Improving soil and managing input costs hot topics at Trials Review Day


With the rising cost of fertiliser and growing talk of soil carbon, the Managing for productivity and soil organic carbon discussion at BCG’s Trials Review Day on February 25 at Birchip is not to be missed. 

Dr James Hunt’s nitrogen bank theory is set to generate much interest with Hunt’s theory on nitrogen having the potential to increase profit by $100/ha over current application rates. 

“Australian wheat yields are only half what they could be for the rainfall received. Nitrogen [N] deficiency is the single biggest factor contributing to this yield gap. This is also likely to be true for other non-legume crops and this reduces farm profitability. So while fertiliser costs are rising, and growers need to watch budgets carefully, it’s important that farmers understand exactly how the system works and where they can best put their fertiliser budget to increase profits,” Dr Hunt, from The University of Melbourne, said. 

“What we are finding in our trial at Curyo is the most profitable strategies all have neutral to positive partial nitrogen balancesmore nitrogen applied in fertiliser than removed in grainindicating soil organic nitrogen is not being mined. Taking into account the current high cost of fertiliser, I will be talking attendees at Trials Review Day through some of the strategies they can use this year to achieve these balances,” Dr Hunt said. 

Soil amelioration 

Also on the day, BCG’s James Taylor will deliver the results of BCG and WCMA’s soil amelioration trials in the Wimmera.

“At Trials Review Day I’ll be highlighting to growers where deep ripping is a good option and where it should be avoided. It’s not suitable in all situations,” James said. 

“We will also be discussing the positive results of applying manure in these trials. We have been seeing a positive response which is good news, particularly with current input costs,” James concluded. 

BCG’s Trials Review Day is a members’ only even to be held at the Birchip Leisure Centre on Friday 25th of February. Sign up to become a member by visiting or calling (03) 5492 2787. Register for the event here: 

The BCG 2021 Season Research Results manual will be launched as an eBook on the day. Please remember to download your copy on your device to bring to the event. A hardcopy will be posted after the event.  

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