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Understanding the implications of rotations in a low rainfall zone of the wheatbelt

Understanding the implications of rotations in a low rainfall zone of the wheatbelt

  • Author: Wheatbelt NRM
  • Date Posted: Jan 5, 2017
  • Category:

Project Details

Project Delivery: Wheatbelt NRM, Liebe Group

Contact: Lizzie von Perger

Ph: 9670 3106


 Website: Wheatbelt NRM Website

Start Date: 2017                       End Date: 2018

Site ID: SA01305SA1

Area (Ha): 0.288 ha


Project Aim

This trial aims to determine impacts of long term rotations and input levels on profitability and system sustainability.

Project Description

In 2011, the Liebe group established a long-term rotational trial to evaluate a continuous wheat system compared to other crop rotations, all with high and low input levels (seed and fertiliser). One of the initial focuses of the trial was to determine the effect different rotations and inputs levels were having on soil carbon levels. Due to local farmer interest, the trials’ focus has now shifted towards understanding how long it takes to rundown a system on continuous wheat.

2013 aside (enforced chemical fallow), wheat treatments have been back to back since 2011 with the most profitable system being continuous, low input wheat. The question many growers want to know now is, how long can this system be pushed before issues such as weeds, diseases and nutritional deficiencies start coming into play and profits are compromised as a result? To help quantify this, an economic analysis has been conducted for each treatment to date and will be conducted for the 2017 trial year.

In addition, nutrition of crops in each of the rotations will be measured to in order to try to quantify the benefits of break crops. Nutrient use efficiency will also be determined for the high and low input systems and compared.

Project Outputs

Project outputs will be added once the trial has been completed.

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