Category: Pre-Plant

What is the DGT Phosphorus test and when should you use it?

The Diffusive Gradient in Thin-films (DGT) Phosphorus is an alternative P soil test. Colwell-P can overestimate available P on calcareous soils, and acid gravel soils. How does the DGT test work? The DGT is a cylindrical plastic device that uses an iron oxide gel as a P-sink, which attracts available […]

How much nitrogen can pulses supply to the next crop?

Howard Cox, DAF QLD Growing pulses can increase soil nitrogen (N) stocks. Researchers in QLD have developed some rules of thumb to estimate pulse-N contribution to the next cereal crop. The rules apply to chickpeas and faba beans. Calculating N from pulses Good crops In a good chickpea or faba […]

How to keep bulk fertiliser deliveries safe

Bulk fertiliser deliveries can cause accidents and near misses. Overhead obstacles, unsafe access, and dumped product are potential hazards. Fertiliser safety is everyone’s responsibility.  The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will soon be amended to reflect this. The changes mean that every party in the supply chain – not just […]

Use tissue tests to detect deficiencies

Micronutrients or trace elements are an essential part of crop nutrition. They are as important as the better-known macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This was a key message on the southern tour of the MPCN II Roadshow in August 2016. Scott and Jillian Vaessen farm at Tabbita in southern NSW. […]

New way to gauge nutrient status

Nutrient Rich Strips are not new in cropping. They are used to see if there is a clear growth response to an applied nutrient. But it is often hard to quantify the response and translate it into fertiliser rate recommendations. Some fertiliser advisors are using a new tool to address […]

Give seeds the best chance in a dry start – how to avoid fertiliser burn

Seeds can be damaged by fertiliser placed too close or at too high rates. Dry soils increase the risk of harm to germinating seeds from fertilisers. Take extra care with fertiliser and seed placement this year. The dry lead in to 2018 winter sowing means last year’s strategy might not […]

Does incorporating lime boost fertiliser response?

Does addressing soil constraints change crop nutrition requirements? DAFWA researcher Craig Scanlan runs field trials in central and northern WA. The trials investigate links between soils, seasons and crop nutrition. The focus is how incorporating lime affects yield response to fertilisers. Soil mixing to treat water repellent soils is also […]

What happens in the year after a hayed-off crop?

A hayed-off crop can make estimating available nitrogen (N) trickier than usual. Deep N testing is the best way to assess N resources.Estimates and actual results from deep soil testing were very different in recent research by Birchip Cropping Group. After haying off there’s potential yield benefit next season from leftover […]

Help Australia day mungbeans get what they need

Some rain around Australia’s northern region saw some last minute mungbean crops go in. The GRDC Mungbean Grownotes suggests we base fertiliser recommendations on: soil test results fallow length yield potential paddock history. That’s comprehensive, but with an opportunity crop there’s not always the chance to cover all the bases. […]

How critical is the critical level?

Critical soil nutrient levels indicate whether a yield response to fertiliser is likely – or not. Their role is to help avoid unnecessary or uneconomic applications of fertiliser. Critical levels are used in interpreting soil test results to make fertiliser recommendations. The critical level is the value required to achieve […]