Farm Table says:
Soil and Management Impacts on Potential Legume Production: Results of a Survey of 300 Commercial Paddocks in the Grdc Northern Region
The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.
- Soil acidity is a widespread issue across the growing regions surveyed and is likely to be impeding optimal performance of grain and pasture legumes with respect to plant growth and nitrogen fixation
- Phosphorus levels are generally above, and often well in excess of critical levels required for grain and pasture legume production but there is an uneven distribution of phosphorus availability within the soil profile
- Sulphur levels are generally adequate in cropping paddocks, but frequently inadequate in pasture paddocks which may impact legume performance
- Soil organic carbon levels vary significantly with region, and within some regions as a result of land use (crop vs pasture)
- Reallocation of input expenditure to ameliorate soil acidity and the use of strategic cultivation may assist in alleviating some soil constraints to legume production across these regions.
Figure 3. Available sulphur (S mg/kg; KCl-40) for crop and pasture paddocks sampled in the central east, central west, south east and south west northern GRDC growing regions. LSD at P<0.05 indicated.