Most cropping paddocks in Western Australia have lower yielding areas within paddocks that perform poorly in most years. If the agronomy and management are good, the poor yields are usually due to soil-related problems. Some of these problems can be corrected or reduced by adopting certain proven practices. However, it is important to identify and quantify the problem so that decisions can be made on whether amelioration is possible and economically feasible. The objective is to provide a simploe decision tool for farmers and advisers to use in identifying and quantifying soil problems in agricultural soils in Western Australia. It could be used outside Western Australia by including local soil problems. The process is to work through the decision tree step by step to identify and quantify the soil problems in poor performing paddock zones and to decide the feasibility of amelioration. It is necessary to eliminate the reasons for poor yield due to agronomic and management problems before using this diagnostic key on soil problems.
Number of Pages
Soil science, Waterlogging, Soil types, Soil structure, Western Australia
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. (2005), Diagnosing and ameliorating problem soils : decision tree on how to diagnose and ameliorate problem soils. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Report 25/2005.