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Do livestock reduce crop yields in conservation farming systems? James Hunt

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A presentation from the WCCA 2011 conference in Birsbane.

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Do livestock reduce crop yields in conservation farming systems? James Hunt

  1. 1. Do livestock reduce crop yields inconservation farming systems?James Hunt, Tony Swan, John Kirkegaard, Paul Breust, Mark Peoples
  2. 2. Southern Australian mixed farming systems• Sheep & wheat• Sheep graze crop residues, spilt grain and vegetative crops• Legume based pastures provide N and disease break for crops• Will the full benefits of no-till and controlled traffic ever be realised whilst sheep are trampling soil and removing cover?• Very little contemporary evidence (Bell et al. 2011 Soil & Tillage Research 113)• First two years of GRDC project designed to test;What impacts do sheep grazing on crops and stubbleshave on soil structure, water dynamics and crop yield?Livestock & conservation farming
  3. 3. “Collective Inquiry” Project structureCSIRO Farmer Consultant Consultant • Add photo of researchFarmlink FarmerFarmlink committee Farmer Farmer CSIRO WUE & canopy management - Soil2Grain SW WA July 2010
  4. 4. Research site – Temora, southern NSW• Peter, Lynne and Jason Coleman’s farm (6 km south of Temora)• Annual rainfall ~ 520 mm temperate pattern• Red Chromosol with flat topography• Lucerne pasture of 4 years in 2008• No-till (300 mm row spacing), knife-points and press wheels• Controlled trafficLivestock & conservation farming
  5. 5. Spraying on tramlines (CT)Livestock & conservation farming
  6. 6. Effects of stock on soil & crop• Treatments 1. Nil graze, stubble retention 2. Nil graze, stubble burn 3. Stubble graze, stubble retention 4. Stubble graze, stubble burn 5. Winter graze, stubble graze, stubble retention 6. Winter graze, stubble graze, stubble burn• Rotation Phase 1: Lucerne 08 - wheat 09 - canola 10 - wheat 11 Phase 2: Lucerne 09 - wheat 10 - canola 11 - wheat 12Livestock & conservation farming
  7. 7. Effects of stock on soil and crop wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11• Treatments summer 2009/2010 1. Nil graze (5.4 t/ha stubble) 2. Stubble graze (0.8 t/ha stubble) 3. Winter & stubble graze (0.8 t/ha stubble)Livestock & conservation farming
  8. 8. wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11 5.4 t/ha 0.8 t/ha
  9. 9. Soil water accumulation summer 2009/2010 wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11 • 310 mm of summer rain • 18 mm early Feb • 43 mm late Nov/early Dec • 104 mm mid Feb • 48 mm at Christmas • 82 mm early Mar Plant available water 10-180 cm (mm) Treatment 16 Dec 09 13 Jan 10 23 Feb 10 16 Mar 10 Nil graze 13 14 105 155 Stubble graze 14 14 77 110Stubble & winter graze 15 16 66 99 LSD (P=0.05) NS NS 13 19 Livestock & conservation farming
  10. 10. Soil water 0-20 cm – no effect of stubble over summer 60 102 mm Graze 0.8 t/ha stubble 82mm Nil graze 5.4 t/ha stubble 50Plant available water 0-20 cm (mm) 43 mm 40 43mm 30 18 mm 20 10 0 26-Nov 16-Dec 5-Jan 25-Jan 14-Feb 6-Mar 26-Mar Date Livestock & conservation farming
  11. 11. Soil water 16 March 2010 Soil water (mm/mm) 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0 20 40 Drained Upper Limit (mm/mm) 60 Soil water – Nil grazedDepth (cm) 80 Soil water - Grazed 100 120 140 Stubble improved water infiltration 160 180Livestock & conservation farming
  12. 12. Infiltrometer measurements March and April 2010 wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11 Treatment in 2009 Steady-state infiltration rate (mm/h) Wheat stubble - Nil graze 36a Wheat stubble - Stubble graze 20b Wheat stubble - Winter & stubble graze 16b Canola (little stubble cover) - Nil graze 11b LSD (P=0.05) 11Livestock & conservation farming
  13. 13. wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11• Canola Tawriffic TT sown over all treatments 15 April 2010• Winter grazed prior to bud emergence• 426 mm GSRLivestock & conservation farming
  14. 14. Canola grain yield 2010• No significant effect of grazing on canola grain yield• Differences in PAW from summer 09/10 still present Treatment Canola grain yield PAW at canola (t/ha) maturity (mm) Nil graze (5.4 t/ha wheat 4.1 116 stubble) Stubble graze (0.8 t/ha 4.2 86 wheat stubble) Stubble & winter graze (0.8 4.0 78 t/ha wheat stubble) P-value 0.62 0.01 LSD (P=0.05) NS 25Livestock & conservation farming
  15. 15. Effects of stock on soil and crop• Treatments summer 2010/2011 1. Nil graze (8 t/ha stubble) 2. Stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) 3. Winter & stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11Livestock & conservation farming
  16. 16. Soil water 0-20 cm - summer fallow 2010-2011Livestock & conservation farming
  17. 17. Plant available water & N at sowing 2011 wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11 Mineral N (kg/ha) PAW (mm) 15 Grazing treatment 15 April 2011 April 2011 Nil graze (8 t/ha stubble) 93a 201a Stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) 126ab 183bWinter and stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) 199b 187b P-value 0.001 0.011 LSD(P=0.05) 49 11 CV (%) 28 5.6 Livestock & conservation farming
  18. 18. wheat 09 – summer fallow - canola 10 – summer fallow – wheat 11 Canopy temperature Grazing treatment (°C) Nil graze (8 t/ha stubble) 21.8a Stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) 22.6bWinter and stubble graze (4 t/ha stubble) 23.0b P-value 0.005 LSD(P=0.05) 0.7 CV (%) 2.8
  19. 19. Acknowledgements• CSIRO & FarmLink Research team – Tony Swan, Paul Breust, James Hunt, John Kirkegaard, Mark Peoples• FarmLink WUE steering committee - Jason Coleman, Peter Coleman, Greg Condon (Grassroots Agronomy), Chris Duff (Delta Agribusiness), Derek Ingold, James Ingrey, Geoffrey Lane, John Pattison, Jamie Pursehouse (Landmark – Ariah Park), Michael Sinclair, Rob Taylor, Craig Warren (Landmark - Temora)• NSW I&I – Col McMaster, Neil Fettell & Ian Menz,• Lindsay Bell – CSIRO Toowoomba• Seed provided by Hart Bros. Seeds & Pioneer• Bayer CropScience - SakuraLivestock & conservation farming
  20. 20. CSIRO Plant IndustryJames HuntResearch ScientistPhone: 0428 636 391Email: james.hunt@csiro.auWeb: www.pi.csiro.au/Thank youContact UsPhone: 1300 363 400 or +61 3 9545 2176Email: Enquiries@csiro.au Web: www.csiro.au

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