This program has 3 main project objectives. These are to:
- Increase the understanding of the scientific processes underpinning N availability and release in no-till systems by:
- Adding value to the soil carbon project and Nitrogen Management Field Day.
- Investigating nitrogen and water- which was extended to a group of farmers at Rutherglen, as part of a jointly funded program with the North East Catchment Management Authority. This was delivered through the field day “Understanding Nitrogen in our Soils” and subsequent deep nitrogen sampling, incremented to depth (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-60, 60-80cm) which was conducted at 11 properties. Results from this investigation were detailed in the article Seasonal soil moisture & N availability, which was published in Research for the Riverine Plains, 2016.
- Increase the uptake of knowledge generated from the completed Soil Carbon project through the development of an easily accessible publication which explains the project and its outcomes. The Soil Carbon project has been extended to include an extra set of soil sampling as well producing the publication containing the key messages from the project. Please click on the link to download a copy of Soil carbon in cropping systems.
- Increase the understanding of the long-term implications of different stubble incorporation techniques. This was demonstrated through a machinery field day, which evaluated eight tractor-drawn implements designed to incorporate stubble. This data has been detailed in an extensive article in the Riverine Plains Inc newsletter.
- Within the GRDC-funded project Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble in the Riverine Plains Region (2013–18), large-scale replicated trials have consistently shown that no-till stubble retention (NTSR) treatments show a biomass lag. While differences in light interception and temperature were quantified within the GRDC funded Stubble Project, detailed nitrogen sampling throughout the season was outside the project’s scope. In order to understand if the biomass lag of NTSR crops was due to differences in nitrogen supply between stubble treatments, detailed nitrogen sampling was carried out at each of the Focus Farm trial sites established as part of the GRDC funded Stubble project during 2016. This sampling effort was carried out under the Sustainable Agriculture Victoria: Fast-Tracking Innovation initiative. The results of the 2016 sampling were detailed in the article The impact of stubble treatment on soil nitrogen supply to crops, which was published in Research for the Riverine Plains, 2017.