Water use under cropping systems at Condobolin

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Neil Fettell (NSW DPI)
Brett Honeysett (NSW DPI)
Year(s) 2005
Contributor Central West Farming Systems
Trial location(s) Condobolin, NSW
Water use under cropping systems at Condobolin locations

To integrate productive perennial pastures into annual cropping systems so as to improve the profitability and sustainability of dryland farming.

Key messages
  • The farming systems containing a perennial pasture phase contained 140-180 mm less soil water in the top 300 cm than the continuous cropping system.
  • Soil under the two lucerne-wheat cropping rotations and the perennial pasture system were considerably drier below 90 cm, presumably due to water extraction by lucerne in previous years.
  • At sowing, June 2004 and June 2005, the continuous cropping system contained 60 and 30 mm respectively more plant available water in the top 1 m than the lucerne-wheat cropping rotations. This resulted in 50% and 35% higher yields in 2004 and 2005 repectively.
  • Rooting depth in 2004-5 appeared limited to the top 70-90 cm for wheat, 50-70 cm for peas and 210 cm for perennial pasture.
  • Modelling indicates potential drainage of 19 mm annually under annual crops, thus a 2-3 year lucerne phase is capable of providing 7-9 years of buffering at average rainfall
Lead research organisation Central West Farming Systems
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC
Related program N/A
Acknowledgments N/A
Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop types Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop: Type
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Unknown

Condobolin 2005 Wheat

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

Condobolin 2005 Lucerne

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
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
Condobolin, NSW Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Condobolin, NSW 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 Condobolin NSW
2005 154.3mm
2004 155.8mm
2003 154.0mm
2002 162.4mm
2001 230.3mm
2000 300.5mm
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.

Condobolin NSW


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
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: 26-11-2019 15:10pm AEST