Joseph Marano

Region: Wet Tropics

Who: Joseph Marano

Location: South Johnstone

Improve soil carbon and reduce applied nitrogen to our sugarcane crops

We want to know if it is better for longevity of the response to apply mill mud/mill ash/compost on top of the stool or below the soil surface in very low organic carbon soils.

Currently, at the end of the crop cycle we fully cultivate blocks to incorporate mill by-products.  If we could apply these products at a depth of 400mm prior to planting we would be able to accurately determine the rate applied as well as implement a zonal tillage farming system.

Application rates will be determined from our detailed nutrient management plan based on soil type, soil test results and block history for all plant blocks to increase organic carbon levels as well as provide valuable nutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Silicon.

By applying rates around 50 wet tonnes of product below the soil surface we will reduce nitrogen rates by eliminating top dressing of plant cane and reduce ratoon applications in subsequent crops.