To understand the financial benefit of the many ameliorations options, it is vital to know how long the productivity gains from their implementation are likely to last. In this trial, large-scale on-farm strip trials with repeated controls using grower seeders and harvesters were applied. This trial deonstrated one-off mouldboard ploughing, rotoary spading and claying.
This trial looked at Serenade Prime as product to increase marketable potatoes and uniformity in tuber size through two applications during the growing season. Serenade Prime did not result in an increase of total yield but recorded an improved number of ‘marketable’ potatoes from the treatment through the reduction of smaller tubers and a higher percentage of medium sized, premium tubers. The trial was conducted near Dandaragan on sandy duplex soil.
Strategic deep tillage can be used to ameliorate soil water repellence and subsoil constraints. One-way disc ploughs have a low capital cost and are relatively cheap to modify into a simple but robust tool for partial soil inversion. In this demonstration one-way disc ploughing was compared to rotary spading, a proven amelioration option for repellent sands and a number of deep ripping approaches, including some of the newer very deep rippers.
This demonstration, featured at the 2015 Spring Field Day site was designed to show that, in the right season, ripping affects nitrogen uptake
efficiency and availability to crops. It was located in Dandaragan on red loamy soil and showed positive results.
Summit’s In-Season Nitrogen Calculator aimed to calculate a precise N rate to maximize yield potential of a paddock where a crop is starting to run into N limitations, using NDVI as a real-time growth measurement. It was designed to utilise comparisons between crop growth without N limitations beside paddock practice to determine optimal N application for yield and returns.
In 2016 DAFWA, in collaboration with the WMG, established three claying trials in the region looking at combinations of different clay rates and incorporation methods using a range of tillage equipment. The aim of the trials was to identify the most cost-effective combination/s and produce practical guidelines for farmers seeking long term improvement for enhanced crop productivity on water repellent soils under local growing conditions.
The trial was aimed at assessing the effectiveness of simple and cheap ‘bolt-on’ attachments to deep ripper tines at incorporating topsoil and applied lime into acidic sandplain subsoils.
Potato growers in the Gingin and Dandaragan areas face significant production challenges due to highly variable soil types under centre pivots. One problem during tuber establishment is where irrigation decisions for lighter soil types result in overwatering on heavier soil types, resulting in rotting of seed pieces on the heavier soils. On the other hand, optimizing irrigation for heavy soil types results in underwatering of seed pieces on lighter soils. The trial is being conducted in Gingin and Dandaragan on sandy and loamy soils respectively. This report covers the pre-trial testing results.