Novel Soil Ameliorants

Mechanistic Understanding of Mode of Action of Soil Re-Engineering Methods for Complex Soil Constraints

Funding: Soil CRC (Program 4: Integrated and precision soil management solutions)
Project Partners: CSU, NSW DPI, DEDJTR Victoria, FarmLink Research, Central West Farming Systems, Riverine Plains, Birchip Cropping Group, Hart Field Site, Facey Group
Project Code: 4.2.002
Project Duration: 2019-2021
Project Location: FarmLink Region

Background

Soils often exhibit multiple constraints (sodicity, acidity, nutrient deficiencies/toxicities, poor structure) that limit their productivity. The removal of these limitations requires ameliorative options designed for complex systems, rather than treating each constraint in isolation. This project aims to determine the mechanistic mode of action of novel soil re-engineering methods to ameliorate complex soil constraints.
This project brings together three research organisations and six farming systems groups across four states and will consist of a series of phased glasshouse studies using key soils sourced from each grower group. Initial trials will evaluate the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. soil type x strategy x rate experiments) relative to an untreated control and a positive control representing current best practice. Based on the outcome of that work, promising treatments will be selected for the detailed mechanistic study of the mode of action of amelioration. The project findings will benefit growers with knowledge on how and by how much amendments improve soil. The work will inform site and amendment selection for potential future field studies.
FarmLink’s role in this project will be to identify priority problematic soils within our region exhibiting multiple constraints and provide advice (discussion) on constraint prioritisation, suitability of amelioration strategies, practicality of application and relevance of findings. Grower groups will also have a communication role through research publications, newsletters, website, social media etc.

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