Nitrogen Variability

Utilising new technologies to optimise nitrogen use in broadacre cropping, protect the soil resource and minimise potential offsite impacts

Funding: National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – round 2
Project Partners: FarmLink Research, Precision Agriculture
Project Code: 4-BA9KC2G
Project Duration: 2019-2021
Project Location: FarmLink Region

Background

Despite the importance of nitrogen in broadacre cropping, few producers routinely conduct deep soil N sampling, with the majority applying N based on historical use. Where deep soil sampling is being conducted, current practice is likely insufficient in quantifying N levels due to within-paddock variability. In addition to optimising on-farm input use efficiencies, better tools for N management are required to avoid environmental impacts of excess N supply including nitrate leaching resulting in the acceleration of soil acidification, transport of N to inland waterways and increased N2O emissions.
This project seeks to quantify the level of N variability within broadacre cropping in southern NSW using intensive grid deep N sampling and subsequently examine the suitability of other existing and emerging technologies (yield, protein, ECa and NDVI) to inform scientifically robust Variable Rate (VR) N applications, thus building the capacity, profitability and sustainability of producers.

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