Manuel Muscat

Region: Mackay

Who: Manuel Muscat

Location: Plane Creek

Reduce yield losses and increase nitrogen use efficiency by tailoring variety to soil type

This trial is assessing a paddock with variable soil, ranging from sodic to non-sodic, and planting varieties that suit accordingly.

Sodic soils have poor soil structure which affects water infiltration, percolation, and nutrient availability. High sodicity levels 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 as the soil dries out, the dispersed soils reharden and blocks soil pores, which causes issues such as water logging, hard crust formation on the surface and a decrease in gaseous exchanges. Typical impacts of sodic soils on sugarcane crops include reduced plant populations, poorer growth, low yields, which decreases the overall economic viability of the farm.