Unravelling variable soils

Pic: Ben Jones, Mallee Focus, looks at a soil sample at Ouyen.MALLEE farmers will be able to make good productivity gains if they can better understand the variable soil zones, according to Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSFP) agronomist Michael Moodie.
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Mr Moodie said the three key soil types were dune, midslope and swale, or flat, and between them, characteristics varied enormously.

“Understanding the difference in properties between soil types will play a big role in increasing production, while at the same time reducing risk.”

He said there was already a lot of variable rate farming through the region, with croppers using different inputs according to the soil type.

“You might find they boost the fertiliser on the sand-hills, where it can leach away a bit, or they may not put anything out in the really bad boron-impacted patches.

“It’s already happening, but there’s more than can be investigated.”

Mr Moodie said there were issues with soil toxicity and subsoil constraints in the region, and these needed to be understood better.

Ben Jones, Mallee Focus, said there were large differences in-paddock in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus fertility.

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