Which soil problem should you fix first? Ask ROSA

Western Australian growers with multiple soil constraints can check which one is costing them the most. The WA tool, Ranking Options for Soil Amelioration (ROSA), assesses which soil management options will give the biggest return on investment. WA croppers lose $4.3 billion each year from soil constraints. Most losses are in the central and northern grainbelt.

How does ROSA work?

ROSA addresses the five most common soil constraints:

Users enter data on their soil, rotations, current and expected yields, and budget. ROSA then estimates potential yield after improving the soil. The tool considers both single soil amendments and combinations, now and for the next 10 years.

Soil amendment options include:

  • claying
  • deep ripping (>40cm)
  • gypsum
  • liming to address topsoil acidity
  • liming to address subsoil acidity
  • soil mixing (<40cm)
  • wetting agents.

Each soil amendment or combination is assessed with a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR), estimating the return on dollars spent. A BCR summarises the overall ‘value for money’ of a project. The higher the BCR, the better the return on investment.

Default model data comes from WA growers, advisors, and research. You can adjust grain yield responses and costs to reflect conditions on your farm.

ROSA is a ranking tool

It is important to remember that ROSA is a ranking tool. It is designed to group and rank options, not give precise amendment rates or savings. ROSA helps identify which soil constraint(s) are costing growers the most.

Want to try ROSA out?

Contact Jeremy Lemon at jeremy.lemon@dpird.wa.gov.au.

ROSA is a spreadsheet tool, best used in the office or on a laptop.

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