Agronomic strategies for water repellant soils in WA - mouldboard ploughing demonstration

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton

Trial details

Researcher(s) Stephen Davies (DAFWA)
Chloe Turner (Facey Group)
Year(s) 2016
Contributor Facey Group
Trial location(s) Wickepin, WA
Agronomic strategies for water repellant soils in WA - mouldboard ploughing demonstration locations

Compare changes in soil characteristics, including non-wetting and crop growth and performance in a mouldboard ploughed area versus untreated (control) area using an on-farm large scale demonstration site.

Key messages

The trial showed a remarkable variance in frost damage and yield between the two treatments. There are a number of possible reasons why the mouldboard ploughed treatments had reduced frost damage. Firstly, overcoming topsoil water repellence can improve topsoil moisture content which allows for better transfer of heat into, and out of, the soil. Secondly, mouldboard ploughing can increase the overall yield potential which may include more and larger heads which could result in the frost damage being proportionally less. Further analysis is required to determine if this is the case. Thirdly it is possible that the crop on the ploughed soil flowered at a different time however this is unlikely given that this is the third season since ploughing was applied and that there were multiple frost events so avoidance is unlikely.

Lead research organisation Facey Group
Host research organisation N/A
Related program N/A

Graeme Manton for hosting the trial site and Stephen Davies (DAFWA) for assisting in the planning and implementation of the trial. Support for this research was provided by DAFWA, Facey Group and GRDC through Project: DAW00244 “Delivering enhanced agronomic strategies for improved crop performance on water repellent soils in WA”.

Other trial partners DAFWA; GRDC
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Cereal (Grain): Barley
Treatment type(s)
  • Soil Preparation
Trial type Demonstration
Trial design Replicated

Wickepin 2016

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 50m x 100m
Plot replication 10

90kg K Till,  70L Flexi N


Velocity 670ml/ha


Alpha Cypermethrin 120ml/ha

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
Wickepin, WA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Wickepin, WA Sodosol
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 Wickepin WA
2016 133.6mm
2015 117.1mm
2014 121.7mm
2013 130.1mm
2012 113.0mm
2011 106.5mm
2010 111.8mm
2009 118.5mm
2008 120.5mm
2007 145.9mm
2006 190.8mm
2005 150.8mm
2004 137.9mm
2003 166.3mm
2002 135.8mm
2001 165.8mm
2000 251.5mm
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.

Wickepin 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 report and links

2016 trial report

Trial last modified: 22-05-2023 11:26am AEST