Improving Soil to Optimise Water Use On Farm
This project is funded by the Australian Government through the Future Drought Fund (FDF) Natural Resource Management (NRM) Drought Resilience Program – Grants
Riverine Plains is coordinating a new project which involves the establishment of a new discussion group for farmers in the Murchison district of Victoria.
The Improving Soil to Optimise Water Use On Farm project is funded until 2023 by the Australian Government through the Future Drought Fund Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program – Grants, and aims to address soil quality parameters and how these are linked to storing more rainfall for crop production.
Soil quality parameters such as pH, CEC and soil organic carbon can affect how much moisture is stored in soils, with healthier soils being more likely to be able to store moisture for later use, such as during a dry spring.
Improving a soil’s ability to store moisture can be achieved by understanding the constraints present in the soil. Once a constraint, such as subsoil acidity, has been identified it can then be managed through lime application or other methods to improve crop production and profitability.
This project aims to increase awareness and knowledge around the identification of key local constraints, such as sub-soil acidity, and also involves the demonstration of innovative methods that protect and manage the soil resource. Areas of focus include;
- Mapping and ground truthing soil types in paddocks
- Soil constraints in paddocks
- How soil constraints impact crop production and water storage of soils.
To this end, a local trial will be established to demonstrate stubble management as a tool to improve soil moisture retention, with the trial also acting as a focus for the discussion group through local field days and workshops.
Overall, the project aims to provide farmers with a better understanding of their soils and knowledge of how soil can be managed to improve production and water retention and improve resilience for future droughts.
For further information, or to register your interest in becoming a Discussion Group member, please contact Riverine Plains Project Officer, Kate Coffey, on (03) 5744 1713 or email email@example.com