Experts brainstorm crop nutrition

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Dr Chris Dowling, technical service manager and director of Back Paddock Company, has been helping deliver More Profit from Crop Nutrition II training courses and workshops in the northern grains region. Also pictured is Dr Louise Barton, a senior research fellow at the University of Western Australia. Her research demonstrated that increasing the soil organic carbon level of nitrogen-fertilised sandy soils also increased N20 emissions, but only slightly. It also increased crop grain yields and quality.

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Dr Andrew Zull and colleagues from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are working on the economics of deep-placement of phosphorus to help growers and advisers make profitable decisions. He is pictured catching up with WA-based CSIRO principal research scientist Dr Margaret Roper, who has been involved in research that encompasses the management of water-repellent soils, the effects of farming practices on microbial processes in soil, and the bio-control of root and crown diseases in wheat.

Scientists from across Australia recently gathered at a workshop in Brisbane to discuss the latest findings of their research into crop nutrition and plan the future directions of their work. The scientists – working on the GRDC’s More Profit from Crop Nutrition II initiative – delivered presentations about their research, raised questions and discussed collaboration opportunities.

On the agenda was research on phosphorus use efficiency, root variation in winter cereals, soil testing for soil sulfur and potassium, managing nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and sulfur, the impact of potassium on crop stress, the nutritional benefits of clay, managing micronutrients, tactical foliar phosphorus fertilisation of crops, fertiliser from waste, frameworks to support profitable fertiliser use and how to make better fertiliser decisions. All workshop participants had an opportunity to comment on the research presented, highlighting what was new to science and what was relevant to growers. GRDC panel members from the northern, western and southern grains regions reviewed the science and emphasised outcomes of relevance to growers in their respective agro-climatic zones.

Pictured are some of the researchers and panel members at the workshop. See Research looks to arrest escaping nitrogen for one of the reports to emerge from the results presented. Other outcomes will be published in forthcoming issues of Ground Cover.

More information:

Mark Conyers,
02 6938 1830, 0437 876 832,


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GRDC Project Code DAN00165

Region North, South, West