looks forward to continuing being involved with the Liebe Group saying “It has been great working with the Liebe Group since I started working in the area in 2014. At CSBP I want to extend nutritional research and innovation to the region, and through the partnership we have with Liebe and the opportunity for local trials and collaboration helps achieve those outcomes.”

“On top of the research side of the group, there also is a great social and community aspect. The wide and diverse member base ranging from young to older provides a good range of experience and enjoyable enthusiasm” says Mr McAlpine.

The strong, collaborative relationship has continued to grow, with CSBP currently at the Diamond Partner level. Liebe Group would like to thank CSBP for their long-term support and contribution to the group over the past 20 years and look forward to continuing for years to come.


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