Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Feb 23 11:30:44 EST 2005




WA graingrowers will benefit from production gains when information on
effective soil management emerges from proactive research by the Grains
Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supported Liebe Group.
Research, at a dedicated long term site, will define benchmarks for soil
health and identify soil constraints and determine management solutions in
collaboration with other researchers.
Current grower knowledge of the soil, including inherent and induced
constraints, can be greatly improved and the GRDC has acknowledged this with
a five year, $10 million Soil Biology Initiative.
Physical and chemical constraints are a primary cause of limiting grain
production in low rainfall areas, however the potential for utilising other
soil properties, such as biological, in determining limiting factors has yet
to be clearly defined.
Supported by the GRDC Soil Biology Initiative, the Liebe Group has
identified three main research priorities: enhancing biological and organic
matter fertility, addressing soil compaction and subsoil constraints such as
soil acidity.
Appropriate amelioration practices will be sought to manage these
Managing water to maximise efficient crop use while minimising drainage and
offsite impacts is a key issue.
Maximising plant water availability in low rainfall is critical to yield and
knowledge and awareness of soil resources and its interaction with climate
is imperative.
GRDC-supported research at the site currently includes UWA’s soil biology
initiative, the precision agriculture initiative, CSIRO’s sandplain farming
systems project and compaction research.
Eight satellite sites allow for research over a large area, with varying
rainfall and soil types.

The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525

Further Information: Marcus Hemsted, Tel 08 96642030
Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing
114 Branksome Gardens
City Beach WA 6015
Tel 08 9385 7779 Fax 08 9385 7776

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