• Soil sampling is a worthwhile investment and forms the basis of a good fertiliser regime.
• CSBP area managers can create a customised sampling plan and NUlogic fertiliser recommendation.
• Use a consistent and correct soil sampling process – click to access our how to soil sample video.
• Take representative soil samples and look deeper than 0-10 cm.
• Use the 30, 30, 3 rule of thumb - soil test every 30 hectares, to a depth of 30cm every 3 years.


Your soil is an asset. Knowing the soil’s nutrient levels can help identify potential limitations and/or opportunities before next year’s season. A targeted soil testing program costs only ~$2/ha and your local CSBP area manager or agronomist will use this dataset and the proven NUlogic model to create a customised fertiliser plan that is practical, sustainable, and will optimise the return on your fertiliser investment.

Soil sampling should be used to ground truth the assumptions made through nutrient removal budgets as average removal figures can vary significantly. For example, the potassium removal from hay at Yerecoin varied by as much as 265% (Table 1).

 

Representative and regular
Select soil test points at least every 30 hectares with the aim of soil sampling each site every three years, or sampling one third of the farm every year. Sample sites should be representative of the management zone. Ensure that old fence lines, old headlands, stock camps and similar areas in the paddock are avoided as these can
bias results. CSBP DecipherAg can assist in selecting sample locations.

Subsoil sampling is highly recommended
CSBP encourages farmers to look deeper into their soils for a more holistic look at soil nutrient stocks. Nutrients like nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) can accumulate deeper in the soil and can alter fertiliser recommendations. Subsoil sampling can also identify soil constraints such as low pH, high aluminium, salinity (EC) and sodicity. These factors impact on our decision making when creating an appropriate fertiliser recommendation.
 
To get the most out of your fertiliser investment talk to your CSBP area manager about a soil testing plan. They have the tools (CSBP DecipherAg and NUlogic) and expertise to ensure the job is done correctly.
 

 

 
 
Luke Dawson
By Luke Dawson
- Senior Agronomist
Luke was raised on the family farm at Warralakin east of Mukinbudin before completing a degree at the Muresk Institute of Agriculture. 

Luke started with CSBP in 2005 as a trainee Area Manager and has since worked as an Area Manager based in Hyden, Esperance, and Dalwallinu and District Manager for the Central Midlands District, now based in Kwinana as the Senior Agronomist. 

Luke brings a strong nutritional background to the role, as well as a focus adding value through CSBP's services. 

Agronomic insights

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