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The legacy of pasture drill rows on soil chemical characteristics and subsequent wheat production


Hayes, RC and Li, GD and Rawnsley, RP and Pembleton, KG and Corkrey, R, The legacy of pasture drill rows on soil chemical characteristics and subsequent wheat production, Plant and Soil pp. 1-19. ISSN 0032-079X (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11104-020-04689-9


Aims: To examine the legacy of pasture drill rows sown to various configurations of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.), lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) and phalaris (Phalaris aquatica L.), on soil chemical characteristics and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in the year following pasture removal.

Methods: A field experiment comparing 10 pasture species combination treatments conducted on a Red Kandosol soil in a semi-arid environment in south-eastern Australia was monitored from the end of the pasture phase until harvest of the first wheat crop. Quadrats were fixed to the soil surface to mark previous pasture drill rows. Soil within and between rows was sampled to 0.6 m at three times and analysed for mineral nitrogen (N), pH, total carbon (C) and available macro-nutrients, and related to wheat growth rate and yield.

Results: Significantly higher total C, mineral N and plant-available potassium (K), and lower sulphur (S) concentrations, were still evident in the original pasture drill row after grain harvest compared to the inter-row area, four years after pastures were sown. Grain yield was 11% greater in wheat growing on the original pasture drill row compared to between rows. Pure lucerne swards had less mineralised N than mixed lucerne swards associated with reduced water in the soil profile.

Conclusions: This study establishes the enduring legacy of pasture drill rows observed up to 14 months post-removal and highlights the opportunity to improve soil fertility through manipulation of pasture sowing configurations in a cropping field in south-eastern Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:pasture composition, legumes, perennial, grass, nitrogen, wheat yield, soil, agricultural practice
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural spatial analysis and modelling
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
UTAS Author:Rawnsley, RP (Dr Richard Rawnsley)
UTAS Author:Pembleton, KG (Dr Keith Pembleton)
UTAS Author:Corkrey, R (Dr Ross Corkrey)
ID Code:140580
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2020-08-28
Last Modified:2020-10-29

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