Riverine Plains Blog

Posts about:

Soil Testing

Are your soils under-performing?

Key messages

  • Understanding the scale and depth of soil constraints is key to an effective amelioration program
  • Incremental sampling to depth provides more information than traditional 0-10 cm tests
  • Seek advice before beginning an amelioration program

Summer and early autumn provides an opportunity for Riverine Plains farmers to treat soil constraints, such as acidity and sodicity, between winter crops.

So, what are the issues to consider?

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How Can We Manage and Improve Our Soil Carbon Levels?

Key Messages:
  • Carbon is present in the soil in many different forms.
  • Including a pasture phase and pulses/legumes in the cropping rotation is essential to improve soil organic matter and nitrogen levels, promote microbial activity and ultimately increase soil organic carbon. 
  • Evaluating management practices to increase soil carbon is necessary to ensure they are economically viable for a farming business.
  • Several environmental factors (rainfall, evaporation, solar radiation, and temperature), as well as soil type, nutrient availability and land management influence maximum soil organic carbon storage capacity 
What Is Soil Carbon?

Soil carbon can occur in organic and inorganic forms.

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Managing acidic soils in the Riverine Plains

Soils in the Riverine Plains region can be complex, with constraints segmented across the profile. Soil acidity is a classic example of this, with some soils not being acidic in the topsoil but being profoundly acidic beyond 15cm depth.

While some soils in northeast Victoria and southern NSW are naturally acidic due to their parent material, others are becoming more acidic due to agricultural production. The ongoing use of nitrogen and the export of agricultural produce (which extracts calcium, magnesium and other cations from the soil) all resul t in net soil acidification.
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