Crop Nutrition

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Workshops unearth promising tactics on the farm

More Profit from Crop Nutrition (MPCN) held a workshop at Keytah, near Moree in north-western NSW. Nick Gillingham manages Sundown Pastoral Company‘s cropping operations on the farm. Some issues with management implications for Nick at Keytah were discussed at the workshop.

Compaction and options to remediate
Phosphorus – removal rates, not banding […]

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 […]