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soil fertility

Catalogue: GRDC Updates
In a survey of 134 paddocks across the northern grains region during 2003-06, we found that 41% of sunflower crops were sown into a long fallow following a winter cereal (wheat or barley), 25% of crops were sown into a short fallow following sorghum, and just 13% were double cropped into wheat or barley stubble (L Serafin and S Belfield, unpublished)... Further trial work is needed to provide additional data to develop our understanding of the full impacts of sulfur nutrition... The results suggest that sunflower oil contents may be more specifically targeted and fertiliser N inputs more accurately determined for optimum profitability...
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Catalogue: GRDC Final Reports
Although biochar addition to soil did decrease inorganic N leaching, soil N mineralisation either decreased or did not change... The application of pyrolysed organic matter or biochar to soil can remediate decreased SOM and sequester C. The application of biochar to soil has also been shown to improve soil fertility and enhance yields of crops such as maize, wheat and peanuts... As biochar addition to soil can increase microbial community size and activity, previous research has hypothesised that this mechanism may be responsible for enhanced N mineralisation rates and contributes to the demonstrated improvements of N fertiliser use efficiency (up to 90%) in glasshouse-based agronomic research...
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Catalogue: Ground Cover
[Photo (left) by Evan Collis: Ian Stanley is trialling biochar made from wheat straw to improve the condition of his sandy soils.].. Working with Professor Syd Shea of Notre Dame University and independent Melbourne engineer and businessman Peter Burgess, Mr Stanley has been trialling biochar - a fine-grained charcoal high in organic carbon, thought to improve soil fertility - for the past four years... "We have a no-till operation and apart from its small value as a ground cover, wheat straw has no value, so biochar made from this could provide farmers with another source of revenue," Mr Stanley says...
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Catalogue: GRDC Updates
Glasshouse measurements affected by not adding chloride to nutrient solutions... The first trial was a variety x chloride addition split-plot experiment featuring 3 durum (Jandaroi , Bellaroi , Arrivato ) and 3 bread wheat (Gregory , Sunvale, Crusader ) varieties, with or without 40 kg Cl/ha (potassium chloride) surface spread pre-sowing... A chloride concentration of <0.1% should indicate that the spots are likely due to chloride deficiency rather than disease saving unnecessary fungicide applications...
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Catalogue: GRDC Updates
The paper reports findings from field studies using radioactive tracers and desiccation treatments to estimate the relative contributions of plant components to grain yield in NSW... Tracer measurements at maturity showed that assimilates produced in all plant components after anthesis were equally present in the grain at maturity... The contribution of pre-anthesis stem reserves to grain yield was assessed by the reduction in WSC...
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Catalogue: GRDC Updates (North)
Farming systems which minimise the movement of soil and water will also minimise the loss of nutrients and pesticides... Overall, the only large difference was the lower Zn when superphosphate was applied... In summary, Mike has found a strategy to help him interpret his yield maps - and is now taking the same approach to other paddocks to maximise fertiliser savings...
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Catalogue: GRDC Updates (South)
Farming systems which minimise the movement of soil and water will also minimise the loss of nutrients and pesticides... Overall, the only large difference was the lower Zn when superphosphate was applied... In summary, Mike has found a strategy to help him interpret his yield maps - and is now taking the same approach to other paddocks to maximise fertiliser savings...
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Catalogue: GRDC Updates
Soil testing can be used to assess the likely nutrient constraints, but soil testing and soil test interpretation is not a precise science... To summarise a number of trial results, some sites had consistent increases in crop growth for crop-after-crop; others were more hit-and-miss... Nutrient rates used are 40 kg P (MAP or a fluid source), 200 kg K (SOP or MOP), and 40-80 kg S (SOA or ATS), with the high application rates designed to allow impacts to be followed through an extended crop rotation...
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Catalogue: GRDC Media
Soils across the northern region are sending a clear message to growers - good seasons and flood events have depleted soil fertility and exhausted soil mineral nitrogen reserves built up during dry seasons of the mid-2000s... Dr Dowling says long term declines in soil fertility came together with short term seasonal conditions to take growers by surprise last year when protein levels came in lower than expected... Dr Dowling says the "set and forget" nitrogen strategy may need to be reviewed as the season progresses to ensure the crop has enough nitrogen to finish well...
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Catalogue: GRDC Media
Dr Mike McLaughlin, a GRDC Southern Regional Panel member, says having soils tested to assess their P status could save growers significant input costs this year... Lower than normal maintenance rates of fertiliser P will in some instances be sufficient this coming season... Having soils tested to assess their P status could save growers significant input costs, says Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Southern Regional Panel member Dr Mike McLaughlin...
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