Project Overview


Australian Government Department of Agriculture as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program, Meat and Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia and Australian Wool Innovations Ltd.

Primary Research Advisor:

Dr Richard Simpson, CSIRO.

Project Duration:

Four years (2016-2020)

Project Host(s):
  • Geoff and Bev Kowald – Hutton Road, Carrolup
  • Mark Paganoni – Fletcher Road, Broomehill     

Project Aim

To reduce the phosphorous (P)- dependence of Australian temperate pastures by expanding the use of high yielding serradella-based pastures that have lower fertiliser-P requirements.

Preliminary Findings:

Both trial sites performed well in 2018, however no statistical differences were found between the P treatments for the dry matter kg/ha. At the start of the project site selection was made on P levels from soil core samples taken at 0-10 cm depth. In the spring of 2017 soil core samples were taken at 0-10 cm and 0-60 cm depths. It was established that P was pooling in these soils at around 30-60 cm. This legacy P is likely utilised by the plants, therefore meeting all P requirements. It is unlikely that we will be able to establish the critical P levels from these sites due to the higher P levels at depth.

The finding of legacy P at depth in these soil types promotes the discussion for the need to change and expand soil sampling procedure and protocols to better understand and advise on fertiliser-P requirements.