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
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.