Field Trips

Riverina Branch 2-day pre-conference field trip 17 to 18th November

Organisers: Susan Orgill, Sam North, Jason Condon, John Angus, Sergio Moroni, Guangdi Li

Depart: Canberra 17th Nov 2018 at 0800 (overnight accommodation in Wagga Wagga)
Arrive: Canberra 18th Nov 2018 at 1800

Cost: to be advised
(Includes: accommodation, lunch and dinner (day 1), breakfast and lunch (day 2)

The south-west slopes region of New South Wales is a highly productive and diverse agricultural region. Mixed farming dominates in a climate with significant summer rainfall, with dryland cropping and pastures for sheep and cattle. Reliable rainfall makes it a productive and safe agricultural region, but a consequence of this is that it is also one of the most highly cleared and altered lands in the state. Major soil constraints in this region are soil acidity, nutrient deficiency and nutrient stratification, with small but significant areas of compaction, surface crusting and sodicity. Field trip participants will be joined by leading soil, crop and pasture researchers from Charles Sturt University, NSW Department of Primary Industries and CSIRO who integrate soil science with agronomy and plant physiology to increase agricultural productivity.

This field trip will include stops at the following locations:
Day 1
– Harden to hear about CSIRO (Kirkegaard et al.) long-term tillage, stubble management and nutrient trials
– Wattle Flat, Stockinbingal – John Angus. View two soil pits separated by 1-2 km on a gentle slope (1 in ~400) and discuss the reason for the poor crop productivity at the lower site. Maybe shallower rooting depth and less available soil water due to subsurface sodicity.
– Temora to inspect an on-farm large-scale field site using various soil organic and inorganic amendments to manage subsoil acidity at a joint site with NSW DPI and Farmlink Research (Li et al.)
– Dinner, tasting and guest speaker at the Wine and Grape Centre at CSU
Day 2
– Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga to view the rhizolysimeter research facilities (Moroni et al). The CSU Rhizolysimeter Facility is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This stop will include a presentation from Dr Sergio Moroni (CSU) about using the rhizolysimeter to quantify the root and water dynamics of diverse canola germplasm that may be suitable to early sowing in environments with a dry finish (Optimised Canola Profitability Project).
– Cootamundra to hear about innovative strategies to manage subsoil acidity at a NSW DPI long-term site (Li et al.)