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Nutrient Use Efficiency Project Update - Round 4

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Sustainable Industries

The final sample analysis has been completed for this project, with grain samples being collected in 2017 over the month of November and then analysed in December.

This completes an extensive set of data for the nutrient use efficiency calculator to use in determining how effectively nutrients are being used on the trial paddocks throughout the Wheatbelt region. The calculator uses data from soil chemistry, plant tissue and grain sampling as well as paddock history, which includes amounts of fertiliser applied and yields observed. With all of this information combined, the calculator can determine how efficiently N*, P*, K*, S*, Cu*, Z* and Mn* are being used and where potential savings could have been made.

Some of the analysed samples have shown some very interesting results which could be further investigated in future projects, such as the effect of summer rain on nitrogen levels and how soil biology affect nutrient levels and uptake among them.

Results from this project will be delivered to each individual grower with the aim of increasing knowledge and understanding of fertiliser usage and where reductions can be made without compromising production targets.

An overall assessment of the data to highlight any trends or relationships, including the provision of an economic analysis on the viability of nutrient use efficiency, will be conducted over the coming months to provide growers with the key learnings from this project.

* N – Nitrogen, P – Phosphorous, K – Potassium, S – Sulpher, Cu – Copper, Z – Zinc, Mn - Manganese