Crop Nutrition

Save the best grain for seed – know your zinc levels

Grain zinc (Zn) content is important for seedling vigour. Make sure grain Zn levels are adequate if you are saving grain to seed next season’s crop. Retaining seed grown on Zn sufficient paddocks can reduce the risk of Zn deficiency in young crops.   Less than 500 micrograms Zn per […]

Can spectroscopy offer cheaper soil tests?

Soil spectroscopy might soon offer faster, cheaper soil testing. Soil analysis is an essential cost in strategic crop nutrition management. Spectroscopy uses mid infrared (MIR) or near infrared (NIR) radiation. Spectrometers fire radiation at a sample and then measure what’s reflected back. Different absorption and reflectance patterns can measure soil […]

How are you growing a great break crop?

The yields of ‘break crops’ are more important to farm incomes with higher prices for some non-cereal crops.  In 2017, 22.5 million hectares were sown to winter crops. Over 20% – 4.7 million ha – were non-cereals. In the period leading up until 2011, break crops were around 14% of […]

A low nitrogen start limits Australian grains

Deep N soil tests are showing low available nitrogen (N) to start 2017 winter crops. Just over half of the tests coming through Nutrient Advantage Lab Services show < 30 kg/ha of plant available nitrogen in the root zone. Three- quarters show < 60 kg/ha of nitrogen. With less than […]

Upcoming webinar- Successful plant tissue testing

Inspecting biomass produced in a biserrula pasture phase

Keys to successful sampling and interpretation of plant tissue analysis in winter crops Friday, 28 July 2017 3:00 PM AEST Presented by Chris Dowling Chris Dowling is presenting a FREE WEBINAR for advisors and growers from all Australian grains regions. It will provide information about key considerations when sampling and interpreting plant tissue analysis for winter crops […]

How to manage nitrogen in no-till residues

Crop residues influence the supply and uptake of nitrogen (N). In the long term, residues will improve soil fertility. Stubbles can immobilise soil N as they break down. Moisture makes a big difference to the rate of stubble decomposition and mineralisation of nitrogen in the soil. Nathan Craig was involved […]

Looking for better yields from sandy soils

Sandy soils can show poor water use by crops. There are around 5 million hectares of sandy soils in Australia’s low-medium rainfall southern region. Growers see poor crop performance even with residual subsoil water at harvest. To date, options to improve sandy soils are either: Mitigation: lower-cost, annual activities.  Techniques […]

How to improve results from dual purpose crops

Responsive nitrogen (N) management optimises grain yield and grazing value from dual-purpose crops. Dual-purpose crops are sown early, grazed during winter, then grown on to produce grain. For dual purpose crops in the southern region the framework for N nutrition should be: Apply adequate N upfront to promote vigorous forage […]

How much nitrogen are we losing?

Around 25–30% of nitrogen (N) applied to paddocks is lost each season in the northern region. Researchers are not recovering this nitrogen from the soil or the crop biomass. Isotope labelled 15N fertiliser is used to track fertiliser nitrogen through the cropping system. Field trials in NSW and Queensland with […]

New deep P tool calculates the benefits and payback for you

Subsoil phosphorus (P) deficiency costs growers in Queensland and Northern NSW around $80–100 million each year in reduced yield. Deep P fertiliser applications into the subsoil can improve yield but are a long-term decision. They are moderately expensive and returns are not immediate. The Deep-P calculator helps Northern region growers […]