Vetch termination: finding a compromise


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) De-Anne Ferrier (BCG), Laura Watson and Mark Peoples (CSIRO)
Year(s) 2012
Contributor Birchip Cropping Group
Trial location(s) Site 3, Birchip, VIC
Vetch termination: finding a compromise locations

To determine whether rhizobial inoculation of vetch enhances the amounts of N fixed. To evaluate the effect the timing of vetch termination has on inputs of fixed N, and on residual soil moisture and mineral N measured at the end of the 2012 growing season.

Key messages

Nitrogen (N) fixation by vetch was closely related to dry matter (DM) production (26kg N fixed per tonne DM accumulated). The later the termination, the higher the calculated inputs of fixed N. Both soil water reserves and mineral N were highest at the end of the 2012 growing season following the earliest (June and July) termination timings. To establish the best time to terminate a vetch crop, weigh up the benefits being delivered by vetch (biomass accumulation and N fixation), the need to conserve moisture and time required for N to mineralise for the next crop.

Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC CSP00146
Related program N/A

This project was funded by GRDC, Project CSP00146: ‘Facilitating increased on-farm adoption of broadleaf species in crop sequences to improve grain production and profitability. James Hunt and Tony Swan (CSIRO) need to be acknowledged for their assistance in data interpretation and statistical analysis.

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Vetch
Treatment type(s)
  • Harvest: Timing
  • Inoculant: Type
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Birchip 2012

Sow date 13 March 2012
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication 4

Superfos (40kg/ha [6.16kg P/ha])


Simazine (700g/ha) + Treflan (1.5L/ha) + Roundup® (2L/ha)

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Treatment 1
Rainfall (mm) Shoot dry matter (t/ha) Plant available water (mm) Soil mineral N (kg N/ha) Shoot N fixed (kg N/ha)
1 8 June Termination 45 1.05 98 158 25
2 20 July Termination 103 1.6 129 122 43
3 19 August Termination 118 3.8 92 108 123
4 17 September Termination 127 4.9 86 113 135
5 13 November Termination (Control) 149 3.2 64 89 74

Plant available water mm


Rainfall mm


Shoot dry matter t/ha


Shoot N fixed kg N/ha


Soil mineral N kg N/ha

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 3, Birchip, VIC Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Site 3, Birchip, VIC Vertosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Site 3, Birchip VIC
2012 365.4mm
2011 431.2mm
2010 344.5mm
2009 292.7mm
2008 275.5mm
2007 274.8mm
2006 283.6mm
2005 316.0mm
2004 281.0mm
2003 275.8mm
2002 240.1mm
2001 285.1mm
2000 290.6mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Site 3, Birchip VIC

CAUTION: Trial site locality unknown; Climate data sourced from Birchip Cropping Group office location

Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial last modified: 13-09-2017 10:20am AEST