Category: Tillering

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 […]

Use paddock test strips to get the most out of your fertiliser budget

Paddock nutrient test strips showed two nutrient deficiencies in Justin Wundke’s barley crop. Justin and family run a cropping and prime sheep enterprise in South Australia.
Before sowing last year’s crop Justin knew his paddock could have an issue with sulfur deficiency. Justin set up some test strips in his paddock after […]

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 […]

In tough conditions crops do better with potassium

Having sufficient potassium reduces crop damage in frost events. Field trials in Western Australia showed benefits from potassium in wheat and canola. Richard Bell is a researcher at Murdoch University. In this video he explains:

Crops respond more to potassium fertiliser in seasons that stress the plants with drought or frost […]

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 […]

What can you do with waterlogged paddocks?

How do you make evidence-based decisions following excessive rain and slow soil water drainage? Where the crop is not a write-off, getting a handle on which areas of the paddock are in the best shape, and the yield potential for those areas is the most useful information to have.
Assessing crop […]

The good, the bad and the ugly of topdressing opportunities

Topdressing decisions have to be made or revised, as the season progresses. The best nutrient use efficiency is achieved when nutrient supply matches crop demand. Splitting N applications through the season can better match crop demand than applying all N upfront, and allows some of the expense to be deferred […]