This work is funded under the GRDC project “Increasing production on Sandy Soils in low and medium rainfall areas of the Southern region” (CSP00203); a collaboration between the CSIRO, the University of South Australia, the SA state government through Primary Industries and Regions SA, Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc, Ag Grow Agronomy, and Trengove Consulting.
There is a large yield gap on sandy soils in the low rainfall cropping zone of south-eastern Australia. There are opportunities for the management of primary constraints to crop water use through the use of mitigation practices such as seeding strategies, nutrient placement and crop choice; and the use of amelioration approaches such as deep placement of amendments, claying practices, spading and inversion.
The Sandy Soil Project trial that we will be monitoring in 2021 is the Cultivation/Chicken Litter Trial.
Adoption of zero or no till systems has been rapid on sands in order to reduce erosion. There has been interest in careful cultivation and amelioration, with disturbing the silty sub layer at 12-15cm by ripping and cultivation resulting in an increase in crop performance. Previous trials have shown the value of cultivation, especially when it was coupled with manure or to a lesser extent lime.
The aim of this trial is to optimise the use of deep cultivation approaches in combination with chicken litter and lime to enhance crop performance on sandy soils in SNSW. In 2021 the trial is sown to wheat. This is the final year of the trial.