Managing micronutrient deficiencies in cropping systems. Copper at Edillilie

2015

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Nigel Wilhelm, Sjaan Davey
Year(s) 2015
Contributor South Australian Research and Development Institute
Trial location(s) Site 2, Edillilie, SA
Managing micronutrient deficiencies in cropping systems. Copper at Edillilie locations
Aims

To asses the effect on crop yield of multiple rates and application strategies of micronutrient fertilizers in soils deficient in the target micronutrients (copper, zinc, manganese, boron and molybdenum)

Key messages

From this trial:

  • The site was severely deficient in Cu for wheat. 
  • Under these severely deficient conditions, soil applications of Cu were poorly effective compared to foliar sprays but fluid applications performed better than Cu enriched granular fertilisers.  However, soil applications of Cu can persist for decades.
  • There was no evidence that a chelated source of Cu as a foliar spray was more effective than a sulphate source and less Cu seemed to end up in the grain with the chelated source.
  • A single foliar spray of Cu prior to flowering is often sufficient to protect a cereal crop from Cu deficiency but under the severe deficiency encountered in 2015, two foliar sprays were necessary to overcome the problem completely (one at first node, the second prior to flowering).
  • Cu deficiency can make a crop more sensitive to adverse conditions.  In this trial, the hot drying conditions of the early October weekend, severely scorched all plots with no or poorly effective Cu management strategies.
  • The soil and leaf tests taken during this trial support that the current guidelines for Cu deficiency are still relevant to modern farming systems and varieties.  A DTPA Cu level in soil of less than 0.3 ppm in the top 10 cm is considered deficient, and 1.3 ppm Cu in YEBS is considered very deficient for wheat.

From the whole project:

Current guidelines are still relevant and effective for TE management.

Some current interpretations of soil tests are causing issues - the suggested levels to avoid deficiencies are much higher in some lab reports than is our experience from field trials. These are creating false impressions of the extent and severity of Zn and Cu deficiencies.

No evidence of a major increase in the incidence or severity of TE deficiencies in the cropping zones.

Fluid delivery of TEs at seeding is a valid management strategy but rates of the target TE need to be the same as used with compounded fertilisers.

Generally, all sources of foliar TE were equally effective.

Lead research organisation South Australian Research and Development Institute
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC DAS00146
Related program More Profit from Crop Nutrition
Acknowledgments

This project was linked closely with a similar project in WA project code DAW00239, managed by Dr Ross Brennan, DPIRD.


Other trial partners Patrick Head and Cummins Ag Services

Method

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

Edillilie 2015

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication 4
Fertiliser

District rates of basal fertilisers

 

Download results

Trial results Table 1

@T1: Z14 @T2: Z30
# Treatment 1
Grain yield (t/ha) Soil Copper in top 10cm (mg DTPA Cu/kg) Tissue Copper (mg Cu/kg) Tissue Copper (mg Cu/kg)
1 Nil Control 0.8 0.16 1.6 -
1 Granular fertiliser at seeding (2kg Cu/ha) 0.3 1.2 -
1 Granular fertiliser at seeding (1kg Cu/ha) 0.28 1.4 -
2 Coated fert product (0.5 kg Cu/ha) 0.86 1.6 -
2 Fluid banded near seed row (1kg Cu/ha) 1.22 1.9 -
2 Foliar spray sulphate (90g Cu/ha) 2.05 - -
3 Foliar spray sulphate (100g Cu/ha) 1.93 - -
3 Foliar spray chelate (90g Cu/ha) 1.73 - -
3 Foliar spray sulphate x 2 (90 + 90g Cu/ha) 3.16 - 2.5
4 Luxury management (2kg + 90g + 1.5kg Cu/ha) 2.98 2 -
4 Nil Control: Residual A 0.59 1.6 1.5
4 Nil Control: Residual B 0.3 - -
5 Fluid banded near seed row (0.09kg Cu/ha) 0.69 1.3 -
5 Fluid banded near seed row (0.19kg Cu/ha) 0.98 2 -
5 Fluid banded near seed row (0.38kg Cu/ha) 0.67 1.8 -
6 Fluid banded near seed row (0.56kg Cu/ha) 1.11 2.5 -
6 Fluid banded near seed row (1.1kg Cu/ha) 1.41 2.4 -
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Grain yield t/ha


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Soil Copper in top 10cm mg DTPA Cu/kg


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Tissue Copper mg Cu/kg


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Trial last modified: 09-10-2019 14:09pm AEST