PRACTICE FOR PROFIT: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPLICATIONS OF ROTATIONS IN A LOW RAINFALL ZONE

Commencement date

May 2011

Completion date

December 2018

Aim

To examine the difference in profitability between low and high input cropping practices over an extended period of time and to determine the effect these practices are having on soil carbon..

Funding Provider

Australian Government and Wheatbelt NRM

Project lead organisation

Liebe Group

Collaborators

West Midlands Group, Facey Group, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Mingenew Irwin Group, Farmanco, CSIRO and DPIRD

Project background

The Practice for Profit trial was located east of Dalwallinu on the Mills' property. Since 2011, the following scenarios were compared:

  • Low input treatments based on a farmer producing grain at the lowest possible cost, regardless of seasonal conditions.

  • High input treatments to simulate a paddock with high yield potential matched with increased inputs to maximise yields and profitability.

2011 was the setup phase of the trial, the seeding and fertiliser rates were not blanket dependent on the rotation with the wheat treatment receiving high and low inputs.

In 2013 the set rotation was not able to be planted due to a timing mismatch between rain and trial contractors resulting in the soil being too dry for the small trial seeding machinery to negotiate. The whole site was thus fallowed in 2013.

It is important to note that high and low inputs of this trial are considered on a seasonal basis, and on the back of a chemical fallow in 2013 all nutrient levels were high. On the trial to date the low input treatments have received maintenance levels of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N). The levels of P, potassium (K) and sulphur (S) will be monitored for the 2016 season and maintenance levels will be adjusted accordingly.

Results and Reports

Practice for Profit Trial - 2017

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