Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.04.2002

It worked for Scot

PRECISION FARMING technology on a WA farm has achieved a turnaround of the "poor end" of a paddock. which now outperforms the traditionally "good" land.

Dandaragan farmer 'Scot' used SKYPLAN to provide management zones for a 105 ha paddock that typically averaged about 2.7 t of wheat. The zoning identified a 32 ha segment of the paddock that consistently performed poorly. Scot said this segment was typical of areas on his farm that he was now fencing off and putting into trees.

Soil sampling showed the poor-yielding areas had low potash. He raised his basal potash application from 40 kg of Muriate to 110 kg pre-sowing over the poor area.

Despite the higher costs associated with applying the extra Muriate of Potash (approx. $28/ha). he achieved a higher margin (approx. $813/ha) on the traditionally low-yielding area than on his traditionally better-performing area ($709/ha average). The poor-yielding zone actually averaged 4.55 t/ha compared with 3.99 t/ha for the good-yielding zones.

Scot is now reviewing his plans to take certain areas of the farm out of production.

'Scot'is an alias for a grower who pre/erred his name not be used.