Can soil organic carbon be increased in a continuous cropping system in the low to medium rainfall zone?


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Harm van Rees and Anne Jackman (Cropfacts Pty Ltd), Sarah Noack (Hart Field Site Group) and Jeff Baldock (CSIRO)
Year(s) 2017
Contributor Hart Field Site Group
Trial location(s) Site 5, Hart, SA
Can soil organic carbon be increased in a continuous cropping system in the low to medium rainfall zone? locations

To determine whether soil organic carbon be increased in a continuous cropping system in the low to medium rainfall zone.

Key messages
  • Eight trial sites were established across South Eastern Australia to investigate whether soil organic carbon levels can be increased in no-till farming systems, inclusive of adding nutrients to aid the biological breakdown of stubble into soil organic matter.
  • After three or five years of treatment, no increase in soil organic carbon could be confirmed across four trial sites. However, it is well known that no-till and stubble retention protects the soil from wind and water erosion and over a longer time-frame soil organic carbon levels may increase. But, based on these results it is likely that any potential increase in soil organic carbon will be small.
Lead research organisation Hart Field Site Group
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC CRF00002
Related program N/A

The soil organic carbon trial and extension work was funded by GRDC (project code CRF00002) and DAF (project code AotG1-42).


Other trial partners Cropfacts Pty Ltd and CSIRO
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type None: Farming systems
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser
  • Stubble
  • Stubble: Management
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Unknown
Sow rate or Target density Not specified
Sowing machinery Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Plot blocking Not specified
Plot randomisation Not specified
Paddock history Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified
Herbicide Not specified
Insecticide Not specified
Fungicide Not specified
Pesticide Not specified
Soil amelioration Not specified
Seed treatment Not specified
Inoculant Not specified
Tillage Not specified
Other trial notes

While all due care has been taken in compiling the information within this manual the Hart Field-Site Group Inc or researchers involved take no liability resulting from the interpretation or use of these results. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturers referred to. Other products may perform as well or better than those specifically referred to. Any research with un-registered products and rates in the manual does not constitute a recommendation for that particular use by the researchers or the Hart Field-Site Group Inc.

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
Site 5, Hart, SA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Site 5, Hart, SA Chromosol
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 5, Hart SA 2017

Derived climate information
BOM Data source BRINKWORTH [4493] 0km proximity to trial site location


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

2017 trial report