Soil correction strategies

27 Nov, 2002 10:00 PM
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FARMERS have reported that liming has improved crop growth during the dry conditions experienced this season.

They have seen crops tiller better and remain greener longer where soils were treated with Aglime.

"When soil pH falls below five, aluminium becomes soluble and therefore toxic to plant roots," Aglime of Australia general manager Dr Steve Carr said.

"Aluminium toxicity restricts cell division in growing root tips resulting in shorter roots that can't reach as much moisture or nutrients."

Dr Carr also explained that farmers were seeing better responses in trials where higher rates of Aglime had been applied.

"The higher rates would allow Aglime to leach more readily and treat the soil profile to 20 or 30cm," he said.

"This enables roots to penetrate deeper into the soil and access moisture."

Given the importance of moisture access in dry seasons, it is imperative all subsoil constraints such as soil acidity are addressed.

"Soil pH is simple to measure and can be corrected with the appropriate liming strategy," Dr Carr said.

Precision SoilTech has the technology to soil sample down to 30cm to determine if pH is limiting yields.

"With the GRDC set to invest research funds to assess subsoil constraints to crop production, this technology is being increasingly sought by the more innovative farmers," SoilTech manager David York said.

Dr Lorelle Lightfoot recently announced Dr Carr's appointment as general manager of Aglime of Australia.

"Steve brings a wealth of experience to Aglime, having been involved in agricultural research, development and extension for 20 years," she said.

"He has a history of practical achievements, a comprehensive knowledge of farming systems and a capacity to contribute ideas and new developments which emphasises the Aglime commitment to help clients maximise profits within sustainable farming systems."

Dr Carr said he was looking forward to broadening the Aglime research and development program to assist clients in correcting soil acidity and maximising profits within sustainable farming systems.

"The majority of the Aglime research effort over the last 20 years has been focussed on cropping, however recent changes to wool and meat prices will see us increasing our pasture activity," he said.

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