The need for a long-term field experiment to manage subsoil acidity

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    Many of the important questions facing farming systems in the world today, such as soil acidity, require long-term studies to provide meaningful information and answers. Managing subsoil acidity is a research topic that lends itself to long term experimentation. Methods known to ameliorate acidity in the subsoil take
    decades due to slow biochemical processes, so extended periods of time are required to monitor results. Furthermore, soil pH is a fundamental driver of soil biological and chemical processes, and so impacts upon crops and upon the soil environment can be complex requiring additional time for monitoring in order to
    fully understand the processes. In late 2014, a multidisciplinary team was formed, including agronomists, soil chemists, soil physicists, economists, system modellers and farm advisers as well as leading farmers. In early 2015, a long-term field experiment was established at Dirnaseer, west of Cootamundra, NSW to a) manage subsoil acidity through innovative amelioration methods that will increase productivity, profitability and sustainability; and b) to study soil processes, such as the changes of soil chemical, physical and biological properties under vigorous soil amelioration techniques over the longer term. The current paper discusses the principles of setting up a long-term experiment and develops a framework of designing a long-term experiment to manage subsoil acidity in the high rainfall cropping region of southern Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference
    EditorsGarry O'Leary, Roger Armstrong, Liz Hafner
    PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event18th Australian Agronomy Conference 2017 - Mercure Ballarat Hotel & Convention Centre, Ballarat, Australia
    Duration: 24 Sept 201728 Sept 2017 (Conference website) (Conference proceedings)


    Conference18th Australian Agronomy Conference 2017
    Abbreviated titleDoing more with less
    OtherThe 18th Australian Agronomy Conference will be held at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre, Victoria from 24-28 September 2017. The Australian Agronomy Conference is the meeting place for Agronomists; it supports research and the community of Agronomists by connecting Agronomy communities across Australia to each other.

    The theme for the 2017 conference is “Doing more with less”. A central plank of Australia’s productive output is agriculture, worth over AUD$13.6 billion exported annually. Agronomy is key to ensuring that farmland is productive across Australia’s diverse landscapes. Innovation in machinery and precision technologies, plant species and varieties, soil and plant management may allow the agronomist of today to successfully help agricultural producers thrive. These innovations are timely as the world deals with increasingly variable climates, environmental degradation, and a more developed global community that requires more diverse products from agriculture.
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