Waterlogging effects on soils and wheat crops in the high rainfall zone of Victoria

Fiona Robertson1,2, Dilnee Suraweera2, Malcolm McCaskill2, Brendan Christy3, Roger Armstrong4, Reto Zollinger2, John Byron2, Debra Partington2, Steve Clark2

1 Agriculture Victoria Research, 105 Mt Napier Rd, Hamilton, Vic 3300, fiona.robertson@ecodev.vic.gov.au,
2 Agriculture Victoria Research, 105 Mt Napier Rd, Hamilton, Vic 3300,
3 Agriculture Victoria Research, 124 Chiltern Valley Rd, Rutherglen, Vic 3685,
4 Agriculture Victoria Research, 110 Natimuk Rd, Horsham Vic 3400


Waterlogging is a significant constraint on crop production in the high rainfall zone of southern Australia. To better understand how waterlogging affects soil conditions and crop growth, we conducted field experiments to compare the effects of differing degrees of waterlogging on soils and wheat crops at three sites in SW Victoria. The apparent reduction in grain yield due to waterlogging ranged from nil to 38%, with a decline in total N uptake from nil to 40%. The effect of waterlogging on the crop was influenced by several factors including the depth of waterlogging, the duration of waterlogging, the aeration conditions (redox potential) in the soil and the timing of waterlogging. The importance of the various factors varied among sites and further work is required to evaluate their influence in different situations.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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