This year, CSBP is investing in a nitrogen (N) tech site just east of Three Springs. This will enable us to investigate and demonstrate potential levers to improve N fertiliser recovery by crops.

Site details
The site is a loamy sand textured topsoil over a gravelly clay loam at 30 cm depth. Soil pH ranges from 6.1 in the topsoil to 5.3 in the subsoil. Organic carbon is about 0.4%. The site grew wheat in 2021 which yielded over 3.0 t/ha.

Trial summaries
The tech site has three trials.

The first trial is looking at how fertiliser placement and stubble affect N recovery by the crop. Fertiliser is either banded below the seed or surface applied, with or without the presence of wheat stubble.

Stubble is a carbon-rich source of food for soil microbes, but soil microbes also need N to build into their tissues, which can make it unavailable for plants. In the short term, this leads to N tie-up (immobilisation). The aim of this trial is to see if banding N at sowing, below the carbon-rich stubble, will improve the recovery of N compared to surface applications.

The second trial will investigate the use of a urease inhibitor which can be applied to urea or Flexi-N to reduce volatilisation losses. Urease is an enzyme in the soil that converts urea into ammonium. When urea dissolves on the soil surface it converts to ammonium. During the conversion, some of the ammonium becomes ammonia gas. If the urea is not incorporated or washed in by rain, more ammonium is at risk of becoming ammonia gas and being lost to the atmosphere, and so reduces N recovery by the crop. Crop residues can contain higher levels of urease enzyme which can promote ammonia production and increase N losses.

The third trial is looking at how the timing of N fertiliser application may affect crop N recovery. For most growers in the north, a large proportion of their N applied is to the surface soon after crop emergence. This trial will look at the N response curves of Flexi-N banded at seeding compared to urea and Flexi-N applied early post-emergence.

You can find out more about these trials at, type 'Three Springs' in the search bar at the bottom of the page.


Luigi Moreschi
By Luigi Moreschi
- Account Manager
Luigi is from a family farm at Lake King and has always had a passion for agriculture. 

He is a highly respected Account Manager for CSBP and has been based at Dongara for nearly 20 years.

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