Robert Binks1, David Watson2
Yaloak Estate at Ballan in Victoria’s HRZ began the journey of investigation into how to realize the productive potential of the property 25 years ago. Cropping on raised beds in the 1990’s led to dramatic yield improvements but we still weren’t capturing the full water use potential that our climate could deliver. Wheat crops reliably yielding 8-10t/ha was our goal. Research commenced around 2000 and has been focussed and ongoing ever since. Hostile sodic sub soils were rapidly identified as the major impediment, so the means of ameliorating these became our goal. Subsoil manuring (SSM) using high rates of organic amendments injected into the interface of top soil and subsoil has delivered many of the gains we had hoped for and Yaloak now has the machinery and expertise to do this on a large scale. However, the research journey of understanding the specific subsoil issues within paddock, property and region and how they may be fixed, continues.