Softer Soil Increases Water Penetration And Provides Better Growing Conditions For Cotton
Product Range: NatraMin Cal-S
Region: Norwin, QLD
The main challenge cotton farmers in the Dalby region face are dark soils with elevated levels of Sodium and Magnesium that impact on soil structure and water infiltration.
Soil is often low in Sulphur and crops also lacking in trace minerals.
In 2009, with the aim of improving the balance of soil nutrients and to release nutrient tie-up, Cotton grower Scott Johnston, ‘Westfields’ began incorporating NatraMin at 530kg/ha as both a soil conditioner and trace mineral fertiliser.
Some of our country has had only two applications of NatraMin Cal-S and we’ve certainly seen improvements. Our soil structure is more friable and less puggy.”
Improvements to water efficiency have also been noted on the farm with encouraging results seen by Scott. “This year our water infiltration is noticeably better and we’re satisfied with the growth given the season.”
Leaf tests have revealed improved Sulphur levels in the crop. Because Sulphur can assist to offset the impact of naturally occurring high Sodium and Magnesium, NatraMin Cal-S is to become a part of an ongoing soil management program spread at 300kg/ha.
Saving time and diesel with less cultivation required…
Down the road at Norwin, AgSolutions caught up with Barry Nothdurft during cotton picking where NatraMin has been incorporated under cotton for 7 years.
Pursehouse Rural Agronomist, Jeff Stone believes that NatraMin provides a tool in the battle against high sodicity problems in local soils and bore water.
NatraMin blends have the benefits of minerals and trace elements and we’re very impressed with how this year’s cotton performed where it has been applied.”
NatraMin was first used to help soften the soil because it was a more economical option than Gypsum. Barry reports, “when preparing ground we’re able to reduce at least one working, which is a massive saving in time and diesel. The growth and quality of the cotton shows that the soil structure and Sodium is having less of an impact on root development.”
Preparing to belt-spread NatraMin for the Nothdurft’s for the 8th consecutive year, spreading contractor Andy Burton has also seen the transition…
I’ve seen the continued improvement over the years and compared to 8 years ago, the soil is a lot softer now”, reports Andy