John and Phil Deguara Trial Progress

Region: Mackay

Who: John and Phil Deguara

Location: Brightley

To demonstrate and measure soil health and sugarcane yield benefits from deep placement of soil ameliorants including mill mud and mill ash

There are a number of soil properties that have shown to constrain yield, in particular soils with inflated sodium levels and soils that are subject to water logging such as deep clay soils.

Sodic soils result in poor soil structure which affects water infiltration, percolation, and availability.  High sodicity causes clay particles to swell excessively when wet to the point they separate and disperse.  This results in structural collapse of the soil profile and closing-off of soil pores, severely restricting water and air movement throughout the soil.  Water logging is also common in sodic soils.  Typical impacts of sodic soils on sugarcane crops include reduced plant populations, poorer growth within those populations, and reduced root growth and distribution.  A reduction in yields impacts on the overall economic viability of the farm as well as inefficient use of Nitrogen