DEMONSTRATING THE BENEFITS OF SOIL AMELIORATION AND CONTROLLED TRAFFIC FARMING ACROSS A BROAD RANGE OF SOIL TYPES
To evaluate the grain yield and economic benefit of soil amelioration and controlled traffic practices on a broader range of soil types across the grain growing region of WA.
Project lead organisation
West Midlands Group
West Midlands Group, Liebe Group, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Facey Group, MADFIG, Mingenew Irwin Group, SEPWA, Stirlings to Coast Group and Southern Dirt.
Approximately 75% of WA’s cropping land is at risk of lost production due to soil compaction. Compaction is conservatively estimated to cost the industry around $333 million annually (Davies et al, 2018).
Control options including cultivation practices and controlled traffic farming are costly and some growers may be reluctant to implement soil amelioration because of this. In addition to this, the multiple cultivation methods and machinery types available add to the difficulty in the decision to adopt.
To assess the effectiveness of various cultivation methods and their ability to improve yield and economic return, the Liebe Group, with support from GRDC, have implemented two three year grower scale demonstration in the Kwinana West Port Zone, at Dalwallinu and Kalannie. At each site, four cultivation methods where investigated.
Soil strength, NDVI and yield data will be collected and analysed, along with economic analysis over the three years of the project.
These are two of many demonstration sites being delivered across the port zones as part of the GRDC investment, demonstrating the benefits of soil amelioration (Ripper-Gauge). Growers from each port zone will be able to use the results from the demonstrations to increase their understanding of the various cultivation methods available and their benefits.
Results and Reports
Final reports summarising all three years of data will be published in 2021.