Tackling amelioration on variable soil types

Published: 12 May 2021

Soil constraints are estimated to cost Australian growers more than $1 billion each year in wheat alone (Orton et al. 2018). Done properly, ameliorating soils boosts yield and profit.

While research into and uptake of soil amelioration has increased in the past few years, there are still some barriers that prevent growers from tackling soil problems. Soil variability, cost and deciding where to start are the commonly cited reasons.

Paddocks with multiple soil constraints and variable soil types are tricky to manage. Choosing the ideal amelioration option for every soil constraint within the paddock can create a patchwork of different operations, machinery, inputs and management. This can make tackling soil constraints seem like a hassle not worth going through, even before considering if profit gains make that hassle worthwhile.

Yet many growers are successfully ameliorating soil constraints in variable paddocks. While the ideal solution is just that – ideal – and may not be practical, good profit gains are still possible from smart soil amelioration in variable paddocks. Where there is limited time, budget or available machinery, or there is just too much variability, paddocks can still be ameliorated using the best compromises of operations, machinery, inputs and management.

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Region: National

GRDC Project Code: PLT1909-001SAX,