Demonstrating soil zone mapping for variable rate nutrition management
PROJECT MANAGER: Sean Mason, Agronomy Solutions
TRIAL MANAGER: Mallee Sustainable Farming, SARDI
FUNDER: SA Drought Hub
TIMEFRAME: One year – 2022-23
TRIAL OVERVIEW: The aim of this project is to demonstrate how to create soil zones in paddocks for variable rate application of nutrients. Fertiliser inputs are one of the highest input costs farmers face and, in a low rainfall environment, it is important to manage input costs to manage risk. Farmers can manage their input costs and risk by zoning their soil types, working out what inputs are required in different zones and fertilising accordingly. This is particularly relevant following dry or drought years where nutrients may be left behind and less will need to be replaced and also in years with good soil moisture and rainfall to maximise the opportunity for higher yield potential.
The trial will:
- Demonstrate the use of tools used to create zones in paddocks
- Demonstrate how to analyse soil tests and data layers for decision making
- Demonstrate how paddock strips can be used to test optimal nutrient application in different soil zones.
- Guide growers through nutrient input decision making in zones to be able to variable rate fertiliser inputs.