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Manage pH for profit

Video: Craig Scanlan from Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia talks about the interactions between nutrition and soil acidity.

Research in Western Australia has been looking into the interactions between Phosphorus (P) fertiliser rates and soil pH given that most West Australian cropping soils have good soil P reserves but are below the minimum recommended targets for soil pH.

DAFWA’s work is showing that the profit maximising P rate is often lower in limed treatments than unlimed treatments (where the soil is still acidic), but the driver of the increase in profit is the yield response gained by ameliorating soil acidity.

While there is often an increase in fertiliser use efficiency, the yield response at low rates of P between limed and unlimed profiles is not significant enough to drive fertiliser recommendations.

Other trials by CSBP showed no difference in response to P in limed compared to unlimed treatments.

DAFWA’s research was carried out under the GRDC’s More Profit from Crop Nutrition program.

More information:

GRDC crop nutrition factsheet on P management for the western region


Craig Scanlan, DAFWA, Liam Ryan, DAFWA, James Easton CSBP.

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