Project Aim: The project is “Assessing one-way ploughing, scarifying, off set discs, deep ripping, mouldboard ploughing and spading for incorporating lime evenly throughout the soil profile as tools to overcome subsoil acidity, water repellence and improve crop productivity on sandplain soils in the northern agricultural region of WA.
The subsoil acidity amelioration trial will be done in conjunction with local Farmworks agronomist and West Midlands Group (WMG) Board member Helen Lethlean, the WMG and in collaboration with existing and proposed Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA)/GRDC projects with Dr. Stephen Davies and Chris Gazey.
Members of the WMG primarily farm on the ‘sandplains, north of Dandaragan up to Eneabba and east to Moora. Deep sandplain soils make up more than two-thirds of the soils in this region and these soils have high to moderate susceptibility to sub soil acidity and water repellence. Water repellence affects crop establishment and sub soil acidity restricts plant root development.
The trial will investigate three lime rates: 0, 2 tonnes per hectare (ha) and 4 tonnes per ha. There will be seven different tillage practices: control, one-way ploughing, scarifying, off set discs, deep ripping, mouldbaord ploughing and rotary spading.