Tag archive: fertilizer

What is the benefit of deeper phosphorus sampling?

Testing deep phosphorus (P) can improve fertiliser recommendations with a more accurate look at soil P stocks. It can help to know how much P is in the profile, and where it is. The topsoil is usually the most nutrient dense part of the soil. Maturing crops also rely on […]

What is the phosphorus buffering index?

The Phosphorus Buffering Index (PBI) approximates a soil’s ability to ‘fix’ phosphorus (P). Soils with a high PBI quickly and tightly bind fertiliser P making it unavailable to plants. Low PBI soils can’t lock-up much P, leaving most applied P for plant uptake. Use PBI to improve interpretation of critical […]

How to adjust phosphorus after a dry year

A poor or failed crop last season will affect nutrient budgets this season. Cereal hay removes about 1–2 kg of phosphorus (P) per tonne of dry matter. Canola removes about 3 kg of P per tonne (see Table 1). Table 1. Comparison of nutrients removed in grain, straw, canola hay, […]

Chicken manure improves sandy soils

Chicken manure is helping to ameliorate sandy soils on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. Trial results over three years indicate that high-rate surface applications combined with deep ripping are delivering the highest marginal returns. Positive results The marginal returns from applying chicken litter (or a comparable, inorganic fertiliser), and deep ripping, […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Give seeds the best chance in a dry start – how to avoid fertiliser burn

Seeds can be damaged by fertiliser placed too close or at too high rates. Dry soils increase the risk of harm to germinating seeds from fertilisers. Take extra care with fertiliser and seed placement this year. The dry lead in to 2018 winter sowing means last year’s strategy might not […]