Tag archive: soil testing

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 […]

Older soil test methods hold ground

Current widely used soil test methods have come out on top in a review of soil testing procedures to see which procedures best correlate with crop yield responses. Sean Mason at the University of Adelaide has investigated how well results from some newer testing methods, including Diffusion Gradient Testing (DGT), […]

Using deep soil cores for Nitrogen, Potassium & Sulfur

Soil testing is a valuable tool for crop nutrition decision making. The standard 0 – 10cm soil test doesn’t always tell us enough about the crop availability of more mobile nutrients. Nitrogen and Sulphur, as anions (negatively charged), tend to move deeper into the profile with rainfall. On sandy acid […]