Measuring and Managing soil water
Measuring and managing soil water (Lower Southeast, SA)
An invitation to share in the outcomes of the Lower Southeast phase of the project “Measuring and Managing Soil Water in Australian Agriculture” – GRDC Project No: CSP00170
Farmers and their advisors make decisions every day that affect the productivity and profitability of dryland cropping. Some choices are straight forward, but others are difficult in the absence of appropriate information.
Judgements can be costly if wrong.
Some options hinge on understanding the amount of water the soil is able to supply to the growing crop.
This soil characteristic – often talked about as the “bucket size” – is known as the Plant Available Water Capacity (PAWC).
Not only does the PAWC help growers understand the performance of their soils a little better, it is also a direct data input into crop decision support tools designed to back up pre- and in-season crop management choices.
Ultimately these tools help to manage farm risk, and include “Yield Prophet” (www.yieldprophet.com.au) and APSIM (www.apsim.info) crop simulation software.