Erosion Victoria, December 2021

Second visit during the 2021 Summer season to reassess the Victorian site locations from Autumn. Monitoring erosion risk based on dry aggregates and groundcover percentages.

This farm is located west of Merbein South in the Millewa.

Victoria, Grazed and Ungrazed

2021 Summer Erosion Victoria Grazed and Ungrazed

1. Grazed is a sandy loam which was bare through 2019, but established a crop in 2020 and where electric fencing was used to protect the eastern side of the paddock from grazing. 2. Ungrazed is a sandy loam on the western grazed side of the paddock directly adjacent to 1. Grazed. Summer monitoring showed 1. ground cover of 46% and dry aggregate of 24% with a medium risk of erosion and 2. Ungrazed with ground cover of 67% and dry aggregate of 39% with a low risk of erosion

1 Grazed
2. Ungrazed

360 Virtual Site

Victoria, Flat Calcareous Soil

2021 Summer Erosion Victoria Flat Calcareous Soil

Flat Calcareous Soil is a poor calcareous sandy loam flat that blew through 2018 and 2019 but established crop in 2020. Being near sheep feeders it has attracted reasonable grazing pressure and sheep tracks. Summer monitoring showed 3. Flat Calcareous Soil with ground cover of 27% and dry aggregate of 49% with a medium risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Victoria, Sandy Soil

2021 Summer Erosion Victoria Sandy Soil

Sandy Soil or Sandy Loam during Summer monitoring showed 4. Sandy Soil with ground cover of 48% and dry aggregate of 27% with a medium risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Acknowledgments

This project “Practical tactics to improve ground cover and ensure soil preservation following successive low rainfall seasons” (MSF2010-002SAX) has been funded by GRDC.

Thank you to our landholder collaborators Ben Pollard, NSW, and Chris Hunt, VIC, for their time and input. 

Erosion New South Wales, December 2021

Second visit during the 2021 Summer season to reassess the New South Wales site locations from Autumn. Monitoring erosion risk based on dry aggregates and groundcover percentages.

This farm is located northwest of Wentworth, with very low rainfall and high kangaroo pressure during drought.

New South Wales, Calcareous Soil

2021 Summer Erosion NSW Calcareous Soil

Calcareous Soil is described as the poor calcareous loam that grows very poorly in dry years and is very prone to wind erosion. Summer monitoring ground cover of 16% and dry aggregate of 43% with a medium risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, Low Graze

2021 Summer Erosion NSW Low Graze

Low Graze is a sandy loam rise at the north end of the paddock that would have attracted the least amount of grazing since harvest. During the drought years kangaroos came through from the north baring out this area and contributing to the erosion. It is intended to compare this with site 4. High Graze which is on a similar soil type, but in an area of higher sheep activity. Summer monitoring showed ground cover of 74% and dry aggregate of 30% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, Eroded Mid Slope

2021 Summer Erosion NSW Eroded Mid Slope

Eroded Mid Slope is an exposed mid slope that has lost top soil down to a clay base, resulting in very patchy crop growth in 2020. This means that it has a high dry aggregation, but not for the right reasons. The farmer is looking to drag some sand back over this site to be able to re-establish crop growth. Summer monitoring showed ground cover of 9% and dry aggregate of 60% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, High Graze

2021 Summer Erosion NSW High Graze

High Graze is within the same paddock but at the south eastern corner near a trough, thus attracting far more grazing activity since crop harvest on this sandy loam area. Summer monitoring showed ground cover of 76% and dry aggregate of 26% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Acknowledgments

This project “Practical tactics to improve ground cover and ensure soil preservation following successive low rainfall seasons” (MSF2010-002SAX) has been funded by GRDC.

Thank you to our landholder collaborators Ben Pollard, NSW, and Chris Hunt, VIC, for their time and input. 

Lentil Varieties for the Northern Mallee, Pinnaroo


Trial Methodology

The trial was sown on the 15th of May. Each variety was sown at the seeding rates specified in the table below. The trial was sown with a tyned seeder fitted with paired row Root Boot. Granulock Z was supplied as starter fertliser at 50 kg/ha. All varieties were inoculated with a group E/F Tagteam Granular. Simazine (200 g/ha), Diuron (200 g/ha) were applied as pre-emergent herbicides and were incorporated before sowing (IBS).


Pinnaroo Lentil Trial Results
Lentils produced excellent grain yields in 2020 with PBA Jumbo2 topping the trial with 3.4 t/ha.
PBA Highland, PBA Bolt, GIA Leader and PBA Hurricane all had similar grain yields.
Grain yields of PBA Hallmark and PBA Kelpie were significantly less than PBA Jumbo2, PBA Highland and PBA Bolt.


Acknowledgement
This virtual field day has been developed as part of the Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) project:
“Facilitating enhanced knowledge sharing of Mallee sustainable farming practices”
This project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The research featured in this virtual field day was completed as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project:
• Understanding the implications of new traits on the adaption, crop physiology and management of pulses in the southern region (DAV00150)
This trial was managed by Frontier Farming Systems and Agricultural Victoria

Erosion New South Wales, March 2021

Initial visit during the 2021 Autumn season to assess the New South Wales site locations. Monitoring erosion risk based on dry aggregates and groundcover percentages.

This farm is located northwest of Wentworth, with very low rainfall and high kangaroo pressure during drought.

New South Wales, Calcareous Soil

2021 Erosion NSW Calcareous Soil

Calcareous Soil is described as the poor calcareous loam that grows very poorly in dry years and is very prone to wind erosion. Autumn monitoring showed a residue height of 25cm, ground cover of 32% and dry aggregate of 48% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, Low Graze

2021 Erosion NSW Low Graze

Low Graze is a sandy loam rise at the north end of the paddock that would have attracted the least amount of grazing since harvest. During the drought years kangaroos came through from the north baring out this area and contributing to the erosion. It is intended to compare this with site 4. High Graze which is on a similar soil type, but in an area of higher sheep activity. Autumn monitoring showed a residue height of 28cm, ground cover of 69% and dry aggregate of 22% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, Eroded Mid Slope

2021 Erosion NSW Eroded Mid Slope

Eroded Mid Slope is an exposed mid slope that has lost top soil down to a clay base, resulting in very patchy crop growth in 2020. This means that it has a high dry aggregation, but not for the right reasons. The farmer is looking to drag some sand back over this site to be able to re-establish crop growth. Autumn monitoring showed a residue height of 6cm, ground cover of 14% and dry aggregate of 66% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

New South Wales, High Graze

2021 Erosion NSW High Graze

High Graze is within the same paddock but at the south eastern corner near a trough, thus attracting far more grazing activity since crop harvest on this sandy loam area. Autumn monitoring showed a residue height of 20cm, ground cover of 59% and dry aggregate of 17% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Acknowledgments

This project “Practical tactics to improve ground cover and ensure soil preservation following successive low rainfall seasons” (MSF2010-002SAX) has been funded by GRDC.

Thank you to our landholder collaborators Ben Pollard, NSW, and Chris Hunt, VIC, for their time and input. 

Erosion Victoria, March 2021

Initial visit during the 2021 Autumn season to assess the Victorian site locations. Monitoring erosion risk based on dry aggregates and groundcover percentages.

This farm is located west of Merbein South in the Millewa.

Victoria, Grazed and Ungrazed

2021 Erosion Victoria Grazed and Ungrazed

1. Grazed is a sandy loam which was bare through 2019, but established a crop in 2020 and where electric fencing was used to protect the eastern side of the paddock from grazing. 2. Ungrazed is a sandy loam on the western grazed side of the paddock directly adjacent to 1. Grazed. Autumn monitoring showed 1. Grazed with a residue height of 9cm, ground cover of 63% and dry aggregate of 25% with a low risk of erosion and 2. Ungrazed with a residue height of 1cm, ground cover of 13% and dry aggregate of 19% with a high risk of erosion

1. Ungrazed
2. Grazed

360 Virtual Site

Victoria, Flat Calcareous Soil

2021 Erosion Victoria Flat Calcareous Soil

Flat Calcareous Soil is a poor calcareous sandy loam flat that blew through 2018 and 2019 but established crop in 2020. Being near sheep feeders it has attracted reasonable grazing pressure and sheep tracks. Autumn monitoring showed 3. Flat Calcareous Soil with a residue height of 1cm, ground cover of 13% and dry aggregate of 19% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Victoria, Sandy Soil

2021 Erosion Victoria Sandy Soil

Sandy Soil or Sandy Loam during Autumn monitoring showed 4. Sandy Soil with a residue height of 11cm, ground cover of 47% and dry aggregate of 22% with a low risk of erosion

360 Virtual Site

Acknowledgments

This project “Practical tactics to improve ground cover and ensure soil preservation following successive low rainfall seasons” (MSF2010-002SAX) has been funded by GRDC.

Thank you to our landholder collaborators Ben Pollard, NSW, and Chris Hunt, VIC, for their time and input. 

Sandy Soils – Sands Impact Validation Trial, Ouyen 2020

Background

Sub-optimal productivity is commonly reported for the deep sands that make up 20 to 30% of the cropping soils in the low rainfall Victorian Mallee region. Diagnosis of local constraints have pointed to low fertility and the physical restriction of rooting depth as the most likely constraints to production on sands in the Victorian Mallee. To explore this further, a trial was established at Ouyen in 2017 to investigate the potential the interactions between crop water use, physical disturbance by rotary spading, and the incorporation of organic amendments.

Methods

Treatments
Six different types of organic matter were incorporated to a depth of 30 cm depth in 2017 using a one pass spade and sow operation (Table 1). Each organic amendment was applied at a rate which supplied 2.5 t/ha of carbon, but varied in carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio. Spaded organic matter treatments were also compared to spading only, spaded urea (supplying equivalent quantity of N as vetch hay) and a non-spaded control.

Management
The trial was sown to barley in 2017 with subsequent years rotating between wheat and barley. Each season the trial received DAP S Z (16:17:0:8; 0.5%Zn) @ 62.5 kg/ha at seeding and 47 kg/ha of Ammonium Sulphate and a foliar application of copper, zinc and manganese was applied during tillering.


TreatmentApplication Rate (t/ha)C:N RatioTreatment N Input (kg/ha)
Spaded Vetch Hay616:1156
Spaded Oaten Hay5.972:135
Spaded Vetch + Oat Hay3.3 + 2.725:1102
Spaded Chicken Litter6.816:1218
Spaded Compost15.810:1252
Urea0.34N/A156
Spaded controlNilN/A
Non-spaded controlNilN/A
Table 1

Results

2020 Grain Yield

Here was a 0.75 t/ha increase in grain yield in 2020 between the non-spaded control and all other treatments which were spaded in 2017.  There was no significant difference between spaded treatments, therefore there was no effect of organic matter in 2020.


Cumulative Yield Benefit (2017-2020)

Spading chicken litter compost in 2017 has provided increased grain yield by 3.4 t/ha relative to the on-spaded control.  The effect of spading was 1.3 t/ha, therefore the long term yield benefit of the application of 6.8 t/ha chicken litter was 2.1 t/ha.  The next most effective organic matter source was compost while on-farm organic matter sources such as vetch hay has provided not provided long term benefit over and above spading.


Acknowledgement
This virtual field day has been developed as part of the Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) project:
“Facilitating enhanced knowledge sharing of Mallee sustainable farming practices”
This project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The research featured in this virtual field day was completed as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project:
• Increasing production on sandy soils in the low-medium rainfall areas of the southern region.
The trials are a collaboration between Frontier Farming Systems and Mallee Sustainable Farming, CSIRO and UniSA.

Sandy Soils – Sands Impact Validation Trial, Tempy 2020

Background

There is considerable interest in strategic deep tillage (e.g. deep ripping, spading) with or without agronomic amendments (fertilisers, organic matter) to overcome physical constraints and increase water and nutrient supply within the profile of Mallee sandy soils. To investigate the potential benefits of deep ripping and the inclusion of organic matter (OM), a replicated trial was established near Tempy in 2019.

Methods

Treatments
The trial comprised of five treatments to compare deep ripping only with inclusion plates and OM addition. All deep ripping treatments were implemented to a depth of 50cm with a tine spacing of 56cm. The OM used was a chicken litter compost blend, applied at 5t/ha (https://www.peatssoil.com.au), in the treatments listed in Table 1.

Management
The trial was sown to barley in both 2019 and 2020. Each season the trial received DAP S Z (16:17:0:8; 0.5%Zn) @ 62.5 kg/ha at seeding and 47 kg/ha of Ammonium Sulphate and a foliar application of copper, zinc and manganese was applied during tillering.


Depth cmTreatment
Control (undisturbed)
Deep ripping50with rigid shank (Tilco)
Deep ripping50with inclusion plate (Tilco) operating 150mm below soil surface
Deep ripping50with inclusion plate (Tilco) plus OM surface applied
Deep ripping50with OM deep placed behind the ripping shank
Table 1

Results

2020 Grain Yield

Deep ripping with inclusion plates and/or OM applied produced a significantly higher grain yield than the undisturbed control in 2020. The grain yield of the deep ripping only treatment was not significantly higher than the control in 2020.

Figure 1: Grain yield from the Tempy site in 2020

Cumulative Yield Benefit (2017-2020)

All treatments increased the quantity of grain grown in 2019 and 2020 by at least 1.5 t/ha, relative to the undisturbed control. However, there is no significant difference in cumulative grain yield between the ripping treatments.


Acknowledgement
This virtual field day has been developed as part of the Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) project:
“Facilitating enhanced knowledge sharing of Mallee sustainable farming practices”
This project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The research featured in this virtual field day was completed as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project:
• Increasing production on sandy soils in the low-medium rainfall areas of the southern region.
The trials are a collaboration between Frontier Farming Systems and Mallee Sustainable Farming, CSIRO and UniSA.

Chickpea Varieties for the Northern Mallee, Pinnaroo


Trial Methodology

The trial was sown on the 15th of May.  Each variety was sown at the seeding rates specified in the table below.  The trial was sown with a tyned seeder fitted with paired row Root Boot.  Granulock Z was supplied as starter fertliser at 50 kg/ha.  All varieties were inoculated with a group N Tagteam Granular.  Simazine (200 g/ha), Diuron (200 g/ha) and Balance (80 g/ha) were applied as pre-emergent herbicides and were incorporated before sowing (IBS). 


Pinnaroo Chickpea Trial Results
Desi Chickpea types PBA Striker and PBA Slasher were the highest yielding varieties with grain yields of 2.8 t/ha
Both varieties were higher yielding than the large Kabuli chickpea varieties Kalkee and PBA Monarch
The striker also had a significantly higher grain yield than PBA Magnus but did not differ significantly from the other varieties


Acknowledgement
This virtual field day has been developed as part of the Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) project:
“Facilitating enhanced knowledge sharing of Mallee sustainable farming practices”
This project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The research featured in this virtual field day was completed as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project:
• Understanding the implications of new traits on the adaption, crop physiology and management of pulses in the southern region (DAV00150)
This trial was managed by Frontier Farming Systems and Agricultural Victoria

Chickpea Varieties for the Northern Mallee, Werrimull


Trial Methodology

The trial was sown on the 4th of May.  Each variety was sown at the seeding rates specified in the table below.  The trial was sown with a tyned seeder fitted with paired row roots boots.  Granulock Z was supplied as starter fertliser at 50 kg/ha.  All varieties were inoculated with a group N Tagteam Granular. Simazine (200 g/ha), Diuron (200 g/ha) and Balance (80 g/ha) were applied as pre-emergent herbicides and were incorporated before sowing (IBS). 



Acknowledgement
This virtual field day has been developed as part of the Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF) project:
“Facilitating enhanced knowledge sharing of Mallee sustainable farming practices”
This project is supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The research featured in this virtual field day was completed as part of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded project:
• Understanding the implications of new traits on the adaption, crop physiology and management of pulses in the southern region (DAV00150)
This trial was managed by Frontier Farming Systems and Agricultural Victoria