Project Delivery: Wheatbelt NRM, Individual Landholder
Contact: Fiona Brayshaw
Website: Wheatbelt NRM Website
Start Date: 2014 End Date: 2017
Site ID: SA00022SA1
Area (Ha): 79 ha
To evaluate various mechanical soil amelioration techniques used to improve subsoil acidity, both with and without lime (chemical amelioration).
Water Use Efficiency (WUE) is a key driver to optimizing yields and being sustainable in lower rainfall districts. Crops need to be able to access the sub-soil to make full use of the soil moisture, but sub-soil constraints such as acidity, limit WUE. Soil acidification is recognized as a major soil constraint that is threatening both agricultural economic and natural resource throughout the productive agriculture areas of Western Australia. It is one of the few soil constraints that can be treated, but questions remain about what is the best incorporation method (if at all), how long will the benefits last and is it economical (particularly in the WA central and eastern Wheatbelt). All of these questions become key to its adoption.
Since the early nineties an extensive liming program has been implemented across the trial property, with many parts receiving in excess of 5 t/ha. This has addressed the top soil pH, however pH levels in the subsoils (15-30cm) in many parts of the farm is still low and is potentially limiting access to water and nutrients.
This project will compare the incorporation of zero or 2t/ha of lime sand with deep ripping, one-way plough and spader combinations in a replicated plot trial, measuring their effects on crop production.
Project outputs will be added once the trial has been completed.