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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2005-2007
FALL 2006 Fluid Journal 17 DR. B. HOLLOWAY, D. BRACE, DR. I. RICHTER, DR. M. MCLAUGHLIN, G. HETTIARACHCHI, DR. R. ARMSTRONG SUMMARY Australia's old, eroded landscape is generally low in micronutrients. Vast tracts of previously unproductive land were made arable and able to support healthy crop and pasture growth by the addition of the micronutrients Zn, Cu, Mn, and Mo between 1940 and 1960. A large part of southeastern South Australia, extending into western Victoria, was referred to as the "90 mile desert" until application of superphosphate, Cu, and Zn produced spectacular increases in crop and pasture growth just before 1942. Western Australia and South Australia represent the major areas of potentially low soil micronutrient status and are most liable to suffer yield loss through sub-clinical or unrecognized deficiencies. An area of over 20 million acres (8 million hectares) of contiguous Zn deficient soil in Western Australia has been described as the largest in the world. This area Micronutrient Availability Improved With Fluids Australian trials show 11 to 17 percent increase in grain yields when using fluids. Adding granular micronutrients separately at sowing had no effect on wheat shoot growth or grain yield. At the lower rainfall site, adding micronutrients as a coating of granular fertilizers had no effect on grain yield. Adding micronutrients to the basal DAP/urea suspension increased grain yield by 11 percent and increased yield above that of the coated granular treatment by 17 percent. At the higher rainfall site, the coated granular product yielded 5 percent higher than a DAP/urea blend without micronutrients. The suspension made from coated granules increased grain yield by 14 percent above the basal suspension and by 15 percent above the coated granular application. Applying micronutrients with an NP suspension increased their effectiveness. includes lateritic podsolic sands, podsolic sands, yellow earths, and calcareous sands. Some estimates suggest that 70 to 80 percent of South Australia's cropping area is potentially subject to Zn deficiency. On South Australian soils with high concentrations of calcium carbonate (>80%), agricultural development was limited until Mn fertilizers were introduced. Today, farmers at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula soak seeds in manganese solution before sowing, apply Mn fertilizer at sowing, use Mn foliar sprays during the season, and reap their seed from selected areas that have been sprayed with Mn at the heading stage, all to overcome the endemic Mn deficiency problem on these soils. In 2004, an experiment was conducted at Cungena, South Australia, on a grey highly calcareous soil to compare the performance of wheat grown with a range of granular fertilizers and with the same fertilizers converted
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