Managing soil moisture

Moisture for germination and growth is critical to crop performance. Many different strategies exist to conserve soil moisture pre and post sowing, including spraying and tillage.

Online Farm Trials contains 150 trials covering issues that include: managing moisture variability within paddock; crop rotations that optimise moisture availability in the sequence; impacts of break crops and summer crops for production; and, future crop gains and interactions between soil moisture and nitrogen conservation, including timing of fertiliser application. There are 65 published trials for wheat, 16 for canola and 16 for barley linked to soil moisture conservation and use. There are also trials for lupins (6) and vetch (4).

For further information on soil moisture strategies, refer to the following case studies on low rainfall environments that consider summer weed control options to managing soil moisture:

Search

TO
Options
Primary
Crop Type
Trial site legend

148 total results found Matching the current search filters and located within the visible map area.

143 results have a trial report available
69 results have export data available
87 trials are CC BY 4.0
Expand results with typos allowed for "soil moisture"
Search result tools

Aims:

To identify herbicide sensitivities of new lupin varieties with the view to reduce their yield losses due to herbicide damage. Mandelup was included as a standard variety for comparison in the trial.

Blue lupins are problematic in narrow leave lupin production, especially in the Northern Agriculture Region of WA Wheatbelt and no herbic… read more

Crop type: Lupins 1 trial Herbicide Timing
Bruce Ley, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To compare and showcase the broad range of strategic tillage options for amelioration of yellow sandplain soils and to assess their effectiveness at overcoming a range of soil constraints including non-wetting soil surface, compaction and subsoil acidity and increasing crop productivity.

Crop type: Wheat 3 trials Soil Soil Preparation
Goomalling, WA
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To evaulate the nitrogen fixing capacity of various legume species grown on Kangaroo Island.

MacGillivray, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To determine whether adding extra nitrogen (N) at GS31 will bring benefits above the current standard practice of only applying nitrogen at or near sowing in three different Eyre Peninsula (EP) environments.

 

Crop type: Wheat 3 trials Fertiliser Rate Variety Type
Cummins, SA Lock, SA Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

To develop predictive formulas that can be used by growers to estimate in-season soil moisture at different depths and crop nutrient content from proximal sensing (PS) data.

Crop type: Wheat 6 trials Variety Type
Cummins, SA Lock, SA Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Nunjikompita, SA Piednippie, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

The GRDC project ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula’ aims to produce sustainable management guidelines to control pests, weeds and diseases while retaining stubble to maintain or improve soil health, and reduce exposure to wind erosion. The major outcome to be achieved is increased knowledge … read more

Crop type: Barley 1 trial Sowing Rate Sowing Method
Lock, SA
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

To provide growers and advisers with a better understanding of the benefits of deep ripping and in particular depth of deep ripping required to optimise crop yield and profit.

Crop type: Wheat 5 trials Soil Compaction Soil amelioration
Arrino, WA Eradu, WA Mullewa, WA Ogilvie, WA Walkaway, WA
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

To build on previous research by updating knowledge of the benefits, including disease control and nutrition, of fluid delivery systems.

Crop type: Wheat 2 trials Fertiliser Type Fertiliser Rate Fungicide Type
Streaky Bay, SA Warramboo, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

The broad aim of this 3 year SAGIT funded project was to investigate if current management tools for medic based pastures, such as herbicides, fertilisers and rhizobial inoculants, are affecting N fixation by medic pastures under field conditions typical of the upper Eyre Peninsula.

Crop type: Medic 3 trials Fertiliser Rate Herbicide Type Herbicide Timing
Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Piednippie, SA Pingbong, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

In-paddock variability — a snapshot and lessons learnt

Dr Cassandra Schefe, Cameron Grant, Peter Dahlhaus, Nathan Robinson, Ryan Walker, Les Janik, Dean Jones, Ben Fleay.

Aims:

The aims of the PA component of the GRDC Stubble project were to:

• deliver a pilot project to understand how soil parameters, including PAW, vary across a paddock and understand
whether current PA datasets can correlate with PAW

• connect variations in soil moisture with nitrogen supply

• demonstrate t… read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Crop
Yarrawonga, VIC
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

This was the second year of a three-year trial, funded by the South Australian Grains Industry Trust (SAGIT), to evaluate the nitrogen fixation capabilities of various legume species commonly grown on Kangaroo Island.

In this second year, the trial was set up to answer the following questions:

Crop type: Clover,Pea,Canola,Linseed,Faba beans,Lupins 12 trials Crop Rotation Variety Type
Seddon, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Adopting profitable crop sequences in the South Australian Mallee

Michael Moodie, Todd McDonald (MSF), Nigel Wilhelm (SARDI) and Ray Correll (Rho Environmetrics)

Aims:

  • Trials were implemented to compare break crop productivity and profitability on major soil types in the northern South Australian Mallee. This information will help farmers in the region to select the most appropriate break crop for their farming system.

Loxton, SA Waikerie, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To investigate the impact that stubble treatments (burning, cultivation, harrowed/flattened or standing stubble) imposed towards the end of the fallow have on the yield of winter crops.

Crop type: Barley 12 trials Stubble
Alectown, NSW Gunning Gap, NSW Lake Cargelligo, NSW Mumbil Creek, NSW North Parkes, NSW Nyngan, NSW Tottenham, NSW Tullamore, NSW Ungarie, NSW Weethalle, NSW West Wyalong, NSW Wirrinya, NSW
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

The GRDC project ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula’ aims to produce sustainable management guidelines to control pests, weeds and diseases while retaining stubble to maintain or improve soil health, and reduce exposure to wind erosion. The major outcome to be achieved is increased knowledge … read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Sowing Rate Sowing Timing Sowing Method
Lock, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

Toreport on decisions used by NSW grains industry advisers to determine nitrogen fertiliser management recommendations.

Crop type: No crop specified 1 trial No treatment
Tamworth Agricultural Institute, NSW
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To provide growers and advisers with a better understanding of the benefits of deep ripping and in particular depth of deep ripping required to optimise crop yield and profit.

Crop type: Wheat 5 trials Soil Type Soil Compaction Soil amelioration
Arrino, WA Eradu, WA Mullewa, WA Ogilvie, WA Walkaway, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

This experiment reports the effect of three sowing dates on the timing of anthesis, grain yield and grain quality parameters for a range of commercially available and advanced bread wheat and durum varieties.

The combination of phenology and sowing date (SD) determines the probable timing of environmental stresses (frost and heat stres… read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Sowing Sowing Timing Variety Variety Type
Tamworth Agricultural Institute, NSW
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Aims:

To test the target population for irrigated Durack Oats

Crop type: Oats 1 trial Sowing Rate
Kerang, VIC
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

Assessing practical soil management options for overcoming severe water repellence on sandy gravels in the West Midlands.

Crop type: Wheat 2 trials Soil amelioration
Badgingarra, WA Dandaragan, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

The aim of this project (SAGIT S914) was to:

  • Provide a genuine legume break crop option for cereal and mixed farmers in the marginal cropping areas of South Australia. Focusing on Western Eyre Peninsula, the Upper North and the Murray lands/Mallee.
  • Trial advanced common vetch lines with specific targeted traits in re… read more
Crop type: Vetch 2 trials Variety Type
Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Piednippie, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

  1. To refine canola establishment methods for early sowing.
  2. To see if it is possible to chase moisture at depth with canola.

Crop type: Canola 1 trial Crop
Strawberry, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

  1. To refine canola establishment methods for early sowing.
  2. To see if it is possible to chase moisture at depth with canola.

Crop type: Canola 1 trial Crop
Eradu, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

The GRDC project ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula’ aims to produce sustainable management guidelines to control pests, weeds and diseases while retaining stubble to maintain or improve soil health, and reduce exposure to wind erosion. The major outcome to be achieved is increased knowledge … read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Sowing Rate Sowing Timing Sowing Method
Murlong, SA
Research organisatons
Funding source

Early or delayed sowing for improved ryegrass control?

Sarah Noack, Peter Hooper (Hart Field Site Group), Chris Preston and Sam Kleemann (Univeristy of Adelaide)

Aims:

To investigate the effect of early or delayed sowing on reduction of ryegrass numbers in combination with different preemergent herbicides.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Herbicide Herbicide Type Sowing Sowing Timing
Hart, SA
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

Compare the yield responses of canola varieties sown at three sowing dates (9 April, 23 April and 12 May).

Crop type: Canola 1 trial Crop Type
Pindar, WA
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Evaluation of a DNA tool to determine risk of chickpea Phytophthora root rot

Sean Bithell, Kevin Moore, Kristy Hobson, Steve Harden (NSW DPI), Willy Martin (QLD DAF) and Alan McKay (SARDI)

Aims:

To predict the risk of PRR disease and potential yield losses in chickpea, and detect P. med inoculum in soil from commercial paddocks. 

Crop type: Chickpeas 1 trial Inoculant
Warwick, QLD
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Aims:

To determine how post-grazing nitrogen application rates and post flowering rainfall affect the recovery of Mace and Trojan grain wheat crops after grazing.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Grazing Timing
Berriwillock, VIC
Research organisaton
Funding source

Herbicide efficacy in retained stubble systems

Amanda Cook (SARDI), Andy Bates (Bates Agricultural Consulting), Wade Shepperd and Ian Richter (SARDI)

Aims:

The GRDC project ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula’ aims to improve farm profitability while retaining stubble in farming systems on upper Eyre Peninsula (EP). Weed control in stubble retained systems can be compromised when stubbles and organic residues intercept the herbicide and prevent i… read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Herbicide Type Herbicide Rate Stubble Management
Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

  • To build an understanding of the current nitrogen use efficiency of four soil types in the Northern Agricultural Region of WA
  • To understand how efficiently applied nitrogen is used in the soil.
  • To educate growers and advisors on how to improve nitrogen use efficiency through a greater understanding of the soil water… read more

Crop type: Wheat 4 trials Fertiliser Application
Mingenew, WA Morawa, WA Ogilvie, WA Tenindewa, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To (i) ground truth through statistical analysis of small plot trials current practices of leading farmers in regards to the use of Variable Rate Technology (VRT), predictive yield modelling and nutrition modelling in improving water use efficiency and hence profitability; (ii) address the hypothesis that greater return on investment can be achi… read more

Crop type: Wheat 2 trials Fertiliser Application
Allanooka, WA Yarragadee, WA
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To improve knowledge around the ability of sorghum to efficiently use applied irrigation water. 

Crop type: Sorghum 1 trial Irrigation Sowing Sowing Row spacing Variety Variety Type
Gunnedah, NSW
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Aims:

To evaluate the effect of two triazine tolerant varieties, sown at three different seeding rates and three different depths has on emergence and yield at Minnipa Agricultural Centre and at Piednippie. 

Crop type: Canola 2 trials Sowing Rate Sowing Method Variety Type
Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Piednippie, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To maximise canola productivity through creating soil specific management strategies that improve canola yields, profitability and establishment in field trials on Eyre Peninsula.

In 2015, seven separate trials were conducted as part of this project at Minnipa Agriculture Centre and Piednippie on upper Eyre Peninsula. Three trials will… read more

Crop type: Canola 2 trials Sowing Rate Sowing Timing Sowing Method Variety Type
Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Piednippie, SA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To test and develop farming systems where retained stubble is managed in the HRZ without a reduction in profitability for the grower

Crop type: Canola 2 trials Stubble
Inverleigh, VIC Westmere, VIC
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To demonstrate that, in the right season, ripping affects nitrogen uptake efficiency and availability to crops.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Fertiliser
Dandaragan, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To provide a demonstration site to observe the effects of mouldboard ploughing vs. no cultivation on non-wetting soils and crop growth and yield.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Soil Preparation Soil amelioration Type Soil amelioration Rate
Wickepin, WA
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To demonstrate more efficient deep ripping of a dry compact sandy soil and to assess any benefits of improved rain infiltration and crop yield.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Soil amelioration Application
east Buntine, ACT
Research organisatons

Early or delayed sowing for ryegrass control?

Sarah Noack and Peter Hooper (Hart Field Site Group), Chris Preston and Sam Kleemann (University of Adelaide)

Aims:

To investigate the effect of early or delayed sowing on reduction of ryegrass numbers in combination with different pre-emergent herbicides

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Herbicide Type Herbicide Rate Herbicide Application Sowing Timing
Hart, SA
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To compare and evaluate the yield effect from cultivation, before seeding versus a full cut system in a wheat crop.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Soil amelioration Timing
east Buntine, ACT
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons

Aims:

To determine the best nitrogen and sulphur strategy for wheat grown on sandy soils in the Mallee with a full profile of moisture and a forecast El Nino.

Crop type: No crop specified 1 trial Fertiliser Type Stubble Management
Kooloonong, VIC
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To (i) identify gaps in soil descriptions for the Esperance and Albany Zones (this project will assist growers to make better informed decisions when it comes to addressing their soil constraints and crop management decisions); and (ii) upskill growers and industry on the tools and models available to them and how to interpret the data generated… read more

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Soil Soil Type
Nyabing, WA
Trial Report Unavailable Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Aims:

To examine the impact of crown rot on yield and grain quality in 22 barley, six durum and 34 bread wheat entries across two sowing times at Tamworth in northern NSW in 2014. 

Crown rot, caused predominantly by the fungus Fusarium pseudograminearum (Fp), is a major constraint to winter cereal (wheat, barley and durum) production in th… read more

Crop type: Barley,Wheat 2 trials Crop Inoculant Variety Variety Type
Tamworth Agricultural Institute, NSW
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Aims:

CWFS are conducting trials at its regional sites that - investigate the impact of different stubble treatments imposed towards the end of the fallow have on nitrogen response (applied as urea) in wheat yield and quality - evaluate the widely used advisor/farmer benchmark of 20 kg actual N required per tonne of expected yield.

Crop type: Wheat 5 trials Stubble Management
Alectown, NSW Gunning Gap, NSW Lake Cargelligo, NSW Tullamore, NSW Ungarie, NSW
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Aims:

CWFS are conducting trials at its regional sites that - investigate the impact of different stubble treatments imposed towards the end of the fallow have on nitrogen response (applied as urea) in wheat yield and quality - evaluate the widely used advisor/farmer benchmark of 20 kg actual N required per tonne of expected yield.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Stubble Management
Nyngan, NSW
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source

Stubble management to improve crop yield

Chris Korte, Mick Brady, Chris Davies amd Dave Monks (DEDJTR)

Aims:

Over recent seasons adoption of stubble retention has plateaued in the Mallee and some growers are reducing the area of stubble retained until the next growing season. An experiment was undertaken to identify potential improvements in stubble management so this trend could be reversed. The experiment examined how different amounts and types of s… read more

Crop type: Canola,Wheat 2 trials Fertiliser Rate Stubble Height
Ouyen, VIC
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding sources

Aims:

To (i) improve the understanding of how soil moisture probes and Yield Prophet can be used to complement each other; (ii) increase the range of APSoil soil type selections in Yield Prophet by modifying existing soil types based on the probe data; (iii) provide growers with access to real-time soil moisture data and periodic Yield Prophet repor… read more

Crop type: Wheat 13 trials Soil Soil Type Variety Variety Type
Beacon, WA Bindi Bindi, WA Bonnie Rock, WA Coomberdale, WA Dowerin, WA Howick, WA Jerramungup, WA Lake Grace, WA Merredin, WA Ravensthorpe, WA Southern Cross, WA Warradarge, WA Yealering, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Impact of vetch 'end-use' on the following wheat crop

De-Anne Ferrier (BCG), Harm van Rees (CropFacts), Laura Watson and Mark Peoples (CSIRO)

Aims:

To compare soil moisture, soil nitrogen and profitability of five different vetch end-use treatments from 2012, sown to wheat in 2013.

Crop type: Wheat 1 trial Soil amelioration Rate
Birchip, VIC
Trial Report Unavailable
Research organisaton
Funding source

Lucerne in the crop rotation

David Watson (Agvise), Simon Falkiner (Falkiner Ag) and Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services)

Aims:

To answer some key questions about lucerne in the crop rotation:

  • What is the impact of the lucerne phase on subsequent crops regarding yield, quality, soil moisture and nitrogen?
  • What is the best time to remove lucerne - spring or autumn?
  • What is the best method of removing lucerne?
  • What is the … read more
Crop type: Lucerne 1 trial Crop Crop Rotation Grazing Grazing Regime
Inverleigh, VIC
Research organisaton

Aims:

To compare the efficacy and crop safety of different herbicide options for control of grasses in barley.

Crop type: Barley 1 trial Herbicide Herbicide Type
Wongan Hills, WA
Research organisaton

Aims:

To evaluate the performance of perennial grass and crops (Barley in 2013) when pasture cropped over different perennial species established on deep pale sands.

Crop type: Barley 1 trial Sowing
Moora, WA
Source Data Unavailable
Research organisatons
Funding source