Crop Nutrition

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Category: Pre-Plant

Dig deeper to know nutrient levels

Soil testing in the 0-10 cm zone has traditionally been used for phosphorus-based fertiliser recommendations. Deeper tests are often used to gauge nitrogen (N) availability, especially when mineral N has leached deeper after significant rain. But there are other nutrient and chemical constraints that can be better analysed by 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. […]

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 […]

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? […]

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 […]