Canola responded to nitrogen fertiliser input across the dune-swale at Karoonda


Research organisaton
Funding sources

Trial details

Researcher(s) Bill Davoren (CSIRO)
Therese McBeath (CSIRO)
Michael Moodie (MSF)
Willie Shoobridge (CSIRO)
Andrew Ware (SARDI)
Year(s) 2016
Contributor CSIRO - Agriculture and Food
Trial location(s) Karoonda, SA
Canola responded to nitrogen fertiliser input across the dune-swale at Karoonda locations

To evaluate options to manage risk in canola crops without yield penalty, such as:

  • Delaying nitrogen inputs
  • Optimising nitrogen inputs according to soil type and management history
  • Optimising sowing date (while keeping canola at the very beginning of the sowing program)
Key messages
  • Time of nitrogen application was not as important as the quantity available to the plant.
  • Nitrogen is an important driver of canola yields across dune-swale soil types and must be managed in the low rainfall zone for the crop to be profitable.


Lead research organisation CSIRO - Agriculture and Food
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC CSP00187
Trial funding source CSIRO
Related program Optimised Canola Profitability Project

We thank the Loller family (Lowaldie/Karoonda) for hosting the field site. Thanks to Navneet Aggarwal for technical assistance. Thanks to Jeff Braun and Lou Flohr for discussions around trial design. This work is a component of the 'Optimised Canola Profitability' project (CSP00187) a collaboration between NSW DPI, CSIRO and GRDC in partnership with SARDI, CSU, MSF and BCG.

Other trial partners Mallee Sustainable Farming (MSF), South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Oilseed: Canola
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser: Rate
  • Fertiliser: Timing
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Karoonda 2016

Sow rate or Target density 3 kg/ha
Sow date 10 May 2016
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Psuedoreplication Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Treatment 1
Grain yield (t/ha) Grain oil (% w/w) Establishment plants (plants/m2) Flowering biomass (t/ha)
1 On swale 2.63 46.6 58 2.85
2 On mid-slope 2.26 48.16 49 2.78
3 On dune-crest 1.38 45.78 16 0.47
4 On dune 1.38 45.93 14 0.57

Grain yield t/ha


Establishment plants plants/m2


Flowering biomass t/ha


Grain oil % w/w

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Karoonda, SA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Karoonda, SA Calcarosol
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 Karoonda SA
2016 249.1mm
2015 230.1mm
2014 235.7mm
2013 236.0mm
2012 293.9mm
2011 359.7mm
2010 293.6mm
2009 230.1mm
2008 213.8mm
2007 241.4mm
2006 256.2mm
2005 282.5mm
2004 228.9mm
2003 228.7mm
2002 185.9mm
2001 204.3mm
2000 265.7mm
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.

Karoonda SA


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

2016 trial report

Trial last modified: 14-05-2023 08:10am AEST