Improving yield on sodic soil: assessing the value of genetic improvement

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Title

Australian Society of Agronomy 19th Annual Conference 2019: Cells to Satellites

Place of Publication

Wagga Wagga, NSW


breeding; abiotic stress; subsoil constraints; dispersive soils


Agricultural Science | Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Soils with alkaline sodic (dispersive) subsoils are widespread in the Australian grains belt. Improving the tolerance of wheat to the range of stresses encountered in these soils has the potential to improve yield and water use efficiency. Wheat varieties were tested at sites on alkaline soils with varying degrees of sodicity in all mainland States. The lines were also screened for tolerance to high boron, pH and aluminium. Genetic correlations among sites from the southern and western regions were high but were markedly different from the Queensland sites. The benefit of tolerance to multiple stresses was expressed at sodic sites with yields less than about 3 t/ha and tolerance to soil constraints was estimated to improve yields by up to 10% when yields were less than 2 t/ha.