New research from DAFWA presented at the 2014 GIWA Agribusiness crop updates suggests you may get more bang for your crop nutrition buck if you spend some of the bucks on cultivation and lime. Profit is driven by the cultivation effect on nutrient availability.
Deep cultivation gave a yield response at two trial sites, but not an additional response to lime. The removal of a physical soil constraint drove the yield response to cultivation at one site. At the other, the mineralisation rate of organic matter increased. The yield benefit offset the cost of the cultivation, and some of the lime application.
The incorporation of lime did not provide any yield benefit because soil pH was already above target levels. The value of incorporating lime lies in ameliorating acidic subsoils 2 to 3 years faster than if the lime was top dressed and not cultivated.
Prepared by Stephanie Alt, based on an article by Craig Scanlan, DAFWA Northam, Ross Brennan, DAFWA Albany, Gavin Sarre,
Photo courtesy of the GRDC.