Soil management

Crop production in Western Australia presents a variety of management problems arising directly from the inherent properties of the soils. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducts and supports research into managing the structure, waterholding capacity and fertility of these soils and can provide technical information to assist landholders make better management decisions.

Articles

  • Waterlogging is a common problem in the agricultural soils of south-west Western Australia in the wetter months of winter.

  • Waterlogging in some years and some environments in the high rainfall areas of south-west Western Australia can cause significant reductions in plant growth.

  • Claying involves adding and incorporating clay-rich subsoil into water repellent topsoil to overcome the repellence.

  • Confident identification of soil compaction to restrict crop or pasture growth uses diagnosis combining visual symptoms of plant, root and soil features.

  • Carbon farming is the agricultural practices or land use to increase carbon stored in the soil and vegetation (sequestration) and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, soil or vegetati

  • The aim of carbon farming is to sequester more carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as part of Australia's response to climate change.

  • Soil organic carbon (SOC) is inherently low in Western Australian soils – limited by climate and soil type – with some potential to increase through management.

  • Soil acidification is an inevitable and ongoing consequence of productive agriculture.

  • If you are deep-ripping, ploughing or spading to remove subsurface compaction or another constraint, it is a good idea to incorporate lime in the same operation.

  • Liming to recover an acidic soil to an appropriate pH can result in significant production benefits, however a response to liming indicates that previous production has been lost due to an acidic t

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