Southern Wimmera growers to be grounded in soil issues

Forum focus on better understanding how soil tactics can help drive cropping profits

Learning & Development
GRDC Grower Relations Manager - South, Courtney Ramsey, says soil amelioration and strategic tillage can lead to significant crop yield benefits on certain soil types - but understanding soil fertility and constraints to crop growth are crucial for success. PHOTO GRDC

GRDC Grower Relations Manager - South, Courtney Ramsey, says soil amelioration and strategic tillage can lead to significant crop yield benefits on certain soil types - but understanding soil fertility and constraints to crop growth are crucial for success. PHOTO GRDC

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Southern Wimmera grain growers to get expert advice about soils during March.

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Victoria's Southern Wimmera grain growers have an opportunity to build their understanding of soil types, fertility and constraints in their quest to boost crop yields and profitability.

The GRDC is providing growers and advisers with a series of soil amelioration and assessment workshops in March. These are scheduled to be held at:

  • Natte Yallock (March 11);
  • Grass Flat (March 12);
  • Wonwondah (March 13); and
  • Dadswells Bridge (March 18).

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Workshop content

The GRDC soil amelioration half-day workshops aim to give participants the skills needed to characterise soils, identify soil constraints throughout local soil profiles and the means to assess soils for amelioration potential - including the likely return on investment and longevity of management actions.

Soil salinity, sodicity, acidity, alkalinity, waterlogging, compaction and elemental toxicities such as boron, chloride and aluminium are significant constraints to grain production and profitability in Australia.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager - South, Courtney Ramsey, says soil amelioration and strategic tillage can lead to significant yield benefits on certain soil types, but understanding soil fertility and constraints to crop growth are crucial for success.

"Uncertainty around soil composition and how to most effectively address constraints is an issue that has been identified by the GRDC's Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN)," Ms Ramsey says.

"In response, the upcoming workshops have been organised to help growers and advisers assess soil characteristics, constraints and the potential benefits of soil management practices."

Ms Ramsay says soils which have undergone strategic tillage and other practices will be under the spotlight during the workshops - highlighting changes in soil properties and crop management requirements following amelioration.

Help at hand to achieve success

At the end of each workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify with greater certainty what makes a fertile cropping soil and common chemical and physical issues;
  • access simple diagnostic tools and field techniques to easily assess their own soil performance;
  • understand current methods of soil sampling and analysis, and the associated field scale variations in constraints that influence soil testing requirements;
  • build their knowledge around identifying constraints to crop root growth throughout the soil profile and across a paddock;
  • identify and understand potential soil amelioration practices and the information needed to develop a soil amelioration strategy for their farm; and
  • understand the potential longevity of soil amelioration benefits and the return on investment expected for soil practices matched to each constraint.

The free-of-charge workshops - for which registration is essential - will be delivered by soil advisers Edward Scott and Michael Eyres from Field Systems Australia.

Details are available via the GRDC website. More information is also available by phoning workshop co-ordinator Michael Eyres on 0428 988090 - or emailing michael@fieldsystems.com.au.

GRDC Research Code FSA1908-001SAX

More information: Michael Eyres, Field Systems, 0428 988 090, michael@fieldsystems.com.au

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