Comparing the influence of organic matter and fertiliser inputs on soil organic carbon and grain production


Research organisatons
Funding sources

Trial details

Researcher(s) Natalie Hogg
Frances Hoyle
Felicity Taylor
Year(s) 2014
Contributor SoilsWest
Trial location(s) Tincurrin, WA
Comparing the influence of organic matter and fertiliser inputs on soil organic carbon and grain production locations

To identify on-farm management strategies to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) and quantify any associated risks and benefits in a grain production system.

In this trial the Facey Group wanted to determine whether:

  1. Altering inputs to increase plant biomass would subsequently increase soil carbon and
  2. Amending soils with compost would increase soil carbon storage or provide agronomic benefits.
Key messages
  • The application of up to 6 t/ha of compost over 3 years did not result in any measurable change to soil organic carbon or other agronomic benefits at this trial site.
  • Soil derived nitrogen dominated plant nitrogen uptake (represented 85-90% of total plant nitrogen uptake). 
  • Increasing fertiliser rates from 0 to 170 kg/ha increased grain yields by approximately 0.5 t/ha, and grain protein by 0.6%.
Lead research organisation Department of Agriculture and Food WA
Host research organisation Facey Group
Trial funding source Department of Agriculture AOTGR1-27
Trial funding source GRDC DAW00225
Related program Action on the Ground

Thanks to the Hinkley family for the trial site and assistance for the duration of this trial. Also thanks to Natalie Hogg (DAFWA), Sarah Hyde (Facey), Sheree Blenchynden (Facey), Justin Laycock (DAFWA), Liam Ryan (DAFWA) and Richard Bowles (UWA) for help with trial site implementation and sampling.

This project is led by the Department of Agriculture & Food WA in collaboration with the Facey Group and is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Action on the Ground program and the GRDC. 

Other trial partners GRDC


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Soil amelioration
  • Soil amelioration: Type
  • Soil amelioration: Rate
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Unknown

Tincurrin 2014

Sow rate or Target density 45 kg/ha
Sow date 16 May 2014
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 30m x 10m
Plot replication Not specified

100 kg/ha Super & Potash 2:1 in 2013 during pasture phase.

Nitrogen rate treatments as detailed ((0, 100, 170 kg/ha Agras Extra IBS).



0.3kg Diuron

1L Glyphosate

0.003kg Metsulfuron

0.15L Chlorpyrifos

0.075L Alpha-cypermethrin

0.35L LV Ester 680

Soil amelioration

In 2012 lime sand was spread at 0.75 t/ha prior to compost. Compost was combined with 0.2 t/ha of lime sand for ease of spreading. In total each treatment received 0.95 t/ha of lime sand + variable rate of compost prior to seeding.

3 compost rates (1, 2, 3 t/ha spread in 2012 and 3 t/ha in May 2014) 

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
Tincurrin, WA 0 - 10cm Grey deep sandy duplex (gravel below 25 cm); Grey 4.80 0.09 26.00 44.00 28.00 8.00 1.45
Tincurrin, WA 0 - 20cm Grey deep sandy duplex (gravel below 25 cm); Grey 4.50 0.03 17.00 31.00 8.00 4.00 0.54
Tincurrin, WA 0 - 30cm Grey deep sandy duplex (gravel below 25 cm); Grey 4.60 0.03 12.00 38.00 6.00 3.00 0.39
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Tincurrin, WA Deep sandy duplex
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Tincurrin, 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 Tincurrin WA
2014 289.7mm
2013 317.3mm
2012 324.0mm
2011 302.5mm
2010 284.0mm
2009 292.5mm
2008 267.2mm
2007 271.0mm
2006 305.6mm
2005 326.3mm
2004 312.1mm
2003 299.5mm
2002 305.4mm
2001 298.6mm
2000 364.0mm
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.

Tincurrin 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: 22-05-2019 11:14am AEST