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Posts by Stephanie Alt

Dig deeper if you really want to know about Nitrogen

Rain encourages soil microbes to mineralise soil organic nitrogen (N) into plant available mineral forms. Some mineral N can leach, moving down in the soil profile with subsequent rain. Deep N soil testing can better estimate the amount of N available in the soil for the crop to make use […]

Do late sown crops need extra Phosphorus?

As winter sowing dates get later a crop’s potential response to Phosphorus (P) fertiliser rises, at the same time absolute yield potential is falling. This raises the question of what adjustments might need to be made to P fertiliser rates. Plant physiology indicates that later sown crops should be more […]

Eye in the sky – Would you use a drone?

Interested in drones? Find out how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being used in agriculture in the US, what’s on the horizon, what type are most popular and why, and the basics of getting off the ground from none other than the drone singer himself, Victor Villegas from Oregon State […]

Think twice before sowing chickpeas into high Nitrogen soils

leaf tips are dead

The current temptingly high chickpea prices make them an attractive option. In paddocks with high soil nitrate (>100kg N/ha) chickpeas may not yield as well as expected, or deliver the usual legume break crop advantage of a net benefit to the paddock’s nitrogen (N) balance. Paddocks can have high starting […]

Give seeds the best chance by avoiding fertiliser damage

Germinating seeds can be damaged by fertiliser placed too close or applied at too high rates. You can check how much fertiliser you can safely drill using the seed damage calculator. The amount of fertiliser that can be safely placed with seed depends on: Crop type Overall canola and lentils […]

Can I burn lime and gypsum with stubble?

What happens to gypsum or limestone when stubbles are burnt? Gypsum and limestone are soil amendments – sometimes spread onto paddocks before burning of crop stubble. Stubble or grass fires can affect limestone and gypsum in two ways: chemical changes due to high temperatures, and convective losses as ash rises. […]

How to review Nitrogen nutrition at 3 timely points in the season

John Angus is a researcher with the CSIRO and a mixed enterprise farmer in southern NSW. At the 2016 GRDC research updates John reported on a three stage process to make strategic decisions about Nitrogen (N) nutrition through the season for dryland farmers. Stage 1 – Prior to sowing Prepare […]

Test first, then time Nitrogen fertiliser to reduce losses

Optimal timing of Nitrogen fertiliser applications can maximise crop uptake and reduce losses to the atmosphere. Soil Nitrogen (N) dynamics in Victoria show some big differences between regions. High rates of N losses recorded from soils in the High Rainfall Zone (HRZ) emphasise how important timing of N applications can […]

Watch our webinar: how to review last season’s crop nutrition decisions

You might know how much you or your client spent on crop nutrition last season, but do you know if it was well spent? Review at the end of the season is the best place to answer that question. How do you assess how well last season’s crop nutrition management […]

Tips to tweak your crop nutrition program following drought

Following drought growers look to recover production and protect vulnerable soils. When it comes, the break may present opportunities to cut back on some usual nutrient inputs while moving back into production. Soils should be managed with an eye to their long term fertility. Phosphorus Soil phosphate levels may increase […]

N-rich strips show if your crop needs a boost this season

  An N-rich test strip in your paddock allows you to follow nitrogen supply in-crop, and see what responses are likely to additional N. The test strip is a part of the paddock where additional N is applied – above the base rate applied to the rest of the paddock. […]

What’s the minimum Phosphorus rate if you are following a poor crop?

Many growers will be thinking about what to do with Phosphorus (P) fertiliser for their next winter crop. Soil tests are the best indicator of whether a paddock is going to be responsive to P fertiliser. If your soil tests shows moderate to good levels of P, and yields were […]