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Is soil compaction reducing wheat yields in the Victorian Mallee?

Take home messages Achieving consistent and optimal ripping depths is difficult in dry soil conditions, which has the effect of restricting root access to stored soil moisture and nutrients. Ripping sand in sandy loams to 20cm in the Southern Mallee delivered no yield advantages in 2018. Under wetter conditions this may not be the case […]
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Evaporative protection in wheat

Take home messages Protecting crop inter-row in wheat from evaporation using PVC cover significantly increased yield by up to 50 per cent (%), which demonstrates the benefits of water conservation and/or concentration of water shed to the crop row in a decile 2 growing season. Applying a spray-on polymer or adding 5t/ha of stubble as […]
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National Paddock Survey – closing the yield gap

Take home messages Intensive monitoring of soils and crops over a rotation sequence has identified why crops do not achieve their potential yield. Reviewing paddock performance at the end of the season and using paddock records is essential for sustained improvement in agronomic performance. Insufficient nitrogen was the main cause for the yield gap in […]
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Controlled traffic: will it improve yields in the LRZ? A case study on deep sand

Take home messages Multiple machinery pass trafficking decreased crop yields for at least four years on a Loxton deep sand. Single pass machinery trafficking did not result in yield decreases at Loxton and rarely at any of the other trafficking soil types in this project. Most soils in the south-eastern Australian Low rainfall zone are […]
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Managing early sown wheat in a dry season

Take home messages Winter wheats sown early can match but not exceed yields of locally adapted spring wheats sown in their optimal window (eg. Scepter sown late April-early May). It is only advantageous to sow winter wheats early if they are replacing paddocks that would otherwise be sown too late, or used for dual purpose. […]
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Optimising plant establishment

Take home messages Lentils were better at establishing and reaching target plant densities than canola. Canola was considerably more responsive to converting increasing sowing densities into yield than lentils. Seeder type had no consistent effect on establishment and yield. The differences in yield response to plant numbers suggests that it is more critical to get […]
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Inoculating chickpeas – what technique works for me?

Take home messages There is a benefit in inoculating chickpeas where there are limited rhizobia present in the soil. Granular inoculants present an opportunity to assist with sowing logistics, with no reduction in nodulation or yield. It is important to understand how your seeding system may impact on efficacy of inoculants, including liquid placement, seed […]
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Improving sandy soils in the Victorian Mallee

A Kooloonong Natya Landcare project in collaboration with BCG. Victorian Mallee broadacre grain growers have for many years, been proactive in their attempts to improve production and the profitability of sandy (coarse textured) soils. Advances in farming system practices such as reduced tillage and no-till combined with stubble retention, have changed the productive capability of […]

Livestock and farming systems – 2017 summary

2017 was a generally good year on the ground for livestock. Pastures established well after soaking rains in April and green feed remained in good supply despite variable rainfall over the following months. Coming after the wet spring in 2016, this also meant that growers achieved sound lambing percentages. Prices were also very positive. The […]

Agronomic practices – 2017 summary

2017 presented its fair share of challenges that made agronomic decision making far from straight forward. Stubble management at sowing was an initial struggle for many growers after the bumper crops last year and made for a very smoky April despite a lot more reluctance from growers than in the past. The big stubble load […]
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Can soil organic matter be increased in a continuous cropping system in the low to medium rainfall zone?

Take home messages After three and five years of treatments no increase in soil organic carbon could be demonstrated at any of the eight sites tested. It was demonstrated that soil organic carbon is very unlikely to increase with current farming practices. But we do know that no-till and stubble retention protects the soil from […]

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