Category: Pre-Plant

Use tissue tests to detect deficiencies

Micronutrients or trace elements are an essential part of crop nutrition. They are as important as the better-known macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This was a key message on the southern tour of the MPCN II Roadshow in August 2016.
Scott and Jillian Vaessen farm at Tabbita in southern NSW. Their […]

New way to gauge nutrient status

Nutrient Rich Strips are not new in cropping. They are used to see if there is a clear growth response to an applied nutrient. But it is often hard to quantify the response and translate it into fertiliser rate recommendations. Some fertiliser advisors are using a new tool to address […]

Give seeds the best chance in a dry start – how to avoid fertiliser burn

Seeds can be damaged by fertiliser placed too close or at too high rates. Dry soils increase the risk of harm to germinating seeds from fertilisers. Take extra care with fertiliser and seed placement this year. The dry lead in to 2018 winter sowing means last year’s strategy might not […]

Does incorporating lime boost fertiliser response?

Does addressing soil constraints change crop nutrition requirements? DAFWA researcher Craig Scanlan runs field trials in central and northern WA. The trials investigate links between soils, seasons and crop nutrition. The focus is how incorporating lime affects yield response to fertilisers. Soil mixing to treat water repellent soils is also […]

What happens in the year after a hayed-off crop?

A hayed-off crop can make estimating available nitrogen (N) trickier than usual. Deep N testing is the best way to assess N resources.Estimates and actual results from deep soil testing were very different in recent research by Birchip Cropping Group.
After haying off there’s potential yield benefit next season from leftover nitrogen. […]

Help Australia day mungbeans get what they need

Mungbeans growing in cereal stubble. GRDC
Some rain around Australia’s northern region saw some last minute mungbean crops go in.
The GRDC Mungbean Grownotes suggests we base fertiliser recommendations on:

soil test results
fallow length
yield potential
paddock history.

That’s comprehensive, but with an opportunity crop there’s not always the chance to cover all the bases. […]

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 […]

Test what when to help crop nutrition decisions?

Lab tests help advisors with fertiliser and soil amendment planning. Without lab tests, crop nutrition can be a ‘best guess’. Returns from fertiliser inputs might not be optimal. Yields could suffer.
Soil, plant tissue, and grain testing can guide crop nutrition throughout the season. Soil tests indicate crop available nutrient levels […]

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, zig […]

Top up nutrients after a good year

Nutrients leave the paddock with the grain. A good yield means more nutrients go out and less remain in the soil. Some nutrients may need topping up to maintain yields.
How much topping up?
Different grains contain varying amounts of nutrients. The table below gives estimates of the nutrients removed in […]