The short term effect of different soil treatments on organic carbon and barley yield on a sandy soil


Research organisatons
Funding sources

Trial details

Researcher(s) Nadine Hollamby (LIebe)
Frances Hoyle (DAFWA)
Year(s) 2013
Contributor SoilsWest
Trial location(s) Buntine, WA
The short term effect of different soil treatments on organic carbon and barley yield on a sandy soil locations

To assess the effects of physical, chemical and biological soil manipulation (or inputs) on soil organic carbon in relation to changes in long term crop yields and quality.

Key messages

The application of compost at 2 t/ha did not result in higher returns and the response under compost plus fertiliser treatments could be attributed to the application of fertiliser. Spading did not return any further gains in terms of yield or quality at this site in 2013. The high cost of spading and compost in the first year, have negatively influenced profit outcomes. Depending on future yield improvements, these treatments may pay for themselves over the longer term.

No measureable changes in soil condition as a result of adding 2 t/ha compost were measured in 2013 and 2014 that would add value to the long term profit of this site.

Machinery used for applying compost caused some compaction and due to the dry post-sowing conditions, crop germination was very patchy. The trial site experienced significant moisture stress early in the season and may not be representative of seasons experiencing an average or wetter start.

Lead research organisation Department of Agriculture and Food WA
Host research organisation Liebe Group
Trial funding source AGAC AOTGR1-27
Trial funding source DAFWA
Trial funding source GRDC DAW00225
Related program Action on the Ground
  • The Liebe Group and their growers for continued interest and support for the project and management of the trial site.
  • Natalie Hogg (DAFWA), Justin Laycock (DAFWA) and Richard Bowles (UWA) for site sampling and coordination of activities.
  • This project was led by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA in collaboration with the Liebe Group and is supported by funding from the Australian Government.

Other trial partners University of Western Australia
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Cereal (Grain): Barley
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser: Application Method
  • Soil Improvement: Application Method
  • Soil Improvement: Type
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Buntine 2013

Sow rate or Target density 60 kg/ha barley
Sowing machinery

Selected treatments were rotary spaded prior to sowing on 5th June 2013.

Sow date 5 June 2013
Harvest date 7 November 2013
Plot size 50m x 18.3m
Plot replication 4

Fertiliser TSP at 80kg/ha and 40 kg/ha urea topdressed at seeding.


21/5/2013: 2L/ha glyphosate

5/06/2013: 2 L/ha Spray seed, 2.5 L/ha boxer gold, 130 g/ha Metribuzin

10/10/2013: 2L/ha Reglone

Soil amelioration

Selected treatments were rotary spaded prior to sowing on 5th June 2013.

Tillage Minimum tillage sowing
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Site Depth Type pH EC P K N A OC CAT
Buntine, WA 0 - 10cm Sand 6.00 0.10 29.40 72.80 22.20 1.01
Buntine, WA 10 - 20cm Sand 4.70 0.04 18.20 15.12 11.80 0.51
Buntine, WA 20 - 30cm Sand 4.70 0.04 6.60 20.00 5.80 0.24
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Buntine, WA Deep sand
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Buntine, 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 Buntine WA
2013 365.6mm
2012 364.2mm
2011 381.7mm
2010 348.2mm
2009 365.2mm
2008 380.7mm
2007 333.6mm
2006 361.4mm
2005 370.1mm
2004 361.9mm
2003 344.6mm
2002 325.3mm
2001 331.9mm
2000 380.2mm
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



Buntine WA 2013

Observed climate information

Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 189mm

Derived climate information

Buntine 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 report and links

2013 trial report

Trial last modified: 22-05-2019 11:14am AEST