Posts by Stephanie Alt

Frost damage and copper deficiency just look similar

leaves showing damage and rolling of leaf tip

Crop damage caused by frost looks a lot like copper deficiency. Leaf damage extends back from the tip of the leaf. Damage to seed heads can be easily confused too. Other than similar symptoms, there’s little evidence yet to link frost and copper deficiency. The location of damage can help […]

Variable soil demands a flexible fertiliser program

photo of farmer who manages variable soil types

The Hansen’s crop up to ninety percent of their mixed farm at Coomandook, SA. They grow canola, wheat, barley, lupin, oaten hay and lucerne. There are variable soil types across the 8,500 hectare property. It ranges from red sandy loam over clay and limestone, to deep, infertile, non-wetting sands. Variable soil […]

Are you losing potassium from your paddock – does it matter?

graphic with text 'Do potassium losses matter', stick madn scratching head considering soil K

Potassium (K) is being gradually removed from Australia’s cropping soils. Since 2002, average crop yields have increased but K fertiliser use has remained static at around 180 kt K/yr. Soil K reserves declined an average of 4 kg K/ha/yr over the last 20 years.  Most cropping paddocks have received no […]

Do you need lime and potassium? Apply both

trail potassium plots with youtube play button

Large areas of West Australian cropping soils have low potassium (K) reserves. Acidity also constrains most of these soils.  Potassium deficiencies have become more widespread with intensive cropping, removal of hay or stubbles, and K fertiliser inputs lower than removal rates. James Easton is the Field Research Manager with CSBP […]

Rob Norton recognised for excellence at fertiliser conference

Rob Norton

Congratulations to Rob Norton, who last night received an award recognising his long contribution to the Fertilizer industry, from Fertilizer Australia. Rob, the Regional Director of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), is also the chair of extensionAUS’s crop nutrition Community of Practice. The award was presented at the conference dinner for the 2017 […]

Is Phosphorus building up in your paddock?

a mountain of soil phosphorus with a stickman scratching his head.

Phosphorus may be over applied in Southern Australian grain farms. A recent survey by IPNI found 80% of paddocks had more P applied than removed over a 3–5 year period. Nutrient Performance Indicators (NPIs) revealed that on average, 0.69 kg P is removed per kg P applied. Some farms may […]

Starter and residual P give strong early vigour in the north

Aerial photograph of starter and deep P trial site plots

This season, starter phosphorus (P) is producing strong early crop vigour. Deep P placement effects and the response to starter P are being documented at a long term monitoring site at Terry Hie Hie, in far north New South Wales.   The trial site compares plots with different rates of […]

Are you running down nitrogen? Do you know?

graphic with stick man running down stairs to a question mark, text 'Are you running down nitrogen?'

Many Australian grain paddocks have a nitrogen (N) deficit. Analysis by the IPNI of 2016 data collected from grain growers across the southern region found few growers were in N surplus. On average, at a paddock level 1.14 kg N is removed for each kilogram of N fertiliser applied. These calculations […]

Watch: how to use plant tissue tests for better results

Chris Dowling photo for tissue tests article

Chris Dowling explains the keys to successful sampling and interpretation of plant tissue tests in winter crops. Why use tissue tests? Plant tissue tests ask the crop ‘what’s wrong?’. Ideally, analysis can get to the core of an issue before yield has been overly compromised. Plant tissue results are more […]

Level up your Nutrient Performance Indicators

infographic about the optimal nutrient performance indicator results for a paddock.

Nutrient performance indicators (NPIs) assess how effective and efficient fertiliser applications have been. Last week we talked about using Partial Factor Productivity (PFP) and Partial Nutrient Balance (PNB) together. Those NPIs give you a good idea if your fertiliser investment was worthwhile, and if your paddock nutrient status is stable […]