Using lime to reduce soil acidification in this region is a necessity for better food production as this issue is one of the main limiting factors for increased production here. It reduces detrimental soil issues including poor soil biota, non-wetting soils, and decrease issues caused by wind and water erosion.
As the Moora Miling agricultural area is very advanced in managing soil pH, the next step is for farmers to look at speeding up the movement of lime through the soil profile so they can get a faster return on money invested in lime. This project will compare lime incorporation techniques using different and on-hand equipment on different soil types in the Moora-Miling region and identify the most cost effective method. The findings will then be communicated to the wider farming community
This project will engage Precision Soil Tech to soil sample a paddock of each of the 5 farms involved, then the famer spread the lime at normal application rates. Then the farmer will use their preferred incorporation machine eg scarifier, old combine, one way disc plough or a rotary hoe to incorporate a designated strip across the paddock.
A total of four treatments were applied, replicated three times at each trial site. Plots were 10m wide and 25m long. Treatments were randomized in each replicate. A gap was left between replicates so machinery could turn and move between plots. In each case the lime and the incorporation was supplied by the farmer.
Two soil sampling sites were taken from each plot, the same distance from each end. Samples were taken from 0-10cm, 10-20cm and 20-30cm using Precision SoilTech’s pneumatic soil sampling machine. All samples were analysed for pH (CaCl2).
Both the final pH measurements and also the pH change were analysed for differences
Yes – it was expected that the smaller machinery will struggle to penetrate the heavier soil.
Lime increased top soil pH as expected.
Spader did a good job of moving sand through the topsoil – in line with previous research
Main learning was that lime can be incorporated with farm machinery but the spaders do a more effective job so it is worth spending money hiring/buying a spader in the long run especially on the heavier soils.
Tony White, Miling – participant interview
Incorporating lime efficiency project 2015-16 conclusions 4min video
Incorporating lime efficiency project 2015-16 conclusions 12min video