Deep soil amelioration is currently used by about 20 per cent of NSS members.
Compaction in sands is the primary problem with non-wetting soils and sodicity is also causing poor plant growth in some seasons.
Improving structure and nutrient content through the application of gypsum, lime and chicken litter are topics of interest for many NSS members.
5 April 2017
Northern Sustainable Soils: Leighton Wilksch.
Deep soil amelioration is a topic of interest to many Northern Sustainable Soils (NSS) members.
DAFWA research officer Wayne Parker presented at the NSS deep soil amelioration field day.
The objective of the project was for DAFWA research officer Wayne Parker to speak at the NSS deep soil amelioration field day and AGM at Mundoora.
In the field
Mr Parker spoke in the field alongside demonstrations from a large chicken manure spreader, spader and Agro Plow deep ripping machine. Attendees could see the machinery in action in the field and a replicated trial was conducted that will be assessed throughout the season and yield mapped at harvest.
This was followed by another presentation from Mr Parker at the NSS AGM at the Mundoora Football Club.
With 55 growers present, the number of attendees was in line with expectations, and participants gave positive feedback and asked a high number of questions. There was particular interest in slot openers to allow top soil or other ameliorants to fall down the deep rip tine. All attendees reported that they intend to do some form of soil amelioration in the near future to improve productivity.
The local YP Country Times reported on the event, and it was also broadly promoted and reported on Twitter.
Value for growers
The success of the event highlighted the benefits of getting a speaker from outside of the local area to share relevant learnings from their region.