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Identifying the causes of soil aggregate breakdown under intensive packet salad production


Almajmaie, A and Hardie, M and Acuna, T and Birch, C, Identifying the causes of soil aggregate breakdown under intensive packet salad production, Proceedings of the Soil Science Australia National Soil Science Conference 2014, 23-27 November, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-4. (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2014 Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated

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Frequent cultivation, irrigation and bed forming associated with packet salad production have led to a loss in soil carbon and aggregate stability at six farms operated by Houstonís farms, Richmond, Tasmania. Soil disaggregation has resulted in poor seedling establishment, soil crusting, reduced infiltration, poor irrigation performance, and increased runoff and erosion. This paper reports initial findings from detailed assessment of aggregate stability, and soil properties across the six farms. Aggregate stability was determined by rainfall simulation, wet sieving and ultrasonic disruption of 2.0-4.75 mm aggregates pre-treated to be at either air dry moisture content (40 Co for 24 h) or field capacity (-10 kPa). Aggregate were also analysed by CSBP laboratories for a range of chemical properties and indices of structural stability. Initial results demonstrated that aggregate stability at air dried moisture content was most susceptible to disaggregation by rainfall simulation, whilst aggregates at field capacity had similar levels of aggregate stability for all three disaggregation techniques. The stability of air dried aggregates was most highly correlated with CEC-cation exchangeable capacity (positive), EPP-exchangeable potassium percentage (negative), then reactive aluminium (positive), and organic carbon (positive). Aggregate stability was however poorly correlated with cation ratio of soil structural stability (CROSS) and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:soil crusting, erosion, aggregate stability
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Soil sciences
Research Field:Land capability and soil productivity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Almajmaie, A (Mr Abbas Almajmaie)
UTAS Author:Hardie, M (Mr Marcus Hardie)
UTAS Author:Acuna, T (Associate Professor Tina Acuna)
UTAS Author:Birch, C (Associate Professor Colin Birch)
ID Code:100683
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-05-26
Last Modified:2018-04-04

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