Crop Nutrition

Growing legumes? How to check their nodules

Late winter and early spring is the best time to check legume nodules. To fix nitrogen, legumes need the symbiotic soil bacteria rhizobia in their root nodules. Legumes without effective nodules will deplete soil N and can perform poorly. Lack of rhizobia causes poor nodulation. Rhizobia come from the soil […]

Legumes provide significant N in low rainfall systems

Legume break crops can provide significant fixed nitrogen (N) for subsequent cereal crops. From 2013 – 2015, Michael Moodie (Mallee Sustainable Farming) compared various legume crop productivity and N contribution in low rainfall environments. Trials were conducted in the Victorian and South Australian Mallee regions, where N is often limiting. […]

Nutrient implications for failed crops

Many growers and advisers in eastern Australia are weighing up the options for their drought-stressed and frost-damaged crops.  Is it more economical to conserve crops as hay or silage, graze them or hope to eventually harvest them? Has the generally high cost of hay cutting been fully taken into account? […]

How are nutrients redistributed after windrowing?

Concentrating stubble into windrowed strips affects subsequent crop production, soil testing and fertiliser decisions. Wayne Pluske (Equii), Ryan Walker ( Apal Laboratories) and John Young (Wyening Mission Farm) looked at nutrient redistribution post-harvest. They measured plant material (dry matter as t/ha) and nutrient content of canola and wheat crops. The […]

Help shape the future of BFDC lll

A review of the Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping Systems in Australia database is set to commence with a series of industry consultative meetings over the next three months. The BFDC database contains yield response curves for many crops, nutrient applications and soil types across grain growing regions and has been […]

Will late N applications be worthwhile?

Growers in some lucky regions are now considering late, in-crop applications of nitrogen. Crops in Western Australia, south-west Victoria, and parts of Tasmania still have above average yield potential. Given current grain prices, the economic reward from late N application to these crops is likely to be high. But late […]

Six articles to help manage crop nutrition in the dry

The dry weather will impact crop plans for this season and next. Here’s a few resources to help make crop nutrition decisions. Managing a crop: In tough conditions, crops do better with potassium What to do with a failed crop What nutrients are lost when making hay from failed crops? […]

The triple threat of wind erosion

Dry weather has meant many growers did not put in a crop this season. Crops that have gone in have struggled to establish. This has left extensive areas of bare soil exposed to wind erosion. Wind erosion is not always a big dust storm. Sometimes large particles roll across the […]

Soil sampling to boost profit with variable rate technology (VRT)

Variable rate technology (VRT) means matching fertiliser or soil amendment rates to soil types, fertility, and yield potential. Trials in Western Australia  (WA) showed a gross margin increase up to $50/ha using VRT. Costs might stay the same but resources are better allocated. This can translate to improved yield. Because […]

Why should you use a lab with ASPAC certification?

Without tests, crop nutrition is best guess. Plant and soil testing guide best practice on the farm. But who guides best practice in the lab? What is ASPAC? The Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) has an inter- laboratory proficiency program (ILPP). Certification under this program means a lab […]