Increasing rainfall-use efficiency for dryland crops on duplex soils. Peter Sale

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A presentation from the WCCA 2011 event held in Brisbane, Australia.

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Increasing rainfall-use efficiency for dryland crops on duplex soils. Peter Sale

  1. 1. Increasing rainfall-use efficiencyfor dryland crops on duplex soils Sale P 1, Gill J 1, Peries R 2, Tang C 1 1 Department of Agricultural Sciences, LTU 2 DPI Victoria, Geelong
  2. 2. Introducing “Subsoil Manuring”….a new technology in SE Australiato increase productivity of problemsoils with dense clay subsoils….
  3. 3. The problem: dense clay subsoils Very denseWater loggingin wet winters No pore spaceReduced yieldsin dry springs FEW ROOTS
  4. 4. “Small bucket size”
  5. 5. Is it possible ?
  6. 6. Research Project 2005-2007Subsoil amelioration !
  7. 7. Research Project 2005-2007Treatments• control• deep ripped (DR)• DR + gypsum• DR + MAP• DR + gyp/ MAP• DR + coarse sand at 2 sites: - 4 years of grazing lucerne• DR + dynamic lifter (20 t/ha) - continuous cropping• DR + lucerne pellets (20 t/ha) Subsoil manuring• DR + luc.pellets (20 t/ha) /MAP/gypsum
  8. 8. 2005 wheat crop 2006 wheat crop
  9. 9. Crop responses 2005, 2006Year Crop Control SS Man. Control SS Man. (20 t/ha) (20 t/ha) Grain yield (t/ha) Grain protein (%)2005 Wheat 7.6 12.9 9.1 13.42006 Wheat 3.6 5.6 10.8 13.9
  10. 10. Loss of soil water (mm) from subsoil layers during the 2005 crop Soil water (mm) Soil water (mm) 60 40 20 0 60 40 20 0 0 0 20 20 Depth * 40 40 (cm) ** 60 60*** 80 80 (- 57 mm) (- 123 mm) CONTROL Subsoil manuring
  11. 11. Accumulation of soil water (mm) in subsoil layers during 2006 summer fallow Soil water (mm) Soil water (mm) 0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60 0 0Depth 20 20(cm) 40 40 60 60 ** 80 80 *** (+45 mm) (+125 mm) CONTROL Subsoil manuring
  12. 12. Loss of soil water (mm) from subsoil layers during the 2006 crop Soil water (mm) Soil water (mm) 60 40 20 0 60 40 20 0 0 0 20 20 * Depth 40 40 (cm)** 60 60*** 80 80 (- 57 mm) (- 136 mm) CONTROL Subsoil manuring
  13. 13. Rainfall-use efficiency in 2006 (kg grain/mm annual RF)CONTROL 12.9 kg/mmSubsoil Manuring 20.1 kg/mm
  14. 14. What is happening in the subsoil? Subsoil 4 years after incorporation Control: 30-40 cm Lucerne +: 30-40 cm Across the bed
  15. 15. Subsoil manuring: why does it transform clay?manure microbes + polysaccharides clay particles Roots clay aggregates
  16. 16. Subsoil manuring: how much does it cost? Manure cost: $ 18-25 / tonne Rate: 20 tonne / haFreight: say $ 8-15 / tonneIncorporation: say $150 / ha Poultry litter TOTAL = $ 670-950 /ha (equal to lucerne pellets)
  17. 17. Great interestamong farmers
  18. 18. Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge GRDC for funding (Project ULA0008), and the Australian Research Council for funding (Project LP0455551), and my co-authors Jaikirat Gill, Renick Peries, and Caixian Tang for their great team effort.
  19. 19. Thank You

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