Regional Soil Testing Guidelines for Southern Australia

A FarmLink project conducted in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries, funded by GRDC.

Project code - DAN00168

The requirement for fertiliser is based on the soil test - crop response curve. The national database on soil test calibration "Making Better Fertiliser Decisions for Crops" contains some significant gaps. The purpose of this project is to start filling those gaps in our knowledge of plant responses to the supply of nutrients. The project is national in scope. This project describes the work for the Southern GRDC region, in partnership with the projects from the Western region and the Northern region.
For the Southern region these gaps in knowledge occur in two general areas:
- S and K  for all crops
- pulse and oilseed crops for most nutrients.
The data are also limited for cereals such as oats, triticale, rye and even barley. Even where data are plentiful, such as for P and wheat, the influence of modern management practices (no-till, sowing width, stubble retention, varietal sowing dates)  are often difficult to assess. The effect of no-till vs conventional cultivation in particular, is a gap in knowledge, since most P response curves were produced prior to the adoption of no-till practices. There is also interest in foliar P application for late season improvement in yield potential. 
Hence we have large gaps in our knowledge for K and S responses, large gaps in our knowledge for oilseeds and pulses, and gaps in understanding of some management practices even for wheat. Our aim is to fill as many of these gaps as possible by conducting trials across the region from Forbes and Hillston in the north to Geelong in the south and to Naracoorte in the west. We will provide soil test -crop response calibrations covering the above gaps in knowledge, and appropriate nutrient management strategies, with the objective of better matching NPKS inputs to meet crop demand yet minimise nutrient losses and fixation.


Over the duration of the project a range of publications were created and listed below for download

Regional Soil Testing - FarmLink 2014 Research Report.pdf Regional Soil Testing - FarmLink 2014 Research Report.pdf (242 KB)

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