The Stubble Management Project


Maximising groundcover with crop stubble to aid climate resilience.


Retaining stubble is generally recognised as the appropriate form of post-harvest stubble management and has several key benefits including improving soil organic matter, preventing soil erosion, and helping to retain moisture. However, the challenge lies in retaining every season and particularly in good seasons with increased stubble density leading to machinery blockages, reduced crop establishment and nitrogen tie-up.

The aim of the Stubble Management Project is to identify successful strategies that optimise the benefits of retaining stubble for crop production, whilst also maintaining adequate soil ground cover to improve soil health.

A total of six demonstration sites will be established across the Northern Agricultural Region and Central Wheatbelt in Western Australia. The trial will comprise of three stubble treatments. The first treatment will act as a control, with stubble left standing.  The second is machinery manipulation of stubble, such as with a stubble cruncher, and the third an application of nitrogen or biostimulant to standing stubble pre-seeding.

By monitoring these three treatments across the six sites we will begin to investigate the impact of simply leaving stubble standing against machinery manipulation or nitrogen application on key factor such as:

  • Stubble breakdown
  • Nutrient availability
  • Ground cover
  • Weeds
  • Nitrogen tie-up
  • Crop growth & yield

Commencement: 2021 | Completion: 2024

Funding body(s): Western Australian Government's State NRM Program
Project Lead Organisation: The West Midlands Group
Collaborators: Corrigin Farm Improvement Group



Who is involved?

Three demonstration sites have been set up in the West Midlands region including properties in Hill River, Dandaragan and Yathroo, with another three sites established by the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group in the Central Wheatbelt region.


Image: Map of the 2023 WMG Stubble Management Project sites


Want to get involved?

Get in touch with our Mixed Farming Systems Officer, Melanie Dixon.

Mob: 0459 353 840


Mandurah local Melanie completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Health and Science from Murdoch University in 2020. New to the agricultural industry, Melanie is passionate about supporting positive and viable innovations in mixed farming. She has a particular interest in preparing the farming community for future disruptions in a rapidly changing industry.