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Grain FertNews Jan 05 NSW.indd


Grain FertNews Jan 05 NSW.indd

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                                                                                                                       MARCH 2005

                                              Digging for success!
W      elcome to the winter cropping
       season for 2005.
                        This issue of
                        Incitec Pivot’s
                        News – Grain
                        brings you the
                        latest nutrition
                        information and
                        advice to help
                        you plan and
                        prepare for the
Paul Hart               season.
Growers from across New South
Wales talk about their nutrition
programs, each sharing the approach
that works for them.
Glenn Turner, from southern New
South Wales, is fine-tuning cropping
with extensive soil testing, while Drew
Penberthy from northern New South
Wales is taking cropping to the next
level with variable rates of Big N.
Incitec Pivot’s Regional Agronomists,
Bruce Ramsey and Jim Laycock,
also provide some timely advice on
preparing for the coming season,
helping growers find economical
ways to manage their crops, without
limiting opportunities to maximise
yields and returns.
For further information and advice on
nutrition and fertilisers for your crops,
call your Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer.
                                            K   urrajong Park is one of four
                                                 properties in NSW owned by
                                            Paspaley Pearls, a company better
                                                                                    testing every cropping paddock
                                                                                    – 5,300 hectares of the 18,000-
                                                                                    hectare zero-till mixed enterprise
                                            known throughout the world for the      – at the beginning of each season to
                            Paul Hart       gems it collects from the sea rather    determine the state of soil health.
            Broadacre Market Manager        than its farming interests.             “Getting the fertiliser program right is
                                            But if you talk to the company’s        absolutely critical to our approach at
                                            agronomist Andrew McFadyen for          Kurrajong Park and our other farms
      Highlights of this issue              any length of time, it soon becomes     because we’re aiming for the highest
                                            apparent that the two operations        yields possible every season,” says
  l   Achieving the best possible
                                            aren’t all that dissimilar.             Andrew.
      results with minimum
      investment                            Because whether it’s extracting         “It’s not in our interests to go for high
                                            value from the land or the ocean, the   protein in the wheat crop because we
  l   Using soil testing for success
                                            process starts by exploring what lies   generally don’t have the hotter, drier
  l   Great Granulock options for           beneath the surface.                    finish in the Coolah district which
      sowing                                                                        helps high protein wheat.
                                            In Andrew’s case, this means soil

                                                                                                      Continued on page 3
       Protect crops
       from disease
                                                Winter crop offers
                                                 increase choice
                                          G      rowers have a wider choice of
                                                 options for purchasing their
                                          fertiliser requirements this season.
                                                                                    The first deposit offer is for despatch
                                                                                    by 30 June, while the second allows
                                                                                    for despatch of phosphate products
                                          Incitec Pivot’s winter crop promotion     through to 31 August and is better
                                          has five different offers available to    suited to growers in late planting

    F   ertiliser treated with Impact®
        fungicide and sown in furrow
    is an excellent choice for both
                                          growers to suit their individual needs.
                                          The Early Despatch Deal is aimed at
                                                                                    The Premium Deal is on offer to those
                                          growers who would like a discount         growers prepared to pay a higher
    early and long-term, cost-effective
                                          and can take the product early in the     price and a higher deposit for a wider
    protection against root and foliar
                                          season, avoiding any risk of despatch     variety of benefits. These include a
    diseases of wheat, barley and
                                          delays when the season peaks.             capped price at the time of ordering
                                                                                    and more flexible supply and product
    Impact provides long-term             Growers opting for the Pre-Payment        choices.
    protection against cereal diseases    Deal will receive a discount and a
    such as septoria, stripe rust, and    range of other benefits if they pay in    Paul Hart, Broadacre Market
    take-all in wheat, plus scald and     full when placing their order. This       Manager for Incitec Pivot, said the
    powdery mildew in barley.             offer is one worth considering by         new offers reflected the need for
                                          growers looking for more flexibility      greater choice among growers.
    Long-term trial work from 1985
    to 2003 across 66 trials in five      with products and supply points.          Growers are invited to talk to their
    states has shown an average yield     Two Deposit Deals are also on offer       local Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer
    increase of 13% in wheat and                                                    before choosing the offer that suits
                                          for growers who may not have a
    barley where Impact is used.                                                    them best. Agents and Dealers are
                                          strong cash flow. Both offers come
    This result demonstrates the          with the benefit of securing a capped     able to provide the full terms and
    robustness of Impact in protecting    price.                                    conditions for these offers.
    crops against disease and
    increasing yield in many seasons
    across many different varieties.
    Impact can be applied to many
    different types of fertiliser.
    Early enquiries this season
                                                             CropStart for flexible
    suggest there is growing interest                         fertiliser payments
    in treating fertiliser with Impact,
    particularly for protecting crops

                                            I ncitec Pivot is now offering              No application fees or ongoing
    against stripe rust.
                                              finance to growers looking to give        fees (except government
    With this in mind, Incitec Pivot is     their crops a good start without            fees and charges)
    increasing the number of Primary        upfront payment for fertiliser.         l   No need to change existing
    Distribution Centres and Regional
                                            The CropStart finance package               banking arrangements
    Service Centres which are
                                            allows growers to defer fertiliser          Payments can be made at any
    equipped to apply Impact.                                                       l

                                            payments and structure                      time with no penalty.
    “Application services will be           repayments to coincide with their
    available for treating a wider          peak income period.                     Growers who take CropStart
    range of fertilisers at most PDCs                                               finance for this season’s crop can
                                            CropStart is provided by Suncorp        be applying fertiliser as early as
    and RSCs servicing graingrowing
                                            Metway Ltd at a competitive             March.
    areas,” said Paul Hart, Broadacre
                                            variable rate, subject to approval.
    Market Manager with Incitec Pivot.                                              Further information is available
    For more information about              The features of CropStart finance       from your local Incitec Pivot Agent,
    applying Impact, call your local        include:                                Regional Service Centre or selected
    Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer,          l   Straightforward application         independent Dealers.
    or Crop Care Technical Sales            l   No additional security required

® Impact is a registered trademark.
Continued from page 1

“It’s more important that we put on
extra fertiliser to achieve the desired
volume at harvest. We have to make
sure the soil gets just what it needs
from the outset, so that it has ample
nutrients to draw on during the whole
growing cycle.
“That’s why we use starter fertilisers
from Incitec Pivot’s Granulock range
to boost crop performance.”
But before the planting rig is taken
out of the shed, Andrew compiles
detailed nutrient budgets using the
results of soil tests. This process
matches inputs with projected yield
and the overall business goals of the
four properties at Coolah, Scone,
Mudgee and Bathurst.
At Kurrajong Park, the farming
operation’s headquarters north of
Coolah, summer and winter crops are
grown in rotation on 5,300 hectares,
with the remaining 12,700 hectares
supporting 33,000 sheep for the
medium wool market and 800 steers
                                          Andrew McFadyen from Kurrajong Park, near Coolah, applies Granulock fertilisers to achieve the
fattened to about 450kg supermarket       best possible yields at harvest.
trade weight.
The cropping country mainly consists      “It’s another reason why I’m so                    Granulock 12Z contains 11.3%
of black self-mulching clay soils,        comfortable and confident about                    nitrogen, 17% phosphorus, 4.7%
where sorghum is grown in the             using Granulock,” Andrew says.                     sulphate sulphur and 2% zinc.
summer, and wheat, canola and             “I’ll apply any product from the                   Because of the hardness of
winter wheat as a fodder crop are         Granulock range depending on what                  the Granulock granule, and the
grown during winter.                      soils tests reveal.                                configuration of his planting rig,
A graduate of Hawkesbury                  “At the moment our sulphur and                     Andrew is able to side band 150-200
Agricultural College, Andrew honed        phosphorus levels are pretty handy,                kg/ha of urea in the same pass.
his agronomy skills with Haynes Farm      but zinc levels are a little under par,            The planting rig is an AFM planter
Supplies at Coolah prior to joining       so we’ll be applying Granulock 12Z to              with Janke tines and press wheels.
Paspaley Pearls Properties.               every winter crop in 2005.”                        The airseeder is a three-box
As an Incitec Pivot Dealer and            As a guide, Andrew budgets on                      Simplicity air cart, which allows one
Nutrient Advantage accredited             achieving a 5t/ha yield with 11.5%                 pass over the country when sowing.
agronomist, Andrew saw first-hand         protein across the wheat crop.                     “This is due to the fact that Granulock
the benefits Granulock brought to         Depending on the results of soil tests,            can be placed with the seed and the
many of his customers’ crops.             he’ll direct drill with the seed between           nitrogen in the form of urea can be
                                                        35-60 kg/ha of Granulock             side banded away from the seed,”
                                                        12Z at a 15 inch row                 Andrew said.
                                                        spacing.                             “This is just one of the many benefits
                                                                                             of Granulock, while another is the
                                                                                             root protection it provides after we
                                                                                             use sulphonylurea herbicides.
                                                                                             “We received slightly above average
                                                                                             rainfall last year, and we didn’t take
                                                                                             off anything less than 3.5 t/ha, while
                                                        Granulock fertilisers are            our best result was 7 t/ha.
                                                        applied at sowing with the seed
                                                        using an AFM planter with
                                                                                             “There’s no reason why Granulock
                                                        Simplicity three-box air cart,       won’t give us great results again this
                                                        Janke tines and press wheels.        year.”

          Preparing for season 2005
By Bruce Ramsey, Incitec Pivot            increased where Colwell P levels                                    applied phosphorus is needed to
Regional Agronomist, Wagga                are below 30 mg/kg, to lift soil                                    increase Colwell P by 1 ppm.
Wagga                                     phosphorus levels.                                                  Growers applying 20 kg/ha of
                                          Last year’s trials at Ariah Park,                                   phosphorus and producing
                                          Morven, Rand and Junee continued                                    absolutely nothing might see Colwell

T   he best advice I can give growers     to show good crop responses to                                      P go up by 5 to 6 mg/kg, which, in
    preparing for the 2005 season is      applied phosphorus. Soil phosphorus                                 many situations, may not be enough
to soil test their paddocks.                       levels ranged from 18 to 50                                to push soil phosphorus levels into
                                                   mg/kg Colwell P.                                           the adequate range.
A lot of questions are
being asked about cutting                                              Soil phosphorus levels
fertiliser rates, particularly                                         tend to be higher later in
in areas that have been in                                             cropping rotations and lower           Trace elements are no less important
drought for the last two to                                            on paddocks coming out of              than the major nutrients. Two to
three years.                                                           pasture that haven’t been              consider are copper and zinc.
                                                                       topdressed for a while.                Significant areas throughout the
Growers may be able to cut
back on fertiliser rates if                         It is unwise to assume that                               southern NSW grain belt are affected
they know that soil nutrient                        soil phosphorus levels will                               by copper deficiencies. The ironbark
reserves are adequate. Gut Bruce Ramsey             be adequate where fertiliser                              quartz country around Ardlethan,
feel is not a good enough                           has been applied to low                                   Ariah Park and West Wyalong is well
tool these days – growers need            yielding or failed crops over the last                              known for copper deficiency, but
to know soil nutrient levels before       couple of years. Chemical reactions                                 other areas may also suffer a hidden
making these important decisions.         in the soil make it unlikely for much of                            hunger for this trace element.
                                          the phosphorus applied last year to                                 Granulock Copper was developed
Those with low soil phosphorus
                                          carry over for this year’s crop.                                    specifically to help growers crop
levels, who apply too little
phosphorus fertiliser and get an          Consider that on soils with a low                                   successfully on these low copper
average or better than average            phosphorus buffering index (PBI),                                   soils.
season will suffer lost yield             where no crop is grown and no grain                                 Crop responses to zinc are also
opportunities. This is illustrated        is removed, Colwell P levels can be                                 becoming common in NSW with a
by four years of trials throughout        expected to rise by only 1 ppm for
                                                                                                              significant swing to minimum tillage,
southern NSW, where yield                 every 3 kg of phosphorus applied.
                                                                                                              direct drilling, precision sowing, and
responses to phosphorus have been         The situation is worse on soils with                                use of sulphonylurea herbicides.
achieved at soil Colwell P levels up to   a high PBI, where around 5 kg of                                    Under these systems there is a
Phosphorus is the foundation of
any successful crop. If the crop’s                                                     Wheat Trial - Morven 2004
potential is limited by a lack of                                                  Co-operator: Hugh and Sophie Hearne
phosphorus during the early growth                              8.00                                                                      $250
stages, this setback will be carried                                                                          LSD = 0.4631t/ha P = 0.05
                                                                                                              CV = 7.5%
through to maturity and cannot be                               7.00                                                                      $200
                                                                6.00                                                                      $150
So, before cutting rates, take a soil
                                                                                                                                                  Fertiliser profit $/ha

test to check whether phosphorus
                                           Grain yield - t/ha

                                                                5.00                                                                      $100
levels are adequate.
Southern New South Wales growers                                4.00                                                                      $50

can afford to cut back on phosphorus
                                                                3.00                                                                      $0
fertilisers where Colwell P levels are
greater than 50 mg/kg.                                          2.00                                                                      -$50

In the 30 to 40 ppm range, I would
                                                                1.00                                                                      -$100
encourage growers to maintain
rates, using around 5 to 6 kgP/t of
                                                                0.00                                                                      -$150
estimated yield in cereals and 10 to                                      20P 60N 1.1Zn       20P 60N 1.8Cu                20 P
12 kgP/t of estimated yield in canola.                                   Granulok 12Z Lite     Granulock Cu                60 N

These rates may need to be                Using Granulock 12Z Lite generated huge yield and profit increases in trials at Morven last year.

      Yield response to phosphorus (t/ha) in 2004 trials – southern NSW
 Phosphorus rate/ha              Ariah Park          Morven            Rand            Junee           Drought Buster
 20 P
                                                                                                          soil tests
 40 P                                                 6.91             2.82             4.85               oil test results allow growers
                                                                                                           and their agronomists to make
 LSD P=0.05                          0.27              0.46             0.65            0.17
                                                                                                      informed decisions based on facts.
 CV                                 11.00               7.5             15.4            4.10
                                                                                                      To provide growers with a measure
Significant yield responses to phosphorus were seen at Ariah Park, Morven, Rand and Junee in 2004.
                                                                                                      of drought relief and encourage
                                                                                                      testing at this critical time, Incitec
greater need for zinc sown in the drill             significant quantities of nitrogen were           Pivot has released two Drought
row.                                                removed from the soil profile.                    Buster soil tests.
Zinc is highly immobile in the soil,                Where soil nitrogen reserves are                  Growers can determine soil
and with less disturbance and root                  low and average yields are being                  phosphorus, sulphur, pH and
pruning from herbicides, crops are                  targeted in 2005, growers would be                aluminium levels at around half the
becoming more reliant on zinc in the                well advised to apply some nitrogen               cost of a complete soil test.
crop row.                                           fertiliser up front to help crops get
                                                                                                      While full nutrient analysis tests
Trials at Culcairn last year showed an              away and set adequate tillers. This
                                                                                                      are preferred for paddocks
800 kg/ha yield response to the use                 can be achieved by banding nitrogen
                                                                                                      coming into crop or where they
of Granulock 12Z Lite compared with                 at sowing, pre-drilling or using one of
                                                                                                      haven’t been tested recently,
MAP. This site was on an acid soil                  the many N and P fertilisers available.
                                                                                                      the Drought Buster tests give
(4.8pH CaCl) and wasn’t expected to                 We have made significant advances                 growers a cheaper alternative to
give a yield response to zinc.                      in our knowledge of crop nitrogen                 assess carryover phosphorus and
For an additional cost of $4.50/ha, an              management in terms of avoiding                   provide enough information on key
additional $147/ha was achieved.                    heavy bulky crops. However, if no                 nutrients for this season.
                                                    nitrogen is applied up front where
Zinc deficiency can limit crop growth,                                                                This combination of tests still
                                                    soil nitrogen levels are low, crops will
not only on typically zinc responsive                                                                 allows crop rotation choices to be
                                                    suffer nitrogen deficiency early in
alkaline soils but also on soils low in                                                               made, with the inclusion of pH and
zinc, where root disease is present                 their growth.
                                                                                                      aluminium. For example, soils with
and where sulphonylurea herbicides                  This can significantly reduce yield               a low pH might be better suited to
are used.                                           potential if weather conditions don’t             triticale or lupins than barley.
Banding a Granulock fertiliser with                 allow fertiliser to be topdressed.                The second test in the Drought
zinc in the root zone helps overcome                Crops should have around half their               Buster package is a shortened
these setbacks.                                     expected nitrogen requirement                     deep soil nitrogen test that covers
                                                    available at the time of sowing,                  soil nitrate and sulphur levels.
                 Nitrogen                           taking into account soil nitrogen,                For more information, contact your
Where people are lucky enough to                    mineralisation and applied nitrogen.              local Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer.
receive significant summer rainfall, it             This will allow the crops to establish
is important to ensure weeds are kept               and set adequate tillers, widen
under control to preserve soil water                the window of opportunity for                    Granulock 15 contains 14.3%
and nitrogen reserves.                              topdressing and still give enough                nitrogen, 12% phosphorus and
A clean fallow reduces moisture and                 flexibility to take advantage of a good          10.5% sulphate sulphur. Depending
nutrient loss, and by keeping the soil              season as well as avoid crashes in a             on your desired phosphorus rate,
profile wetter for longer, promotes                 poor season.                                     applying Granulock 15 at 160 to 200
mineralisation.                                                                                      kg/ha will supply adequate sowing
                                                    It is also important to consider soil
                                                                                                     nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur.
Again, it is important to soil test to              moisture reserves and seasonal
                                                                                                     Where fertiliser and seed are sown
determine soil nitrogen reserves                    weather conditions when deciding on
                                                                                                     in direct contact, limit the amount
before making crop and fertiliser                   nitrogen requirements.                           of nitrogen applied to 20 kg/ha to
decisions.                                                                                           avoid fertiliser burn (based on 7” row
Deep N testing, from March to sowing                                                                 spacing).
time and even early in crop, is an                  There are a number of good fertiliser
                                                                                                     Another attractive option for those
invaluable tool for determining how                 options for canola growers to
                                                                                                     in southern New South Wales, is to
much nitrogen is available and for                  consider this season.
                                                                                                     broadcast 150 kg/ha of SuPerfect
developing nitrogen budgets.                        Growers spreading 300 - 400 kg/ha                and sow with a further 150 kg/ha to
This is particularly important in                   of gypsum for sulphur and using MAP              supply the crop’s phosphorus and
regions which experienced favourable                at sowing can eliminate a pass by                sulphur requirements. Nitrogen can
seasonal conditions in 2004, where                  sowing with Granulock 15.                        be applied with either urea or Big N.

Uncovering answers with testing
G     rowers looking for cost effective
       ways to manage their fertiliser
programs would be wise to consider
                                              Laboratory is a NATA accredited
                                              lab that participates in the ASPAC
                                              proficiency program, ensuring
                                                                                         program was one of many tools that
                                                                                         provided a valuable insight into the
                                                                                         nutrient status and general fertility of
soil testing through Incitec Pivot’s          results are accurate, consistent and       the soil.
Nutrient Advantage                                      correlated with Australian       “Soil testing plays a key role in the
program.                                                trial data,” he said.            constant challenge to build and
Incitec Pivot Regional                                 “It is still one of the best      maintain soil nutrition and health, as
Agronomist Jim Laycock,                                ways for growers to be well       well as predicting fertiliser and soil
based in Cowra, said as                                informed about the current        amendment requirements,” he said.
the world was currently                                nutrient status of their          “It is also an important planning
enduring a period of higher                            soils and make accurate           tool for growers, agronomists and
energy prices resulting in                             decisions about the amount        consultants so they understand
higher fertiliser costs, it                            and type of fertiliser to use.”   which soil nutrients and amendments
was even more critical that                           Jim said that because soils        might be needed for their particular
growers made the most                                 differed across regions,           situation.
effective use of their          Jim Laycock
                                                      different methods of soil          “Incitec Pivot also recommends
fertiliser dollar.                            sampling were often required.              regular soil testing using its Nutrient
“Conducting a soil test and receiving         “Shallow soil tests (0-10 cm) are          Advantage Laboratory Service
sound agronomic advice through the            recommended for monitoring major           because it provides a useful measure
Nutrient Advantage program offered            nutrients and any change in the soil       of changes in the soil’s fertility over
by Incitec Pivot and accredited Agent         nutrient status over time,” he said.       time, which is particularly useful when
and Dealer agronomists is one of the                                                     testing for the major nutrients and
best places to start,” Jim said.              “On the other hand, deep soil
                                              samples are crucial in determining         compiling a nitrogen budget.”
“A well planned soil testing program          how much nitrogen is in the soil and       Jim said it was more important
is essential for making effective             where that nitrogen is sitting in the      than ever for growers to maximise
nutrient management decisions                 soil profile.                              economic returns from their fertiliser
for the 2005 season and beyond,                                                          investment in 2005.
assisting growers to obtain the best          “In northern NSW, testing is
return possible from their fertiliser         recommended in the root zone of            “Crop nutrition and soil health
budgets.”                                     winter and summer cereals, generally       continues to be at the forefront of
                                              at 10-90 cm, whereas in southern           determining sustainable crop yields
Jim said that depending on paddock            NSW, the recommended sampling              and realistic economic returns,” he
history, plant available nutrient levels      depth is 10-60 cm.”                        said.
could vary significantly between
paddocks.                                     Jim said Incitec Pivot recommended         “I encourage growers to discuss their
                                              segmented sampling in northern             soil testing program for 2005 with
He said this was why it was important         NSW paddocks which used water              their Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer to
for growers to use Incitec Pivot’s            inefficiently, to identify hostile sub-    find out how they can benefit from
Nutrient Advantage program when               soils that can restrict root extension     the Nutrient Advantage program this
soil testing.                                 in sensitive crop types.                   season.”
“Incitec Pivot’s Nutrient Advantage           “Where lucerne is a component of the
                                              crop rotation, segmented sampling
                                              to 90 cm will also help identify the
                                                                                                            Nitrogen unde
                                              location of plant available soil nitrate
                                              in the soil profile,” he said.
                                              “In grain only cereal crops, it is
                                                                                          D    eep N soil tests, sap nitrate tests
                                                                                               and tiller counts help shape the
                                                                                          nitrogen program at the Turners’
                                              essential to manage nitrogen                Mahonga Park farm.
                                              requirements to optimise yield and
                                                                                          “We select about 10 wheat
                                              protein while avoiding excessive
                                                                                          paddocks and five canola paddocks
                                                                                          for deep N testing each year,
                                              “In winter oilseeds such as canola,         choosing the ones which had big
                                              deep soil testing can also identify if      crops the year before,” Glenn said.
                                              sulphur is present in the root zone.”
                                                                                          These were carried out in May last
                                              Jim added that soil testing through         season after rain.
                                              Incitec Pivot’s Nutrient Advantage

              Soil testing guides fertiliser
                 use at Mahonga Park
      O    ver the past three
           years, soil testing has
      become an integral part of
                                                                                                                 CaCl, providing some pointers
                                                                                                                 to the poor wheat crop grown
                                                                                                                 there in 2002.
      the cropping program at
                                                                                                                 “The difference was explained
      the Turner family’s property,
                                                                                                                 by two different soil types, so
      Mahonga Park, outside Rand,
                                                                                                                 Jason recommended dividing
      in southern New South Wales.
                                                                                                                 the paddock in two and
      Glenn Turner and his parents,                                                                              applying 2.5 t/ha of lime where
      John and Jennifer, have 2,800                                                                              the higher aluminium levels
      hectares of cropping there,                                                                                were found and 1.5 t/ha of lime
      growing mainly wheat, canola                                                                               in the lower aluminium area.”
      and a smaller area of triticale                                                                            Glenn said.
      each year.
                                                                                                                 Raising the soil pH with lime
      The 2002 drought was                                                                                       reduces the availability of
      something of a turning point                                                                               aluminium, while increasing the
      as far as soil testing was                                                                                 availability of molybdenum.
                                                                                                                       What began as soil testing
      “Up until then, only a handful                                                                                   driven by the need to fine-tune
                                         Jason Collier (left), Agronomist with Hehirs Transport, discusses the latest
      of soil tests were done each
                                         soil test results with Glenn Turner, who farms at ‘Mahonga Park’, Rand. P requirements following the
      year,” Glenn said.                                                                                               drought has developed into a
      “But after the drought, Dad decided                 producing far more uniform crops                             routine management tool for
      we should get serious about it, so                  and some worthwhile savings along                    the Turners, with follow-up soil tests
      all 60 cropping paddocks were                       the way.                                             carried out in the 60 paddocks in
      tested, mainly to find out how much                                                                      January this year.
                                                          “Using the results, Jason grouped the
      phosphorus was carried over.”                                                                            These follow-up tests showed Glenn
                                                          paddocks into low, medium and high
      With the help of Jason Collier,                     P requirements, so we applied one                    that he could cut fertiliser rates
      Agronomist at Hehirs Transport,                     of three rates of MAP accordingly,”                  by as much as 25% on at least 50
      Rand, the Turners used the soil                     Glenn said.                                          paddocks because P levels were
      test results to tailor their MAP                                                                         mostly in the range of 60-80 mg/kg of
                                                          He added that the soil tests were also               Colwell P.
      applications to the requirements of
                                                          valuable for gauging their lime and
      each paddock.                                                                                            The cutback will produce a significant
                                                          gypsum program.
      Rather than applying a standard 100                                                                      cost saving, allowing Glenn to plough
                                                          “A lot of our heavier country has a pH               the extra dollars into a targeted
      kg/ha of MAP across all paddocks,
                                                          ranging from 5.6 to 7.0 neutral, while               fertiliser program that will increase
      the results led them to vary the rates
                                                          the lighter red soils vary in pH from                fertility on the remaining paddocks.
      from as little as 60 kg/ha to 120 kg/ha,
                                                          4.3 to 5.2,” he said.
                                                                                                               “Now that some paddocks have been
                                                          “While we are working our way over                   tested three times, it’s the trends
                                                          the paddocks, these results mean
er the spotlight                                          we can better manage our fertiliser
                                                                                                               in nutrient levels we are particularly
                                                                                                               interested in,” Glenn said.
                                                          program by directing fertiliser
      “The season determines how                          rates to suit the needs of individual                Jason took the soil tests at the same
      much nitrogen we put on, but it is                  paddocks.”                                           sites as two years ago, thanks to the
      generally around 150 kg/ha of urea                                                                       GPS unit fitted into the cab of his
      in wheat, split between sowing time                 Soil testing also helped unravel                     Nissan 4WD. The vehicle has centre
      and topdressing,” he said.                          the mystery surrounding a poorly                     mounted retractable topsoil testing
                                                          performing paddock going into wheat                  gear.
      “The canola generally gets three                    on another farm at Howlong.
      applications, one pre-sowing,                                                                            “It makes the results a lot more
      another when the ground is covered                  At one end of the paddock,                           reliable, knowing that we are taking
      and another when it starts to run up,               aluminium levels were revealed at                    samples from the same places and
      depending on the season, to total                   11% of exchangeable cations with a                   that soils are reflecting what we apply
      about 150 to 160 kg/ha of urea.”                    pH level of 4.4 CaCl. Elsewhere, the                 to the paddock rather than showing
                                                          tests showed 6% Al with a pH of 4.5                  paddock variability,” Jason said.

                                  Variable rate nitrogen trial su
D    rew and Bruce Penberthy’s
     success with variable rate
application of Big N on one paddock
of durum wheat last season now sees
them contemplating zoning more
of the 1,820 hectares they farm this
The Penberthy family grows dryland
winter and summer crops, such as
wheat, chickpeas, sorghum and
canola, at their properties near
Bellata in northern New South Wales.
Bruce and Drew selected a paddock
at ‘Lochearn’ they thought suited a
variable rate application of nitrogen,
based on crop history and a known
subsoil limitation.
“It was pretty obvious from the yield
data that we had a problem we                              Drew Penberthy (and his three farm helpers, Teagan, Karyna and Matthew) used a Viper and
could address with variable rates of                       Raven flow controller to apply Big N at variable rates in one paddock last season.
nitrogen, based on two very distinct
zones,” Drew said.                                         struggle to take up water and                     Viper, which works with his existing
                                                           nutrients from hostile subsoils, so               Raven flow controller to turn it into a
They also wanted to better
                                                           they don’t have the same potential to             single or multi product variable rate
understand the extent of the subsoil
                                                           take up applied nitrogen,” explained              application system.
problem, so they carried out an EM
                                                           Drew.                                             The various rates of Big N were
38 survey, directed soil sampling and
elevation mapping to understand                            Yield maps have shown variations                  applied with a chisel plough prior
water movement. While this                                 through different crops and different             to sowing. Big N has been used
information will help them in the long                     seasons.                                          to supply nitrogen to crops at
term, their short term goal was to                         A nitrogen application map was                    ‘Lochearn’ for more than a decade.
minimise fertiliser costs in the lower                     created by Andrew Smart from PCT.                 “It is easier for us than urea, because
producing areas.                                           This was loaded onto a data card                  we haven’t got augers and trucks to
“In these areas, the plant roots                           that could be read by Drew’s new                  co-ordinate. Applying Big N is a one-
                                                                                                             man operation,” Drew explained.
                                                                                                             Normally, they would apply 100 kg/ha
                                            Wheat yield                                     Chickpea yield   of nitrogen across the 88 hectare
                                              2004                                              2003         paddock.
                                                                                                             Last year, 15 hectares received no
                                                                                                             nitrogen, 42 hectares received
                                                                                                             100 kg/ha of nitrogen, 19 hectares
                                                                                                             received 120 kg/ha of nitrogen and
                                                                                                             12 hectares received 150 kg/ha of
                                                                                                             nitrogen. The nitrogen rates were
                                                                                                             determined based on soil test results,
                                                                                                             yield maps and elevation surveys.
                                                                                                             As well as redistributing some of the
                                                                                                             nitrogen saved to the higher yielding
                                                                                                             areas, Drew and Bruce reduced the
                                                                                                             overall amount of nitrogen used on
                                                                                                             the paddock.

                                                                                                             Yield mapping is helping broadacre farmer
    1027.06   2271.77   3516.47   4761.18   6005.89
                                                                                                             and part-time consultant, Drew Penberthy, to
    kg/ha                                                 764.47
                                                                   1449.70   2134.93   2820.16   3505.39     both determine nitrogen application rates in
                                                                                                             different zones and monitor their results.

                                                                Yield results: durum wheat 2004 at ‘Lochearn’

                                              Nitrogen applied          Area        Average        Minimum zone        Maximum zone
                                                   (kg/ha)              (ha)       yield (t/ha)     yield (t/ha)        yield (t/ha)
                                                         0               15               3.14          2.65                3.63
  Drew tracked the following results
                                                      100                42               3.99          3.46                4.52
  from the paddock using a yield
  monitor.                                            120                19               4.15          3.73                4.57
  Yields ranged from a high of 4.83 t/ha              150                12               4.34          3.84                4.83
  (average 4.3 t/ha) on good soils to a
  low of 2.65 t/ha (average 3.14 t/ha) in
  the areas expected to perform poorly.      “We soil tested early and then got                   year giving them confidence in the
                                             higher rates of nitrogen mineralisation              process, Drew and Bruce plan to
  Drew noted that the difference             from the previous chickpea crop than                 extend the use of variable rates of
  between the minimum yield and the          we expected.                                         Big N to a much larger portion of their
  maximum yield for the zone was                                                                  farm this season.
  consistently around 1 t/ha.                “In hindsight, we could have saved
                                             some more nitrogen, but we were just                 As before, their focus will be
  “This is likely to have something to do    happy to see that we could use this                  on improving nitrogen fertiliser
  with the terrain, so we will be looking    technology successfully on our farm.”                application efficiency on paddocks
  into the information from the EM                                                                where different soil types are causing
  surveys and topography data to refine      With their yield data and other
                                             information, and some success last                   differing yield potentials.
  the applications even further.”
  A strip of 100 kg/ha of nitrogen
  applied to the low yielding area                                                  Lochearn profile
  showed no response above 0 kg/ha
                                              Operation                          Family farm
  of nitrogen, as expected.
  “We only saw a small increase in yield      Location                           Bellata (between Moree and Narrabri)
  from the areas receiving 100 kg/ha          Farm area                          650 hectares
  of nitrogen to the areas receiving
  150 kg/ha of nitrogen and this was          Crops                              Durum and bread wheat, sorghum, sunflowers,
  probably because we overestimated                                              faba beans, chickpeas
  the amount of nitrogen required,” said      Rainfall                           annual average of 560 mm (165 mm in crop 2004)

               New technology for variable Big N application
   T  he latest in variable rate Big N
      technology is the Viper from
   Raven Industries.
   It utilises GPS technology, allowing
   growers to easily change the rate
   of fertiliser applied across the
   paddock to match zonal nutrient
   management plans.
   The advanced technology in the
   Viper is capable of controlling five
   products at once, in a user-friendly
   operating system.
   It can be used to apply Big N, solid
   fertilisers or crop sprays at variable
   It has its own console built into its
   system, but can also be operated          The Viper has been used on Incitec Pivot’s
   with existing consoles.                   Big N trial rig for the past two years.
   For more information about the
   Viper, talk to your local Incitec Pivot
   Big N Dealer.

            Extensive trials put
         Granulock fertilisers on top
by Charlie Walker, Incitec Pivot’s                                                    125
Product Innovation Manager

                                                          Yield versus no P control
                           Three years
                            of wheat
                       trials have

                       shown that
                       Granulock                                                      105
                       fertilisers                                                    100
                                                                                                  ol                 P                   te                  ng                  0Z                    Zn     P                     n                at
                       zinc in every                                                           ntr              MA                   ha              ssi                      1                    %        DA              A    P-Z               co
                                                                                             Co                                    lp              re                      ck                  5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         kD                  ide
                                                                                                                                su              dd                     ulo                 1.2                        loc                   x
                       granule can                                                                                        inc                 ee
                                                                                                                                                                      n               nd                         nu                      no
                                                                                                                         z                 es                                     ou                                                    Z
Charlie Walker                                                                                                  ol                      xid                                    mp                           Gra                    AP
                       be expected                                                                           +f
                                                                                                                                                                             o                                                rD
                                                                                                                                inc                                                                                     eti
                                                                                                       MAP                   +z                                   etito                                            mp
to perform well in crop and provide                                                                                  MA
                                                                                                                         P                                mp                      Treatment                      Co
good financial returns.
In 29 trials across southern Australia                Relative performance of starter fertiliser and zinc sources in wheat at 20 sites in SE Australia
                                                      2003/4 versus control.
from 2002 to 2004, Granulock
fertilisers were consistently among
the best yielding treatments.                         with all treatments receiving the same                                                                               Broadacre Zinc coated on the seed at
                                                      nitrogen and sulphur levels via a                                                                                    the label rate.
The trials investigated the need
                                                      banded blend of urea and sulphate of
for zinc in cereals and a range of                                                                                                                                         The zinc starter fertilisers used were
                                                      ammonia at sowing.
zinc delivery systems. The delivery                                                                                                                                        Granulock fertilisers with zinc in
method, the form of zinc used and                     The control treatments received no                                                                                   every granule, Granulock blends and
the rate were all of interest.                        phosphorus or zinc.                                                                                                  zinc coatings, and included several
                                                      Rates of nutrient applied varied                                                                                     competitor products.
The experiment was simultaneously
conducted at trial sites across New                   between the sites, depending on                                                                                      A variety of zinc sources were
South Wales, Victoria and South                       expected yield.                                                                                                      trialled, including zinc oxide and zinc
Australia.                                            The foliar zinc treatment was 2 L/ha                                                                                 sulphate.
The trials were set up to examine                     of zinc sulphate at mid to late tillering.                                                                           When the data is viewed together,
phosphorus and zinc responses only,                   The seed dress treatment was                                                                                         some similar trends emerge.
                                                                                                                                                                           l   Granulock products providing
                                                                                                                                                                           around 1% zinc proved to be
                  Year        SA              Vic                                           NSW                                                                            significantly more effective than
                  2002        Lameroo         Dookie                                        Barellan                                                                       MAP – indeed Granulock 10Z is the
                              Maitland        Geelong                                       Ariah Park*                                                                    only product to give a statistically
                              Kapunda         Lake Bolac                                                                                                                   significant improvement above MAP
                                              Swan Hill*                                                                                                                   in the 2003/04 data.
                  2003        Blyth           Dookie                                        Talimba                                                                        l   Plant available forms of zinc
                              Lameroo         Warracknabeal                                 Temora                                                                         continued to outperform zinc oxide
                              Paskeville                                                                                                                                   (i.e. DAP products fortified with zinc)
                                                                                                                                                                           when supplied with starter fertilisers.
                  2004        Ardrossan       Warracknabeal                                 Spring Ridge
                              Cummins         Toolondo                                      Pine Ridge
                                                                                                                                                                           l  Zinc with starter fertiliser generally
                              Lameroo*        Sea Lake*                                     Narromine                                                                      performed better than zinc seed
                                                                                                                                                                           dressings and foliar sprays.
                                              Barooga                                       Ariah Park
                                                                                            Ganmain                                                                        These trials are continuing. For more
                                                                                            Rand                                                                           information on Incitec Pivot trials,
                                                                                                                                                                           please contact your local Incitec Pivot
*Trial not harvested due to drought or hail damage.
                                                                                                                                                                           Regional Agronomist.
The comprehensive trials were conducted at 29 sites across southern Australia over three years.

        Unlock your crop’s potential
Ben Adams, Market Manager – Granulock, Incitec Pivot, profiles the
Granulock range for 2005.

Incitec Pivot offers a complete
 range of quality starter fertilisers for
broadacre cereal crops.
                                                  starter fertiliser with 2% zinc
                                                  l Granulock 10Z Lite: a new high
                                                                                           increasingly popular, as growers look
                                                                                           for more precise nutrient solutions.
                                                  phosphorus fertiliser with 0.5% zinc     To alter the rate of zinc applied,
Granulock fertilisers are at                               l Granulock 10Z: a high         growers can blend starter fertilisers
the top of the heap, as high                               phosphorus starter fertiliser   with Incitec Pivot’s Granulock Big Z.
quality, easy handling, co-                                with 1% zinc                    This specially co-granulated zinc
granulated starter fertilisers
                                                           l Granulock Copper:             blend fertiliser contains 10% zinc
balanced to supply key
                                                           ideal where soil copper         and is available exclusively in Incitec
starter nutrients.
                                                           concentrations are low          Pivot’s blends.
Ongoing field research
                                                           l Granulock 15: for applying    For more information on any
continues to show Granulock
                                                           higher rates of sulphur         Granulock fertilisers, talk to your local
fertilisers are among the
                                                                                           Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer.
most effective on the market.                              l Granulock 12: a balanced
                                   Ben Adams
There are seven key                                        N P S starter fertiliser
Granulock fertilisers available
across New South Wales this year.
                                                  The high quality of Granulock
                                                  fertilisers means they are also ideal
                                                                                             NEW Granulock
l  Granulock 12Z Lite: a balanced                 for blending with other fertilisers to       10Z Lite
                                                  deliver specific nutrient ratios.

starter fertiliser with 1% zinc                                                                his innovative new fertiliser
l    Granulock 12Z: a tried and true              Granulock blends are becoming                gives crops more phosphorus
                                                                                            and less zinc than Granulock 10Z.
                                                                             ®              Granulock 10Z Lite uses patented
                                                                                            technology to distribute sulphur
                                                                                            evenly throughout the granules.
                                 N%            P%          S%           Zn%         Cu%     When banded in the soil, this
    Granulock 12Z Lite           11.4          17.6         4.6          1           -      may help improve phosphorus
                                                                                            availability to the crop by creating
    Granulock 12Z*               11.3          17           4.7          2           -
                                                                                            a short term acidic environment in
    Granulock 10Z Lite            11           21.5            4        0.5          -      and around the granule.
    Granulock 10Z                 11           21           3.5          1           -      Granulock 10Z Lite is ideal for
    Granulock Copper             11.4          17.2         4.5          -          1.7     growers who plan to apply zinc
    Granulock 15                 14.3          12          10.5          -           -      every year.

    Granulock 12                 11.9          17           5.5          -           -      It is available in limited quantities
                                                                                            from Geelong this season.
* Granulock 12Z is a blend of Granulock 12Z Lite and Granulock Big Z.

             Turning the tide to liquids
G     rain growers who have
      dismissed the value of
liquid fertilisers in preference for
                                                                                                          home after arriving seven months
                                                                                                          ago with his Australian wife.
                                                                                                          He has since taken up an
remaining solely with solids may                                                                          agronomist position with Incitec
have reason to reconsider after                                                                           Pivot Dealer, Lachlan Fertilizers.
listening to agronomist Marc
Hinderager.                                                                                               He said most grain grower
                                                                                                          customers of Lachlan Fertilizers
Originally from Idaho in the                                                                              primarily applied solids and Big N,
northwest of the United States,                                                                           but acknowledged there may be a
Marc enjoyed a 20-year career                                                                             good fit for liquids in the future.
with the J.R. Simplot Company
and experienced the liquid fertiliser                                                                                 EASY N in NSW
revolution there first hand.
                                                                                                          “We want to take small steps with
It is said that the North American                                                                        our approach, and let the farmers
liquids market has a 40 year head                                                                         compare liquids and learn the
start on Australia, with liquids now                                                                      benefits,” he said.
accounting for 60% of the total
nitrogen applied in the US and                                                                            “At the end of the day, all new
Canada.                                                                                                   practices and products must prove
                                                                                                          themselves in each region.
Marc said he first began seeing
farmers experiment with liquid                                                                            “The flexibility of a product like
fertilisers in southeastern Idaho                Marc Hinderager, Agronomist with Lachlan Fertilizers,    EASY N is a major strength. It is a
about 18 years ago.
                                                 Cowra, sees potential in EASY N.                         clean, clear liquid and trouble-free
                                                                                                          when handled properly.
“At the time, the cost difference                       of urea, ammonium and nitrate
upfront between solids and liquids                      nitrogen meant it was well suited to              “The potential benefits for many
was minimal, so it was a relatively                     the cold wet Idaho soils, because a               Australian farmers in various
easy decision for farmers to convert                    percentage was always immediately                 regions and cropping conditions
to liquids,” Marc said.                                 available and a percentage would                  could be huge.”

“As the many benefits of liquids came                   slowly convert over time.
to light over the next 10 years, the            “Liquids could be applied with
massive shift by dryland farmers to             herbicides both preplant and
adopt liquids occurred.                         postplant to save application costs,
“We called our liquid                                          and liquids could
                                                               be applied at very
                                                                                                          Consider EASY N
nitrogen UAN or                        “The flexibility
Solution 32, but it is                                         low rates and still                        l   EASY N contains a high 42.5%
exactly the same as                   of a product like        achieve good uniform
                                                                                                              nitrogen (w/v). This is made up
                                                               coverage,” he said.
Incitec Pivot’s EASY N.             EASY N is a major                                                         of 21.5% nitrogen as urea,
“Regardless of the                     strength.”                        “Furthermore, farmers                10.5% nitrogen as ammonium,
name, it’s a great                                                       found that when the                  and 10.5% nitrate nitrogen.
product for growers                                                      sudden rains came,               l   It’s easy to handle and apply
to work with because it has less                        they could just shut a valve off and
                                                                                                              – the pumps do the work.
volatility issues, is easily applied                    leave the liquid fertilisers in the
                                                        paddock, whereas solids sometimes
                                                                                                          l   It offers flexibility in terms of
with other pesticides anytime of the                                                                          timing and rates of application,
year, and stores well in all weather                    drew in moisture and became a
                                                        problem.”                                             for greater efficiency and a
conditions.”                                                                                                  better match with crop demand.
Marc said the product’s blend                           Marc is now happy to call Cowra
                                                                                                          l   EASY N can be topdressed in
                                                                                                              cereals. It can also be applied
 Fertiliser News – GRAIN is a newsletter from Incitec Pivot Limited ABN 42 004 080 264 written and            with irrigation.
 produced by Jenny Gilbert Communications. For further information, please call (02) 6362 6880.
                                                                                                          Talk to your local Incitec Pivot
 We hope you find this guide helpful as a general tool. While Incitec Pivot has taken all reasonable
 care in the preparation of this guide, it should not be relied on as a substitute for tailored           Agent or Dealer today about how
 professional advice and Incitec Pivot accepts no liability in connection with this guide. Talk to your   your crops can benefit from
 local Incitec Pivot Agent or Dealer agronomist about soil testing and arranging a specific fertiliser    EASY N this season.
 recommendation that best suits your winter crop needs.


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