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Soil testing to depth to better highlight subsoil acidification issues

Soil testing to depth to better highlight subsoil acidification issues

  • Author: Wheatbelt NRM
  • Date Posted: Jan 5, 2017
  • Category: ,
  • Address: no address

Project Details

Project Delivery: Wheatbelt NRM, Individual Landholder

Contact: Lizzie von Perger

Ph: 9670 3106

Email: lvonperger@wheatbeltnrm.org.au

Website: Wheatbelt NRM Website

Start Date: 2015                   End Date: 2016

Site ID: SA00530SA2

Area (Ha): 610(Ha)

 

Project Aim

This project aims to demonstrate the benefits of soil testing to depth (up to 30 cm) and therefore increase wider adoption of the practice. The soil test results will be used to determine the best management practices to improve the soil pH and health and ultimately crop yields.

Project Description

Soil samples will be collected from the depths  0-10 cm, 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm. pH and a comprehensive nutrient analysis will be completed for the topsoil samples (0-10 cm) and pH analysed for the subsoil samples (10-20 cm & 20-30 cm).  The soil test results will be used to determine best soil management practices in order to increase efficiency and productivity.

 Project Outputs

The soil test results showed that acidification (low pH) was a significant issue in the subsoil of the focus paddock and quite likely to be limiting crop productivity. pH of the topsoil was good. This highlights the importance of soil testing to depth. Most Wheatbelt growers test the topsoil, however, acidity in the subsoil in many cases is of greater concern.

The grower now has more information enabling him to take a more targeted approach to lime applications and liming rates have been increased to 2 t/ha with 300 kg/ha gypsum. The grower is also considering the benefits of incorporating lime to depth either by ploughing or deep ripping.

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