Enhancing nutrient placement: Sub surface application of cane : SRDC Grower Group Innovation Project final report GGP044
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Historically composting of wastes is used to reduce waste volume by about 50% so that cartage to a landfill site is reduced or in farming provides economics in application to pasture or broad acre. Responding to waste disposal issues in livestock industries, many designs of truck or tractor and trailer muck spreaders are available which provide a blanket surface coverage of compost.Sugar cane is considered a gross feeder of nutrient and has row spacings up to 2 metres apart. A surface broadcast application may be limited benefit to a young cane plant in its first six months of development if most of the application is in the interspace.Environmental concerns over nutrient contamination of water acquifers and streams, particularly from surface runoff, will encourage legislation to restrict surface application of nutrient and industry wastes.Our network of international compost consultants knew of no machine designed to drill through thick trash blankets and drop compost in the top 150mm of soil and leaving the field looking undisturbed.This project undertakes to design, build and trial an applicator to satisfy the above issues. Advanced Nutrient Solutions Pty Ltd engaged a reputable Mackay agricultural equipment manufacturer, Hodge Industries, to assist with the design and construction of the applicator.