To increase crop productivity on sandy soil types in medium to high rainfall zones through the incorporation of organic soil ameliorants; hay, stubble/straw and manure. The overall objective will be to encourage growers in the Central Wheatbelt region of WA to implement a form of incorporation of organic ameliorants on their sandy soils by 2024, by providing evidence that these types of soil amelioration practices can lift the profitability of poor performing sandy soils by 20%.
The plant density and crop vigour assessments taken at Z14 indicated a poor start in the establishment and growth of the barley crop across the entire trial site. The suppression of weed germination was high across all treatments. High winds occurred following seeding, which covered the trial site in sand resulting in furrow filling. This problem was exacerbated where the ameliorants were incorporated by mouldboard plough and speed tiller, with the least soil disturbance in the control treatment which also had the highest germination count.
Although the results of this year’s trial indicate that the control outperformed the majority of treatments in respect to barley plant emergence and NDVI, this is the first of a three year study that will assess changes in soil health and crop productivity in response to the addition of organic ameliorants. A soil test will be conducted in each treatment plot in early 2021, which will provide an indication of any changes in soil quality in response to the addition of the ameliorants.