Soil and Management Impacts on Potential Legume Production

GRDC - Author: Belinda Hackney (NSW Department of Primary Industries, Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation), Janelle Jenkins (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Jessica Rigg (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Simon Flinn (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Ian Menz (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Wendy Gill (Central West Local Land Services), Callen Thompson (Central West Local Land Services), Tim Bartimote (Central West Local Land Services), Clare Edwards (Central Tablelands Local Land Services) and Susan Orgill ((NSW Department of Primary Industries, Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation))

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “There are soil and management issues likely to constrain growth and nitrogen fixation of grain and pasture legumes throughout the four GRDC northern region growing zones surveyed. Soil acidity is widespread and likely to be placing restrictions on host legume growth and/or the development and maintenance of an effective symbiosis. The issue appears most severe in the south east growing region. While around 35% of growers have a specified soil pHCa target of >5.5, the way that strategies to manage soil acidity are applied requires change to rapidly ameliorate soil acidity in the surface 10cm of soil”. Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

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.

2020 - Australia - GRDC - Author: Belinda Hackney (NSW Department of Primary Industries, Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation), Janelle Jenkins (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Jessica Rigg (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Simon Flinn (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Ian Menz (NSW Department of Primary Industries), Wendy Gill (Central West Local Land Services), Callen Thompson (Central West Local Land Services), Tim Bartimote (Central West Local Land Services), Clare Edwards (Central Tablelands Local Land Services) and Susan Orgill ((NSW Department of Primary Industries, Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation))
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