Global Agriculture

GRDC Invites grain growers to a virtual discussion on soil constraints and productivity improvement

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09 August 2023, Australia: GRDC is inviting grain growers and consultants across Queensland and New South Wales to a free virtual discussion on overcoming soil constraints to improve crop yields.

The event, hosted by the University of New England (UNE) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), will take place on Friday, August 11, from 12pm to 1:30pm.

GRDC manager sustainable cropping systems – north, Cristina Martinez, says the discussion is part of a wider GRDC-supported project that aims to improve farming system resilience and increase grower production and profits, especially in times of drought.

The project, which has received a $2.2 million investment, is trialling soil amelioration methods and their long-term economic viability at multiple research sites including Dulacca, Millmerran, Talwood, Spring Ridge, Armatree and Forbes.

“This soil constraints discussion is all about unpacking the latest research outcomes from the project, especially for growers living in areas of NSW and Queensland who are grappling with challenging soils,” Ms Martinez says.

“The research was specifically focused on regions where there is the largest gap between expected grain yields based on temperature and rainfall, and actual yields recovered from the field.

“We’ve found that this yield gap often exists for Queensland and NSW growers because crops are unable to make full use of water (in soil profiles) due to root growth constraints which don’t allow plants access to that water.”

Over the past four years, the joint DAF and UNE project team has been working on-farm with growers from across Queensland and New South Wales to trial various soil amelioration methods. Some of these methods have seen yields improve by up to 30 percent.

The upcoming discussion will explore these findings and discuss how they can best be utilised by growers who are most impacted by soil constraints.

The event will include presentations from UNE’s Dr Richard Flavel and DAF’s Dr David Lester, followed by a Q&A session. It is open to anyone who is interested, and a Zoom link will be emailed to all registered attendees prior to the event.

Also Read: Bayer, GenZero, and Shell collaborate to reduce methane emissions in rice cultivation

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