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Tag archive: soil testing

The best of 2018

open ebook and Cover of ebook

GRDC’s Crop Nutrition Community of Practice continues to be an important extension initiative for industry, providing reliable information sourced from key research scientists across Australia.  Throughout 2018, we published 46 articles (that’s a lot!). So, we collected our most popular articles from this period – those that best reflect the […]

Keep K in soils to alleviate stress

At a recent GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network open forum at Morawa in Western Australia, Dr Richard Bell from Murdoch University spoke of the importance of potassium (K) for optimal plant growth and alleviating crop stress. Low soil K is common in the sand and duplex soils of WA cropping […]

Dig deeper to know nutrient levels

Soil testing in the 0-10 cm zone has traditionally been used for phosphorus-based fertiliser recommendations. Deeper tests are often used to gauge nitrogen (N) availability, especially when mineral N has leached deeper after significant rain. But there are other nutrient and chemical constraints that can be better analysed by soil […]

How are nutrients redistributed after windrowing?

Concentrating stubble into windrowed strips affects subsequent crop production, soil testing and fertiliser decisions. Wayne Pluske (Equii), Ryan Walker ( Apal Laboratories) and John Young (Wyening Mission Farm) looked at nutrient redistribution post-harvest. They measured plant material (dry matter as t/ha) and nutrient content of canola and wheat crops. The […]

How critical is the critical level?

Critical soil nutrient levels indicate whether a yield response to fertiliser is likely – or not. Their role is to help avoid unnecessary or uneconomic applications of fertiliser. Critical levels are used in interpreting soil test results to make fertiliser recommendations. The critical level is the value required to achieve […]

Soil testing 2018

Soil testing informs crop nutrition decisions. Collecting representative samples is the most important step in getting useful information. Plan your soil sampling Map non-uniform paddocks into zones. Base the zones on observed soil differences (or EM38 maps if available), and sample them separately. Use a sampling plan within zones. Grids, […]

Where exactly are nutrients in the soil? Does stratification matter?

Soils naturally form layers, and when nutrients concentrate in an area it’s called stratification. Soil type and agronomic practices affect stratification. Stratified nutrients can be a problem when nutrients are concentrated somewhere crops can’t access when they need them. Mobile nutrients such as Nitrogen and Sulphur can form bulges below […]

Variable soil demands a flexible fertiliser program

photo of farmer who manages variable soil types

The Hansen’s crop up to ninety percent of their mixed farm at Coomandook, SA. They grow canola, wheat, barley, lupin, oaten hay and lucerne. There are variable soil types across the 8,500 hectare property. It ranges from red sandy loam over clay and limestone, to deep, infertile, non-wetting sands. Variable soil […]

Get the most out of soil testing 2017

Soil testing informs crop nutrition decisions. Collecting representative samples is the most important step in getting useful information. Plan your soil sampling Map non-uniform paddocks into zones. Base the zones on observed soil differences (or EM38 maps if available), and sample them separately. Use a sampling plan within zones. Grids, […]

How to review Nitrogen nutrition at 3 timely points in the season

John Angus is a researcher with the CSIRO and a mixed enterprise farmer in southern NSW. At the 2016 GRDC research updates John reported on a three stage process to make strategic decisions about Nitrogen (N) nutrition through the season for dryland farmers. Stage 1 – Prior to sowing Prepare […]

Test first, then time Nitrogen fertiliser to reduce losses

Optimal timing of Nitrogen fertiliser applications can maximise crop uptake and reduce losses to the atmosphere. Soil Nitrogen (N) dynamics in Victoria show some big differences between regions. High rates of N losses recorded from soils in the High Rainfall Zone (HRZ) emphasise how important timing of N applications can […]

Watch our webinar: how to review last season’s crop nutrition decisions

You might know how much you or your client spent on crop nutrition last season, but do you know if it was well spent? Review at the end of the season is the best place to answer that question. How do you assess how well last season’s crop nutrition management […]