Increasing profitability through utilisation of combined technologies to target input strategies to productive capacity of soils

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Chris Pinkney (Agrarian Managment)
Craig Topham (Agrarian Managment)
Year(s) 2015
Contributor Agrarian Management
Trial location(s) Allanooka, WA
Yarragadee, WA
Increasing profitability through utilisation of combined technologies to target input strategies to productive capacity of soils locations

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 achieved through targeted nutrition applications according to variety, production zone, plant available water (PAW) and seasonal conditions; (iii) assist in the generation of data to extend the process of using soil moisture probe data in conjunction with Yield Prophet (YP) simulations to assist with production decisions for different soil zones (with differing PAWC), with particular focus on top-up nitrogen.

Key messages

The complex nature of these trials has generated a vast array of information. To best extract meaningful results it is necessary to pry apart the data to generate answers addressing the key facets of the hypothesis: see attached report for full details and discusison.

Lead research organisation Agrarian Management
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC AAM00003
Related program Regional Cropping Solutions Network

Agrarian Management thanks the following people and organisations for their input and collaboration with the project: Cosgrove Farming Co. for provision of the site and contributing all information relevant to producing the production zones. Equii for provision of soil test interpretation services. Kalyx Australia for the provision of all field services and site management. The Mingenew Irwin Group for assistance with extension and field walks. Agrarian Management acknowledges GRDC for the provision of funding for this project.

Other trial partners Cosgrove Farming Co., Equii, Kalyx Australia, The Mingenew Irwin Group
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser: Application
Trial type
Trial design

Allanooka 2015

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified
Seed treatment Not specified
Other trial notes Not specified

Yarragadee 2015

Sow date 2 June 2014 2 June 2014
Harvest date 11 November 2014 11 November 2014
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified

Post emergent: nutritional applications topdressed on 10 July 2014 - crop stage GS15 (NS31 and MOP) and 31 July 2014 - crop stage GS30 (NS31).

Seed treatment Lime application 300 kg.ha in February 2014, no deep ripping.
Other trial notes

The chosen paddock was zoned into three production zones based upon soil type utilising EM38, gamma radiometrics, elevation data, yield data and biomass data. The created zones consisted of a poor pale sand, strong yellow sand and a strong sand r

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Treatment 1
Treatment 2
pH CaCl2 (pH) Soil ammonium (mg/kg) Colwell phosphorus (mg/kg) Organic carbon (%) Soil nitrate (mg/kg) Sulphur (mg/kg)
1 Low/Poor Production Zone (Zone 1) 0-10 cm 4.9 5 22 0.3 4 5
2 Low/Poor Production Zone (Zone 1) 10-20 cm 4.7 2 25 0.2 3 2
3 Low/Poor Production Zone (Zone 1) 20-30 cm 4.8 1 26 0.1 2 1
4 Low/Poor Production Zone (Zone 1) 30-50 cm 4.8 0 24 0 1 1
5 Low/Poor Production Zone (Zone 1) 50-100 cm 4.8 0 15 0 1 0.9
6 Medium Production Zone (Zone 2) 0-10 cm 5.6 3 17 0.5 8 9
7 Medium Production Zone (Zone 2) 10-20 cm 4.9 2 19 0.2 5 3
8 Medium Production Zone (Zone 2) 20-30 cm 4.6 1 18 0.1 2 2
9 Medium Production Zone (Zone 2) 30-50 cm 4.7 1 11 0 2 6
10 Medium Production Zone (Zone 2) 50-100 cm 4.8 0 4 0 2 12
11 High/Good Production Zone (Zone 3) 0-10 cm 5.4 3 19 0.5 8 12
12 High/Good Production Zone (Zone 3) 10-20 cm 4.6 2 18 0.2 4 4
13 High/Good Production Zone (Zone 3) 20-30 cm 4.6 0 18 0.1 2 3
14 High/Good Production Zone (Zone 3) 30-50 cm 4.8 0 9 0 2 5
15 High/Good Production Zone (Zone 3) 50-100 cm 5 0 3 0 1 9

Colwell phosphorus mg/kg


Organic carbon %


pH CaCl2 pH


Soil ammonium mg/kg


Soil nitrate mg/kg


Sulphur mg/kg

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Allanooka, WA Not specified
Yarragadee, WA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Allanooka, WA Tenosol
Yarragadee, WA Sodosol
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 Allanooka WA Yarragadee WA
2015 77.8mm130.4mm
2014 73.7mm137.9mm
2013 88.9mm155.6mm
2012 96.9mm129.6mm
2011 106.2mm165.1mm
2010 63.0mm126.4mm
2009 61.4mm133.8mm
2008 80.7mm143.5mm
2007 59.6mm83.7mm
2006 48.2mm104.3mm
2005 63.4mm131.5mm
2004 44.8mm122.7mm
2003 61.8mm136.3mm
2002 29.6mm112.0mm
2001 36.8mm90.8mm
2000 88.1mm129.4mm
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



Yarragadee WA 2015

Observed climate information

Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 353mm

Derived climate information

Allanooka WA

Yarragadee WA

Allanooka WA


Yarragadee WA


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: 23-07-2019 13:58pm AEST