The limitation of centre pivot irrigation systems currently is that water can only be irrigated as a blanket application across the whole site, or be limited into ‘pizza slice’ sub-sections of the paddock. This creates severe restrictions in being able to apply water to meet the specific needs of each soil type, and often results in some soil types being over-watered or under-watered depending on the location on the site. The over-watering of soil types can result in the leaching of unused water and nutrients down the soil profile and can potentially cause off-site impacts of nutrient enrichment. The aim of this project was to better understand the movement of water in the soil profile for three distinct soil types in the West Midlands region and assess the potential for the leaching of nutrients and water below the rooting depth of potatoes. This could then guide the implementation of variable rate irrigation in the region, where irrigation can be varied across the landscape to match water applied to soil water holding capacity.
This trial was conducted by Southern Dirt and aimed to improve the adoption of liming practices in the medium to high rainfall zone of Western Australia by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of lime application and incorporation. The trial site was located 12km north of Kojonup and was chosen for its combination of targeted soil type (forest gravel) and pH range (4.5 – 4.8 CaCl2) up to a depth of 60cm.
While the use of single row seeding boots has been popular and well understood among growers, it is unclear what impact paired row seeding has on the timely emergence of crops over a range of soil types and seasons. The aim of this study was to evaluate the emergence of crops using paired and single row seeding across the main soil types in the West Midlands region. This is a two-year project (2018-19) and the results are presented for the 2019 season. A later break to the 2019 season occurred on the 7th June with an average of 19 mm across all sites, with all sites being dry sown prior to this date to either wheat, barley, or lupin.
The aim of the National Variety Trial (NVT) program is to generate independent information for growers and industry about newly released varieties of winter field crops relative to the current commercial varieties grown in the area. The data generated can be compared by year/s, location and variety, providing an important decision support tool for growers when assessing if they are growing the right varieties for their farm business. This trial was sown onto a high yielding, burnt barley stubble on the 7th June.
The soil type was a high quality dark Dandaragan sand/loam. Unlike many areas of the state in 2019 this site had reasonable subsoil moisture from some earlier localised rain so germinated and grew exceptionally well. The late start to the season and dry spring tended to suit the quicker varieties, however exceptional yields of >4t/ha were returned by all varieties in the trial.