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Across the region we are hearing reports of delayed sowing due to the ongoing wet weather, and this week is looking no different. If you haven't been able to sow yet check out these three tips from our ag team to help you make the best decisions for your situation.

1. Soil testing before sowing can save money

Our 2021 phosphorus and lime demonstrations showed how testing the soil before sowing can save money by showing the existing nutrients in the soil. Read more on the demonstration results or watch the video below.
Ag advisor Rohan Leach visits the demonstration sites in Coonabarabran, Forbes, Tullamore and Nyngan to show the results from soil testing. Each site had a control, a prescriptive rate based on the soil type and paddock history and a soil test response rate based on the results of the soil test for the site.

2. Know your soil fertility before eliminating starter phosphorus

If producers want to reduce their rates of fertiliser, high levels of soil fertility are essential, i.e. a high bank account. You are relying on soil P reserves to make up the difference from your reduced input. If soil P levels are below the critical value (in the central west around 25-35 mg/kg Colwell P in the top 10cm of soil) dropping our fertiliser rates below our historic input levels carries a very high risk of reduction in yield as we are simply limited by low P.

It makes sense if some producers want to trade this resource like any other. We can draw on soil P when fertiliser prices are high and then deposit more than is needed when those prices drop again. However, like all trading there is the increased risk that comes from speculating on markets. Some may consider it cheap insurance to simply use maintenance rates of P fertiliser and not be dependent on market fluctuations.

It is critical to soil test our paddocks so that we have a thorough understanding of our fertility and to help plan and budget how much fertiliser is needed.

Read the full article by Tim Bartimote and Rohan Leach

3. Consider these five things before choosing a new wheat variety

Each season National Variety Trials are conducted across the country to provide producers with information about the potential suitability of new crop varieties. With many new varieties entering these trials each year, it can be a little difficult to determine which variety may be a suitable investment. Tim Bartimote suggests considering these elements:
  1. Yield
  2. Grain Quality
  3. Sowing Window & Growth Habit
  4. Plant Height
  5. Disease Tolerance 
Find out more
To discuss any of these articles with our ag team members call 1300 795 299.
Our mailing address is:
209 Cobra Street | PO Box 1048 | DUBBO NSW 2830

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The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information with the appropriate officer of Local Land Services or the user’s independent adviser. For updates go to

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Central West Local Land Services · 89 John Street · Coonabarabran, NSW 2357 · Australia