Beach sand to black clay; Adapting technology and best practice for Homebush farming conditions : SRA Grower Group Innovation Project final report
This project aimed to adapt latest technology & best practice to suit the soil types found in the Homebush/Sunnyside district, and evaluate the cost and benefit of adopting these technologies and practices. To conduct the project the group established partnerships with QDPI, SRDC, IAR Consultants, Mackay Rural Supplies, and BSES. Issues investigated included; Refinement & assessment of planting systems and planting rates, Cost – Benefit Analysis of the adoption of available technology & best practice, Trialling “pre-plant” fertiliser, and assessment of Soybean varieties. Key results from the project included: planting rates as low as 3.7T/ha produced similar yields to planting rates of 7T/ha, resulting on cost savings; Pre-planting application of LOS+P in combination with GPS guidance and EM mapping had no detrimental effect on cane & sugar yield, but delivered significant cost savings; Southern bred soybean varieties had some quality advantages, but no yield advantage, and produced less biomass and presented some harvesting issues; the cost/benefit analysis conducted by the group, clearly showed that the technology adoption and practice change paid for itself and delivered a range of benifits. The project assisted a number of growers to convert over to controlled traffic farming systems, and identified a number of cost saving options. The project also developed the group member’s skills in conducting on farm research, which has to the successful application for a 2nd GGIP project investigating the potential of precision agriculture in conjunction with QDPI.