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Use the dry to understand subsoil constraints

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There are few positives to come out of back-to-back dry seasons - such as that experienced by South Australia's south east - but growers can use the experience to dig deep below the soil surface to understand what is contributing to crops not fulfilling their yield potential... Dr Melissa Fraser, a soil consultant with the Rural Solutions SA division of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), says a lot of soils in south east SA have a physical or chemical impediment that restricts root growth to the top 10cm of the soil, hindering the plants ability to access moisture and nutrients stored deeper in the profile... Dr Fraser is encouraging growers in the south east to dig holes over summer and do some deep soil testing to get a basic understanding of the make-up of the subsoil and to understand what might be holding back yield potential...
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