Category: Grainfill

Micronutrient deficiencies – real but unpredictable

Micronutrients or trace elements are often suspected to be deficient in some Australian cropping regions. Some trace element applications are now routine. But recent trials in areas with reported deficiencies have shown little response to micronutrient applications.
Micronutrient trials
In southeastern Australia, 23 trials were run on wheat, barley and canola […]

Last year’s most popular crop nutrition stories

eXtensionAUS Crop Nutrition published 49 articles in 2016. These were the most popular:

Can I burn lime and gypsum with stubble?

Bottom line: Loss of limestone will be minimal, gypsum might lose some solubility.
2. Three reasons why topdressing nitrogen can fail
Not enough rain after topdressing, too wet, too late!
3. The best frost tactics for […]

Compaction concerns showing up in soil pits

Soil compaction caught the eye of growers and advisors at recent field days. Soil pits were part of every More Profit from Crop Nutrition roadshow field day. Soil scientists explained what they could see in the soil profiles.
Crop nutrition relies on roots exploring the soil to access nutrients. Ideally, soil […]

A shift in soil pH can improve Phosphorus response

 Soil pH and phosphorus (P) fertiliser can interact to make soil phosphorus more available. This can happen when:

there are no other major nutrient deficiencies.
recent lime application has produced a large change in soil pH (>0.5 pH units).

The soil pH and P interaction is driven by changes to root growth in […]

How to reduce leaf damage when foliar feeding

Foliar feeding applies nutrients to the leaf surface for direct uptake through the leaves. It can be a practical method for correcting in crop nutrient deficiencies that have been diagnosed by plant tissue testing, following periods of waterlogging, or during short periods of dry soil when nutrients are stranded (provided […]

How to choose the best way to manage zinc deficiency

Zinc seed dressings can effectively supply zinc to a young crop. The amount of nutrient that can be applied in a seed dressing depends on the size of the seed. Small seeds can carry less of the coating media than large seeds. Seed dressings do not apply sufficient zinc to […]

Three reasons why topdressing Nitrogen can fail

A crop’s nitrogen (N) requirement rises when rainfall increases the yield potential. Applying more N fertiliser to meet greater plant N demand is often appropriate, but crop uptake is not guaranteed. Understanding why can help tailor topdressing practices to increase the chances of the applied N boosting crop yield and […]

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 a Nitrogen […]

Potassium and crop stress

Crops may need extra Potassium when they under stress from drought or frost. There is a theoretical basis, and now GRDC funded research is looking into whether applying additional potassium is worthwhile when plants are under stress.
Getting the right combination of drought and frost conditions to get meaningful results from […]