Trench Warfare! – Soil Pit Demonstration

Soil Pit Rand

Towards the end of last week we were involved with a field soil pit presentation at the Elders Technology Site in Rand, NSW. It was great to have 3 groups of farmers and advisors show so much interest in what is happening below the ground.
The soils at Rand lend themselves well to capturing the farmers’ attention when discussing the soil pits. The soil at the Technology Site was a red silty clay loam overlying a bleached (soil has become a white/grey colour) second horizon over a clay subsoil.

The visual impact of this soil provides a clear indication of poor drainage and the potential for water logging during periods of high rainfall. Further discussion was also had on the reduced water retrieval by crops during the spring even though there is plant available moisture in the subsoils.

Soil Use Efficiency was a major focus at this site with explanations outlining the salt accumulation occurring and the associated soil structural issues. Nutrient toxicities such as manganese and boron were identified, and deficiencies or inefficiencies of zinc, copper and calcium were also in focus.

It was a great day out in the field and looking forward to running through more soils pits throughout the Riverina!

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