More Profit from Crop Nutrition

Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping icon - stylised map of Australia with green dots indicating the cropping regions of Australia. The bottom half is superimposed over a photo of a paddock.

Fertiliser applications are the largest single variable expense for grain growers producing a crop (13% of total costs in 2010-11; ABARES 2011), but nutrition (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and micronutrients) is a major determinant of profit. More Profit from Crop Nutrition phase II (MPCN II) builds on previous Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) by the grains industry (i.e. GRDC, state and federal agencies, fertiliser companies and agribusiness).

The program aims to improve the return on investment from fertiliser inputs by improving the nutrient use efficiency of crops, improving the capacity of soils to supply nutrients, reducing the soils propensity to lose or lock-up nutrients and develop improved fertiliser product formulation and design including the use of potentially valuable low cost and waste inputs.

MPCN program goals

  1. Increased adoption of nutrition knowledge across Australia.
  2. Improved coordination of communication and extension across the grains and fertiliser industries.
  3. Improved tools that are used by grain growers and advisers to improve nutrient use efficiency.
  4. Documentation of emerging ideas and capacity challenges.

Program outcomes

  1. Make nutrient use efficiency traits available to plant breeders in adapted backgrounds.
  2. Better match N, P, K and S inputs to meet crop demand and minimise losses and tie-up.
  3. Make better use of micro-nutrients to correct deficiencies and enhance crop yield .
  4. Develop and test new fertiliser products and adjuvants.
  5. Provide information to growers to make effective fertiliser decisions.
  6. Coordination of a program with a lasting legacy of analysed, reported and published information.

Current Projects

Project_ID Project Contract Start Contract Finish
BWD00021 Extension and training (southern region) 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
CSA00032 Improving nutrient use efficiency in wheat - CSIRO engagement of Postdoctoral Fellow, GRDC Western Region 1/03/2013 29/02/2016
CSA00036 Analysis frameworks to support profitable fertiliser use 1/09/2012 31/08/2016
CSA00037 Reassessing the value and use of fixed nitrogen 1/07/2012 30/06/2015
CSP00165 Phosphorus use efficiency: Rhizosheath project 1/09/2012 1/09/2015
DAN00165 Program Coordination & Communication 25/06/2012 30/06/2017
DAN00166 Making Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping Systems in Australia phase 2 25/06/2012 30/06/2017
DAN00168 Regional soil testing guidelines for the Southern region 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
DAQ00183 Extension and training - North 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
DAS00146 Managing micronutrient deficiencies in cropping systems of eastern Australia 1/04/2014 30/06/2017
DAS00147 Benchmarking wheat yield against nitrogen use 1/07/2014 30/06/2017
DAV00125 Improving nitrous oxide abatement in higher rainfall cropping systems and developing N response curves 1/07/2012 30/06/2015
DAW00222 Regional soil testing and nutrient guidelines: West 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
DAW00223 Extension and Training: West 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
DAW00239 Managing micronutrient deficiencies in cropping systems of Western Australia. 1/06/2014 30/06/2017
UA00139 Tactical Foliar P Fertilisation of Dryland Crops 1/03/2013 1/03/2016
UA00140 An accurate soil test for available soil sulfur and potassium 1/07/2012 30/09/2014
UMU00041 Assessing the nutritional benefits of clay amendment and cultivation of sands 1/07/2012 31/01/2016
UMU00042 Managing Potassium Nutrition to Alleviate Crop Stress 1/07/2012 30/06/2015
UNE00020 Quantifying and understanding root variation in winter cereals 30/06/2013 30/06/2016
UQ00061 Fertilizer from Wastes Phase II 1/07/2011 30/06/2015
UQ00063 Regional soil testing guidelines for the northern grains region 1/07/2012 30/06/2017
UQ00066 Defining Nitrogen response surfaces for sorghum and canola in the northern grains region 1/07/2012 30/06/2015
Deep placement of nutrients
UWA00156 Nitrogen fertiliser response curves: Filling the gap for Western Australia 1/07/2012 30/06/2015



Key contacts

Jan Edwards
Manager Farm Practices
02 6166 4500