Global Agriculture

Australia: New ebook to provide grower resource for soil water repellence

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11 March 2022, Australia: The latest information about soil water repellence will be available to Western Australian growers and industry representatives in a new digital publication to be launched today (10 March) at the Soils session of the 2022 Grains Research Update – Perth virtual forum.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and SoilsWest – a partnership between Murdoch University and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) – worked together with CSIRO and industry to publish ‘Soil Quality: 7 Soil Water Repellence’.

The publication is the seventh in a series of free to download ebooks on soil quality for WA and includes current knowledge shared by experts and best practice techniques presented in layers of information, in an easy-to-navigate format.

GRDC Western panel chair Darrin Lee formally launched the ebook at the opening of the Grains Research Update – Perth virtual forum’s sixth day, with the first session focusing on soils.

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SoilsWest co-director and Murdoch University Associate Professor Frances Hoyle said the book would appeal to a range of audiences including students, growers, consultants and academics, and was structured to allow readers to interact and choose the level of detail they require.

image of Ebook
“Book 7 focuses on the impact, expression, diagnosis and management of water repellence in agricultural soil, supported by evidence-based case studies and farmer experiences,” Professor Hoyle said.

“This latest ebook discusses soil water repellence in WA’s south-western agricultural region; including management strategies such as mitigation, amelioration and avoidance; and provides answers to commonly posed questions.

“It also features grower case studies from across WA’s grain growing region, from the Geraldton port zone right through to the Esperance port zone.”

GRDC grower relations manager – west, Jo Wheeler said the Soil Quality ebook series was created in response to grower and industry demand for a platform that would enable them to read, listen and view soil management information from any location, including the tractor.

“Topics covered by the ebooks address a number of priority areas in the GRDC’s current and previous investments in soil and nutrition management in WA,” Ms Wheeler said.

“A highlight of the book design is that it includes not only research information about soils, but evidence-based industry and landholder perspectives of soil management challenges and solutions.”

DPIRD soil science and crop nutrition manager and SoilsWest co-director Chris Gazey said the Soil Quality ebooks provided a series of high-quality resources, which were available from the Apple Books store.

“This series provides a legacy of information generated by prior research investments across organisations including those by the GRDC and DPIRD Soil Constraints West group of projects which cover the areas of soil water repellence, soil acidity, compaction and subsoil constraints, as well other projects like plant nutrition,” Mr Gazey said.

‘Soil Quality: 7 Soil Water Repellence’ is available as a free download on the Apple Books store and can be viewed on iPad, iPhone or Mac computer, however, it is not available for Android systems at the moment.

The Grains Research Update – Perth concludes today. Session recordings and research papers are available on the GRDC website.

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