Crop establishment on non-wetting sand


Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Amanda Cook (SARDI)
Year(s) 2016
Contributor Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation
Trial location(s) Site 7, Lock, SA
Crop establishment on non-wetting sand locations

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 and skills allowing farmers and advisers to improve farm profitability while retaining stubble in farming systems on upper Eyre Peninsula (EP).


One issue EP farmers identified as a problem with stubble retained systems was sowing into non-wetting sands and the resulting uneven and reduced germination. A trial was undertaken from 2013 to 2015 at Murlong (near Lock) to compare how crop establishment and performance is affected by time of sowing, sowing rate, row position and sowing depth on a non-wetting sand. The trial site was moved in 2016 to another non-wetting site near Lock.


Key messages
  • Crop establishment was not improved by on-row seeding or by increasing seeding rate in 2016.
  • Higher seeding rate increased early dry matter but this effect declined during the growing season.
  • In 2016 row placement or seeding rate did not affect grain yield or grain quality.
  • Sowing on-row may be an advantage on non-wetting soils with low moisture at seeding.
Lead research organisation Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation
Host research organisation SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Trial funding source GRDC EPF00001
Related program Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble

Thank you to the Polkinghorne family for having this trial on their property, and the Hentschke family in previous seasons. Trial funded by GRDC Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble - upper Eyre Peninsula (EPF00001).

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


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Sowing: Rate
  • Sowing: Timing
  • Sowing: Method
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

Lock 2016

Sow rate or Target density 40kg/ha, 60 kg/ha
Sow date 23 May 2016
Harvest date 8 December 2016
Plot size 12m x 2m
Plot replication 3
Paddock history 2016: Kord wheat 2015: Mace wheat 2014: Medic pasture

The trial was sown with CL Kord wheat on 23 May at 30 cm row spacings and into good soil moisture. Base fertiliser was 18:20:0:0 (DAP) @ 60 kg/ha and a trace element mix of manganese sulphate at 1.5 kg Mn/ha, zinc sulphate at 1 kg Zn/ha and copper sulphate at 0.2 kg Cu/ha was also delivered as banded fluid at seeding. Application of 50 kg/ha of urea spread on 6 August


The trial was sprayed with a knockdown of 1.5 L/ha of glyphosate, 1.5 L/ha trifluralin, 80 ml/ha of carfentrazone-ethyl and a wetter on 23 May. The whole trial was sprayed with imazepic and imazepyr on 6 of July

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
Site 7, Lock, SA 0 - 30cm 6.90 50.00 72.00
Site 7, Lock, SA 0 - 100cm 6.90 50.00 111.00
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 7, Lock, SA Non-wetting sand
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Site 7, Lock, SA Calcarosol
National soil grid Source
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



Site 7, Lock SA 2016

Observed climate information

Rainfall avg ann (mm) 336mm
Rainfall avg gsr (mm) 250mm
Rainfall trial total (mm) 401mm
Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 314mm

Derived climate information

Site 7, Lock SA


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.

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