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Have the good years become the bad years? Richard Heath
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Have the good years become the bad years? Richard Heath


A presentation from the WCCA 2011 conference in Brisbane.

A presentation from the WCCA 2011 conference in Brisbane.

Published in Education , Technology
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  • 1. Have the Good YearsBecome the Bad Years Richard Heath. Grower, Nuffield Scholar, Gunnedah, NSW Australia.
  • 2. Talk Outline • Pine Cliff • Variable Climate• Response to Dry Years• Response to Wet Years • The Way forward?
  • 3. 1200 Pine Cliff Annual Rainfall1000 800 600 Annual 400 Rainfall 200 0 1900 1950 2000
  • 4. • 205mm rain year to date• 5th Driest in 110 years• 69mm rain post sowing• 5th Driest in 110 years
  • 5. Sorghum Yields• 30 Year Average 3.7 t/Ha• 10 Year Average 4.5 t/Ha• 5 Year Average 5.8 t/Ha
  • 6. 2010
  • 7. 1017 mm
  • 8. • $600 Ha• $100 Ha Fungicides (in wheat)• Gross margin -$100 Ha• Bad, Bad Experience• 1 year in 10 over 800mms rain
  • 9. • Controlled Traffic with zero till can have 183kg/Ha yield advantage over controlled traffic with stubble mulching.• $40/Ha loss if $220/ton wheat.• Just spent $60/Ha on fungicides.• Downgrading losses.• Machinery wear and tear.• Easy decision BUT vital information missing.
  • 10. Llewellyn and D’Emdens 2009 survey.• 82% Using No Till.• 90% Have used.• Of those who have used no till 13% reduced and 6% ceased.• 68% believe no till will lead to more disease.• No problem with adoption. Problem with retention.
  • 11. Questions:What is the tipping point between costand benefits?When you reach the tipping point what isthe best management option?How quickly do the physical and biologicalproperties of soil change?How do we keep the good years good?