Category: Pre-Plant

New deep P tool calculates the benefits and payback for you

Subsoil phosphorus (P) deficiency costs growers in Queensland and Northern NSW around $80–100 million each year in reduced yield. Deep P fertiliser applications into the subsoil can improve yield but are a long-term decision. They are moderately expensive and returns are not immediate. The Deep-P calculator helps Northern region growers […]

Kick-start crops with compost

Compost can improve overall soil health and benefit crops. The organic matter may improve soil structure, infiltration and porosity.  The soil’s water and nutrient holding capacity may get a boost. Compost feeds the microbes in soil, which in turn increases soil fertility.
Compost and nutrients
Individual composts are different. The source […]

Quality fertiliser decisions backed by science

Australian crop advisors can use the best available science to give fertiliser advice. The Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping (BFDC) database:

is the best available data resource
is continually upgraded with the latest field trial results
holds data from over 5,600 research trials looking at fertiliser response
underpins the recommendations of Fertcare […]

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 […]

How to manage nutrients after waterlogging

Waterlogging affects nutrients in soils, and reduces the ability of plant roots to take up nutrients. Root functions require oxygen. Root growth and access to soil nutrients are restricted in waterlogged soils.
Soil test before planting the next crop to check nutrient status. Nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sulphur (S) and […]

How to adjust crop nutrition after a good year

High grain yields mean high rates of nutrient removal, in particular, nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P). Soil fertility in the paddock declines unless nutrients are replaced. Soil and grain tests help you make better nutrient budget decisions.
Reference values for nutrient removal are just an indication (especially for P):

A 6-tonne […]

When do retained stubbles increase the need for nitrogen?

Microbes use nitrogen (N) from the soil to decompose stubbles. When stubbles have a high carbon: nitrogen (C: N) ratio, soil mineral N is tied-up. Cereal stubbles have a high C: N ratio of around 80:1. Canola stubble C:N ratios are higher and legume stubbles are lower.
As stubbles break down […]

Get the most out of soil testing 2017

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 zags and […]

What happens to nutrients when stubbles burn?

Most of the nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) contained in crop stubbles is lost when they are burnt. Around 100 kg/ha of urea could be needed to replace the N lost from burning stubble from a high yielding wheat paddock. Substantial amounts of stubble sulfur (S), phosphorous (P) and potassium […]

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 […]