Can subsoil constraints be combated economically?

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Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Clare Johnston (Liebe Group)
Lilly Martin (Liebe Group)
Yvette Oliver (CSIRO)
Rob Sands (Farmanco)
Year(s) 2016
Contributor West Midlands Group
Trial location(s) West Wubin, WA
Can subsoil constraints be combated economically? locations

To determine which ameliorant practice is the most effective and economic in remediating subsoil acidity at depth.

Key messages
  • In 2016, the soil mixing (grizzly or spader) had a greater wheat yield than the control (0.27-0.42 t/ha), regardless of product applied. The incorporation treatments are still being paid off and therefore have not produced the greatest net margin.
  • Limesand/No till returned the best net margin for the 2nd consecutive year due to the low yield increases from either application of product or mixing treatment.
  • The lime or dolomite treatments had greater yields (0.22-0.5 t/ha) regardless of mixing treatment.
  • Care must be taken in interpretation of results due to pH variation across the site.
Lead research organisation Liebe Group
Host research organisation West Midlands Group
Trial funding source GRDC DAW00242,LIE00008
Related program N/A

Many thanks to the Barnes family for all their help and input in setting up and managing the trial. Thanks to McIntosh and Son, Wongan Hills for use of the Tiny Grizzly and to Rohan Broun, Liebe member, for his time and the use of the spader; Scott’s Watheroo Dolomite for donating dolomite and the McNeill family, Dalwallinu for donating the limesand. Michael MacPherson, Imtrade for completing the statistical analysis and Rob Sands, Farmanco for the economic analysis.

This trial is funded by GRDC through LIE00008: Working together to deliver multiple benefit messages to growers through a whole systems approach to soil management.

This trial is also supported by GRDC funded project DAW00242: Subsoil constraints - understanding and management and through support from the Wheatbelt NRM.

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


Crop type Cereal (Grain): Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Farm operations: Economics
  • Soil Improvement
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

West Wubin 2016

Sow rate or Target density 65kg/ha
Sow date 23 May 2016
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 11.65m x 14m
Plot replication 4
Psuedoreplication Not specified

7 March: 40 kg/ha MoP

23 May: 55 kg/ha DAPSZC

28 June: 75 kg/ha Urea


24/04/2016: 2 L/ha Glyphosate 450, 300 mL/ha LV Ester 680, 5 g/ha Metsulfuron, 0.25% SP 700 Surfactant

23/05/2016: 2.2 L/ha Glyphosate 450, 300 mL/ha LV Ester 680, 20 mL/ha Hammer, 2 L/ha Trifluralin 480, 2 L/ha Boxer Gold, 200 mL/ha Chlorpyrifos 500EC, 1% Ammonium Sulphate

06/07/2016: 1 L/ha Velocity, 0.5% MOS

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
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
West Wubin, WA Yellow deep sand
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
West Wubin, 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 West Wubin WA
2016 315.2mm
2015 321.4mm
2014 341.2mm
2013 404.2mm
2012 416.7mm
2011 361.1mm
2010 378.8mm
2009 372.9mm
2008 399.7mm
2007 390.1mm
2006 430.0mm
2005 368.1mm
2004 357.8mm
2003 382.9mm
2002 362.3mm
2001 359.6mm
2000 469.2mm
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



West Wubin WA 2016

Observed climate information

Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 179mm

Derived climate information

West Wubin 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

2016 trial report

Trial last modified: 23-07-2019 14:28pm AEST