Mechanical soil amelioration alters soil biology, soilborne pathogen and nematode pests of cereal crops: what are the implications?

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Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)


  • The effects of mechanical soil amelioration treatments on soil biology including soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani (AG8) and nematode pests (Pratylenchus neglectus, P. quasitereoides (RLN)and Heterodera avenae (CCN)) populations varied depending on organism, tillage technique and soil type.
  • Soil amelioration stimulated soil biological activity and increased populations of R. solani, P. quasitereoides, P. neglectus and H. avenae at 10-40cm depth where they do not usually occur in WA.
  • Soil inversion and soil mixing reduced R. solani inoculum in the topsoil, where it commonly impacts crops early in the season. Topsoil R. solani populations remained low over both seasons.
  • Soil inversion consistently out-yielded the control, deep ripping and soil mixing treatments. Soil inversion increased grain yield by >0.6 t/ha (>17%) over the control at Yerecoin and Darkan in 2019 and 2020.
  • The addition of lime did not influence yield or soil biological activity in the two seasons after mechanical soil amelioration treatments were applied.


Agricultural Science | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Soil Science


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