Gypsum applied to responsive soils along Western Australia’s south coast has improved water use efficiency (WUE) – the amount of grain produced from a given amount of rainfall.
The research was done in conjunction with the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) Water Use Efficiency Initiative and was part of a research program known as the Agronomy Jigsaw Project.
It found that WUE increased from 11 to 17 kilograms per hectare per millimetre of rainfall and crops returns increased by almost $200/ha over four years.
With results restricted to certain soils, growers will need to test their soil to determine whether it is responsive to gypsum.
Gypsum counteracts sodic soils by reducing clay dispersion, which improves soil structure and drainage and reduces waterlogging.
The use of gypsum and how to achieve an economic yield response is just one of the articles contained in the GRDC’s Water Use Efficiency Supplement Catch More, Store More, Grow More contained in the March-April edition of Ground Cover.
The supplement can also be downloaded from www.grdc.com.au/GCS103