Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationThe impact of trash management and tillage on  soybean produc...
Australian Sugar Industry      •       Worth $2 Billion/Yr – (2nd largest export crop behind wheat)      •       350 – 400...
Southern Canelands© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011          ...
Southern Canelands       •       Includes the Bundaberg, Childers and Maryborough growing regions                         ...
The Sugar Yield Decline Joint Venture© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovat...
A more sustainable sugarcane farming system has 4 key components         Grain legume rotations         Reduced Tillage   ...
Why are grain legume rotations important?© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Inn...
150                     130       Cane yield (t/ha)                     110                           90                  ...
Grain legumes greatly improved the soil biology (Bundaberg rotation trial)                                                ...
Aggressive tillage destroys soil structure and costs time and money           A reduction in tillage offers an opportunity...
Why do we need to control traffic?                                                                                        ...
Why retain trash?       •       Weed suppression       •       Water conservation       •       Improved soil carbon statu...
Benefits of trash continued                              Effect of organic matter retention on nematode supression - RKN  ...
This is all really great stuff! Are producers adopting these practices??       • Some components like legume rotations are...
How do you handle this amount                                                                                             ...
Trash Management option 1: Retain GCTB© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innova...
2 passes with Rotary hoe                                                                                                 T...
Trash management option 2: Bale the trash© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Inn...
Baling trash allows for a reduction in tillage       •       However aggressive tillage equipment is still utilized       ...
Trash management option 3: Burn trash                                                                                     ...
How we manage cane trash and tillage will have a large impact on     the farming system        • Remember the New Farming ...
Trash management by tillage trial       • Determine the impact of differing trash and tillage management         technique...
Trash Management Options                               Full Trash                                                         ...
Trash management options have already been explained© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Developm...
Tillage treatments       • Conventional Tillage = 3 rotary hoe operations and 1 deep ripping       • Strip Till = Coulter ...
Treatment                                               Trash Management           Tillage                                ...
Strip-till equipment to alleviate sub-soil constraints                        yet leave trash on the surface              ...
Soybean planter                                                                                                 Large coul...
Soybean planter           Vacuum plate seed meter         Twin inclined press-wheels                                      ...
Site planted – 24th November 2009© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation,...
Trash management had no effect on crop establishment                                         Trash managment effect on soy...
Tillage had a significant effect on soybean establishment                                         Tillage effect on soybea...
Flowering biomass 42 (DAS)                                                             Trash management effect on biomass ...
Biomass production at flowering 42 (DAS)                     Conventional                                                 ...
Tillage effect on biomass production 42 (DAS)                                                 Tillage effect on biomass pr...
Trash management effect on maximum biomass – 113 (DAS)                                                   Trash management ...
Tillage effect on maximum biomass production – 113 (DAS)                                                Tillage effect on ...
Grain Yield                                           Cane trash management effect on soybean grain yield                 ...
Grain Yield                                   Tillage effect on soybean yield                                   5         ...
Large effect of tillage on plant height                                    Tillage effect on soybean height               ...
Tillage effect on plant height                                                                      Direct Drill          ...
Pods set close to the ground are difficult to recover and reduce yield© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment,...
Strip Tillage system warrants commercial evaluation       • Strip tillage overcame the significant constraints associated ...
Reduced tillage on a controlled traffic platform       • Has the potential to deliver significant         benefits to the ...
Where to from here??       • The site has now been planted to cane with the tillage treatments         maintained.       •...
Acknowledge       • Bundaberg Sugar for access to site       • Trial activity was funded by GRDC/SRDC and part of DAQ00129...
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The impact of trash management and tillage on soybean productivity in sugar based farming systems. Neil Halpin

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

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The impact of trash management and tillage on soybean productivity in sugar based farming systems. Neil Halpin

  1. 1. Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationThe impact of trash management and tillage on soybean productivity in sugar based farming systems Neil Halpin – DEEDI Bundaberg Dr Mike Bell – QAAFI Kingaroy William Rehbein and Sherree Short– DEEDI Bundaberg
  2. 2. Australian Sugar Industry • Worth $2 Billion/Yr – (2nd largest export crop behind wheat) • 350 – 400 000 ha • 32 – 35 Million tonne of Cane • 4.5 – 5 Million tonne of Sugar • 4000 Cane growing Businesses with 6000 growers • 24 sugar mills • Employs 40 000 people directly and indirectly© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 2
  3. 3. Southern Canelands© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 3
  4. 4. Southern Canelands • Includes the Bundaberg, Childers and Maryborough growing regions Bundaberg Childers Maryborough Area of cane (ha) 19 000 13 000 10 000 Productivity 81 84 64 (tCane/ha)© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 4
  5. 5. The Sugar Yield Decline Joint Venture© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 5
  6. 6. A more sustainable sugarcane farming system has 4 key components Grain legume rotations Reduced Tillage Controlled traffic Trash retention© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 6
  7. 7. Why are grain legume rotations important?© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 7
  8. 8. 150 130 Cane yield (t/ha) 110 90 Yields average at least 20% greater after 70 grain legumes over whole crop cycle 50 Plant R1 R2 R3 Cane (Ploughout/replant) Grain legume crop (12 M)© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 8
  9. 9. Grain legumes greatly improved the soil biology (Bundaberg rotation trial) No. nematodes/200 ml soil After cane After legume Lesion 49 14 Reniform 309 23 Stubby root 9 1 Spiral 199 28 TOTAL 566 66 Bacterial feeders 1905 6997 Fungal feeders 1258 1958 TOTAL 3163 8955 Beneficial/Pests 6:1 136:1© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 9
  10. 10. Aggressive tillage destroys soil structure and costs time and money A reduction in tillage offers an opportunity to save money and reduce impact on soil structure Tillage Treatment Effects on Inputs 250 25 Fuel (L/ha) Power (kW/ha) 200 20 Hours / ha 150 15 100 10 50 5 0 0 Conventional Tillage Zonal Min Tillage Stool Sprayout Fuel kW Hours© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 10
  11. 11. Why do we need to control traffic? Cane grown on 1.5m rows. Harvester on 1.8m centres© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 11
  12. 12. Why retain trash? • Weed suppression • Water conservation • Improved soil carbon status • Improved rainfall capture Cane trash management effect on soil labile carbon 2.5 2 Labile carbon (mg/kg) 1.5 1 0.5 0 1 Burnt GCTB© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 12
  13. 13. Benefits of trash continued Effect of organic matter retention on nematode supression - RKN 250000 200000 RKN/200mL soil 150000 100000 50000 0 None GCTB Soil Cover OM Cane OM Cane and Soy OM Nil© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 13
  14. 14. This is all really great stuff! Are producers adopting these practices?? • Some components like legume rotations are well adopted • Controlled traffic is gradually being accepted • There has been some reduction in tillage BUT – Dealing with a large trash blanket and a relatively short time frame between crops is problematic© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 14
  15. 15. How do you handle this amount of trash and cycle between cane harvest and legume planting? Trash yield relative to cane yield 13.0 12.0 Trash blanket (T/ha) 11.0 Typically there is 7 -12 t/ha of 10.0 cane trash post harvest of the 9.0 final ratoon 8.0 7.0 6.0 40 60 80 100 120 140 Cane Harvested (T/ha)© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 15
  16. 16. Trash Management option 1: Retain GCTB© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 16
  17. 17. 2 passes with Rotary hoe Then a deep ripping A final rotary hoe operation will occur pre-plant to provide a good seed-bed. Hardly minimum tillage system!© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 17
  18. 18. Trash management option 2: Bale the trash© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 18
  19. 19. Baling trash allows for a reduction in tillage • However aggressive tillage equipment is still utilized • Exporting nutrients and organic matter out of the farming system Nutrients in Cane Trash (Relative to cane yield) 120 100 Kg of nutrients / ha 80 60 40 20 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Cane yield Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium Calcium Magnesium Sulphur© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 19
  20. 20. Trash management option 3: Burn trash Most of the nutrients other than N are retained yet complete loss on organic matter Allows a reduction in tillage compared to the full trash model© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 20
  21. 21. How we manage cane trash and tillage will have a large impact on the farming system • Remember the New Farming System has Trash retention, reduced tillage, legume rotations! • Removal of trash and use of aggressive tillage equipment will REDUCE the potential soil health benefits that the New Farming System can deliver© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 21
  22. 22. Trash management by tillage trial • Determine the impact of differing trash and tillage management techniques on soybean productivity© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 22
  23. 23. Trash Management Options Full Trash Burnt Some Removed by Tillage Options Full Tillage Zonal – “Strip-Till” Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 23
  24. 24. Trash management options have already been explained© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 24
  25. 25. Tillage treatments • Conventional Tillage = 3 rotary hoe operations and 1 deep ripping • Strip Till = Coulter rip on soybean plant line and 2 passes of fluted coulter • Direct Drill = No Tillage Factorial trial replicated 3 times in plots 5 cane rows wide by 25m length The trial was fully irrigated via travelling irrigator© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 25
  26. 26. Treatment Trash Management Tillage 1 Full Trash – GCTB Conventional Tillage 2 Full Trash - GCTB Strip Till 3 Full Trash - GCTB Direct Drill 4 Baled - Some removed Conventional Tillage 5 Baled - Some removed Strip Till 6 Baled - Some removed Direct Drill 7 Burnt Conventional Tillage 8 Burnt Strip Till 9 Burnt Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 26
  27. 27. Strip-till equipment to alleviate sub-soil constraints yet leave trash on the surface Cane controlled by “double-knock” herbicide application technology© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 27
  28. 28. Soybean planter Large coulter to cut through trash Double Disc openers© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 28
  29. 29. Soybean planter Vacuum plate seed meter Twin inclined press-wheels Innoculant water injected peat© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 29
  30. 30. Site planted – 24th November 2009© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 30
  31. 31. Trash management had no effect on crop establishment Trash managment effect on soybean establishment 350,000 300,000 250,000 Plants/ha 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 1 GCTB Baled Burnt© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 31
  32. 32. Tillage had a significant effect on soybean establishment Tillage effect on soybean establishment 400,000 350,000 300,000 Plants/ha 250,000 200,000 150,000 a a b 100,000 50,000 0 1 Conventional Strip-Till Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 32
  33. 33. Flowering biomass 42 (DAS) Trash management effect on biomass at flowering Dry matter production (t/ha) 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1 GCTB Baled Burnt Trash management didn’t significantly effect productivity at flowering (p=0.066)© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 33
  34. 34. Biomass production at flowering 42 (DAS) Conventional Strip-Till Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 34
  35. 35. Tillage effect on biomass production 42 (DAS) Tillage effect on biomass production - flowering Dry matter production (t/ha) 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 a a b 0 1 Conventional Strip-Till Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 35
  36. 36. Trash management effect on maximum biomass – 113 (DAS) Trash management effect on maximum biomass Dry matter production (t/ha) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 GCTB Baled Burnt© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 36
  37. 37. Tillage effect on maximum biomass production – 113 (DAS) Tillage effect on maximum biomass production Dry matter production (t/ha) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 Conventional Strip-Till Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 37
  38. 38. Grain Yield Cane trash management effect on soybean grain yield 5 4.5 4 Grain yield (t/ha) 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1 GCTB Baled effects n.s. Burnt© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 38
  39. 39. Grain Yield Tillage effect on soybean yield 5 4 Grain (t/ha) 3 2 1 0 Full Tillage Strip Till Direct Drill© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 39
  40. 40. Large effect of tillage on plant height Tillage effect on soybean height 80Plant height at harvest (cm) 60 40 a a b 20 Tillage effect on lowest pod height Lowest pod height at harvest (cm) 0 10 Full Tillage Strip Till Direct Drill 8 6 4 a a b 2 0 Full Tillage Strip Till Direct Drill © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 40
  41. 41. Tillage effect on plant height Direct Drill Conventional – Strip Tillage Full - till© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 41
  42. 42. Pods set close to the ground are difficult to recover and reduce yield© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 42
  43. 43. Strip Tillage system warrants commercial evaluation • Strip tillage overcame the significant constraints associated with a reduced tillage system by: – Improved crop establishment (compared to direct drill) – Increased early growth (compared to direct drill) – Comparable crop height and height of lowest pod to conventional • Strip Tillage – Addresses sub-soil constraints – Maintains surface cover – erosion, soil carbon, weed & nematode suppression – Facilitates a reduced and less aggressive tillage regime© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 43
  44. 44. Reduced tillage on a controlled traffic platform • Has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the Australian sugar industry© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 44
  45. 45. Where to from here?? • The site has now been planted to cane with the tillage treatments maintained. • This trial has been repeated with peanuts rather than soys • Commercial evaluation needs to take place© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 45
  46. 46. Acknowledge • Bundaberg Sugar for access to site • Trial activity was funded by GRDC/SRDC and part of DAQ00129 Improving the integration of legumes in grain and sugarcane farming system in southern Queensland.© The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2011 46
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