Lentils are often used as part of a crop rotation on the sandy soils of the Yorke Peninsula however they are estimated to be performing below potential. A conservative estimate suggested lentils were yielding 0.53 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) below potential. Results from this research indicate that 0.8-1.0 t/ha is a more accurate estimate of lentil yield gap on these constrained sands. Understanding the causes of low performance and identifying cost-effective methods to boost productivity is of huge benefit to growers.
Trengove Consulting: Sam Trengove, Stuart Sherriff.
Lentil production often underperforms on the sandy soils of the Yorke Peninsula.
Identifies constraints to lentil productivity on dune and swale soils of the Yorke Peninsula.
The core objectives of the project were:
In the field
Paddock surveys and transect analysis were conducted between 2016 and 2018 to discover the constraints affecting lentil production on the Yorke Peninsula.
Paddock surveys conducted in 2016 highlighted that soil compaction was widespread and most severe on the sandier soils in the survey paddocks.
Field trials were conducted in identified problem areas between 2017 and 2018. They were designed to address issues identified in the paddock surveys including soil compaction, nutrition and soil acidity.
Value for growers
The findings significant to growers and are applicable outside the Yorke Peninsula region and are also of use to growers in areas with similar sandy soils such as the Eyre Peninsula, Mallee, Mid North and Lower North.
Results were communicated to growers during the project. In 2017 this included at the Northern Sustainable Soils’ (NSS) pre-season meeting in March, winter field day in July and spring field day in October as well as the Hart Field Site young farmers bus tour in September and a Landmark Cummins bus tour in October.
In 2018, it was included at the Independent Ag Consultants meeting in January, the GRDC Adviser Updates in February and at trial site visits including the NSS crop walk, EP Pulse Check groups, Mallala Ag Bureau, Landmark client crop walk and SARDI agronomists.
Information was communicated through Twitter, the Trengove Consulting and Hooper Consulting newsletter, NSS results booklet and EP Arable Research Foundation compendium.
Findings from the project were also shared and discussed with researchers involved in GRDC’s Southern Region Sandy Soil project.