Soil sampling to boost profit with variable rate technology (VRT)

Variable rate technology (VRT) means matching fertiliser or soil amendment rates to soil types, fertility, and yield potential. Trials in Western Australia  (WA) showed a gross margin increase up to $50/ha using VRT. Costs might stay the same but resources are better allocated. This can translate to improved yield. Because […]

Why should you use a lab with ASPAC certification?

Without tests, crop nutrition is best guess. Plant and soil testing guide best practice on the farm. But who guides best practice in the lab? What is ASPAC? The Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) has an inter- laboratory proficiency program (ILPP). Certification under this program means a lab […]

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 soil inversion can turn the tables on soil constraints

Soil constraints stop crops from growing as well as they might. Yields are often lower than expected from paddocks with soil constraints. In Western Australia, some soils are both non-wetting and have subsoil acidity. Soil mixing or inversion can tackle these constraints at the same time. Soil mixing and inversion […]

Why should you keep good farm records?

Detailed records on crop nutrition help growers and advisors: Plan fertiliser applications Farm records feed into nutrient budgets and future fertiliser decisions. Nitrogen budgets rely on soil test data, yield, and grain protein estimates. Yield and protein expectations are often informed by records from previous, similar seasons. Review performance How […]

How to fine-tune mid-season nitrogen

Applying nitrogen (N) at multiple times during the season can better match crop demand, minimise risk, and increase returns. Mid-season is a good time to reassess crop N needs. There are a variety of tools to help growers estimate crop N needs. Most use a budget where the N rate […]

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 […]

More on crop nutrition from the 2018 GRDC Updates

The P story so far – Mike Bell At the Allora and Breezer updates, researchers from University of Queensland, DAF Queensland and NSW DPI gave an update on the latest deep P research findings. The P story so far – an update on deep P research findings Farming system impact […]

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 […]

Nitrogen topical at 2018 GRDC Updates

Keep up with the latest research information on nitrogen. The following papers and key messages were presented at the GRDC Updates across Australia in February and March 2018. Improving N efficiency using mid-row banding – Graeme Sandral Mid-row banding urea at sowing provided a higher yield and profit response in […]