Sheep and no-till: no worries!

2012

Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) James Hunt (CSIRO), Neil Fettell (University of New England), Tony Swan and John Kirkegaard (CSIRO), Paul Breust (Farmlink Research) and Mark Peoples (CSIRO)
Year(s) 2012
Contributor Birchip Cropping Group
Trial location(s) Site 2, Condobolin, NSW
Site 3, Temora, NSW
Sheep and no-till: no worries! locations
Aims

To test whether sheep grazing in no-till systems damages soil and reduces crop yields.

Key messages
  • Sheep grazing on stubbles and crops do not reduce crop yields provided summer weeds are controlled and at least 70% stubble cover (2-3t/ha cereal stubble) is maintained.
  • Reduced water infiltration and yield from grazing are due to removal of cover rather than compaction; sheep’s mouths cause damage, not their hooves.
  • Sheep do compact soil, but only at the surface; natural shrinking and swelling of soils and sowing with knife points alleviates this.
  • Grazing of stubbles and crops appears to make more N available to crops, which can increase yield; the mechanisms by which this is achieved remain uncertain.
Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source GRDC CSP00111,CWF00013,FLR00005
Related program N/A
Acknowledgments

This research was funded by GRDC projects FLR00005, CWF00013 and CSP00111. Funding for the Condobolin experiment was provided through Central West Farming Systems. We thank the Catch More, Store More, Grow project steering committee for their advice on conduct of the Temora trial, and the Coleman family for hosting this experiment.


Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information

Method

Crop types Wheat
Lucerne
Canola
Treatment type(s)
  • Grazing: Regime
  • Stubble: Management
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

Condobolin 2012 Wheat

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

Condobolin 2012 Lucerne

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

Condobolin 2012 Canola

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

Temora 2012 Canola

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

Temora 2012 Wheat

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

Temora 2012 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

Download results

Trial results Temora results

@T1: Pre Sowing @T2: After summer grazing @T3: Summer
# Treatment 1
Treatment 2
Soil strength (kPa) Grain yield (t/ha) Bulk density (mg/m3) Protein (%) Mineral N (kg/ha) Plant available water (mm) Stubble remaining (t/ha) Infiltration rate (mm/h)
1 2009 – Wheat (Gregory) Nil graze 1.6 14.4 143 20
1 2009 – Wheat (Gregory) Stubble graze 1.6 14.6 143 20
2 2009 – Wheat (Gregory) Winter and Stubble Graze 1.2 14.9 143 20
2 2010 – Canola (Tawriffic) Nil graze 222 4.1 1.22 178 155 5.4 33
3 2010 – Canola (Tawriffic) Stubble graze 365 4.2 1.23 205 110 0.8 20
3 2010 – Canola (Tawriffic) Winter and Stubble Graze 516 4 1.25 279 99 8 16
4 2011 – Wheat (Bolac) Nil graze 298 4.6 1.35 13.1 93 201 102
4 2011 – Wheat (Bolac) Stubble graze 355 4.6 1.38 13.5 126 183 4 49
4 2011 – Wheat (Bolac) Winter and Stubble Graze 460 5.2 1.4 13 199 187 4 44
4 2012 – Wheat (Wedgetail) Nil graze 4.7 99 203 9.8
5 2012 – Wheat (Wedgetail) Stubble graze 4.8 144 192 4.2
5 2012 – Wheat (Wedgetail) Winter and Stubble Graze 4.7 168 196 3.8
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Grain yield t/ha


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Bulk density mg/m3


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Infiltration rate mm/h


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Mineral N kg/ha


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Plant available water mm


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Protein %


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Soil strength kPa


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Stubble remaining t/ha


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Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 2, Condobolin, NSW Not specified
Site 3, Temora, NSW Red chromosol
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Site 2, Condobolin, NSW Kandosol
Site 3, Temora, NSW Kandosol
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

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Climate

Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Site 2, Condobolin NSW

Site 3, Temora NSW

Site 2, Condobolin NSW

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate
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Site 3, Temora NSW

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate
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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.




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Trial last modified: 04-12-2019 15:36pm AEST