Bentonite clay and tillage to improve soil and yield

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Lilly Martin (Liebe Group)
Year(s) 2014
Contributor Liebe Group
Trial location(s) Miling, WA
Bentonite clay and tillage to improve soil and yield locations

To determine if the inclusion of Bentonite clay improves crop yields on non-wetting sandy soils and their ability to store more carbon.

Key messages
  • Crop germination was poor on the mouldboard plots and compaction is still a big issue on these plots.
  • Bentonite clay has shown no effect on organic carbon %.


Lead research organisation Liebe Group
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source Department of Agriculture
Related program N/A

Thank you to the Seymour Family for hosting the trial,  Justin Laycock and Frances Hoyle, Department of Agriculture and Food, WA for their help with bulk density testing in 2014. Thanks to Shari Dougall and Bruce Thorpe from DAFWA Wongan Hills for conducting the mouldboard ploughing. This demonstration is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture’s Action on the Ground project.

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


Crop type Canola
Treatment type(s)
  • Soil: Preparation
Trial type Demonstration
Trial design Unreplicated

Miling 2014

Sow rate or Target density 3 kg/ha
Sow date 30 April 2014 30 April 2014
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 50m x 20m
Plot replication Not specified

30/04/2014: 75 kg/ha Mallee Extra, 25 kg/ha Muriate of Potash, 50 L/ha Flexi N

28/06/2014: 80 kg/ha NS51

25/07/2014: 40 L/ha Flexi N


30/04/2014: 3 L/ha Atrazine, 1 L/ha Propyzamide,

25/05/2014: 2 L/ha Atrazine, 200 mL/ha Talstar

11/06/2014: 500 mL/ha Select, 240 mL/ha Targa


11/06/2014: 100 mL/ha Alpha Cypermethrin

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Variety
Protein (%) Oil (%) Grain yield (t/ha)
1 Mouldboard- No Bentonite 22.4 42.4 0.94
2 None- No Bentonite 22.1 41.6 0.79
3 None- No Bentonite 22 42.8 1.24
4 Mouldboard- No Bentonite 21.9 44.5 1.47
5 Deep rip- No Bentonite 19.9 45.7 1.94
6 None- No Bentonite 19.8 45.8 1.61
7 Disc- No Bentonite 22 43.5 1.19
8 Mouldboard- Bentonite 21.9 42.5 0.52
9 None- Bentonite 22.7 41.9 0.63
10 None- Bentonite 22.2 42.6 0.85
11 Mouldboard- Bentonite 21.8 44.2 0.87
12 Deep rip- Bentonite 22 43.7 1.22
13 None- Bentonite 18.9 46.2 1.45
14 Disc- Bentonite 20.2 46.6 1.86
15 None- Bentonite 22.1 43.8 1.9.3

Grain yield t/ha


Oil %


Protein %

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Site Depth Type pH EC P K N A OC CAT
Miling, WA 0 - 10cm 6.00 0.04
Miling, WA 10 - 30cm 4.70
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Miling, WA Yellow sands
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Miling, WA Kandosol
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 Miling WA
2014 91.8mm
2013 113.3mm
2012 143.4mm
2011 135.0mm
2010 117.3mm
2009 128.7mm
2008 139.8mm
2007 121.0mm
2006 123.9mm
2005 104.7mm
2004 98.3mm
2003 94.6mm
2002 57.6mm
2001 55.2mm
2000 126.6mm
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



Miling WA 2014

Observed climate information

Rainfall avg gsr (mm) 225mm

Derived climate information

Miling 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: 11-12-2019 09:28am AEST