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Water capacity

In collaboration with the CSIRO, we have completed work to significantly extend the database of plant available water capacity (PAWC) of soils on the Liverpool Plains of NSW.

Knowledge of the PAWC of soils on their farm can help growers and advisors improve the quality of yield forecasts used to inform management decisions such as:

  • opportunity cropping (whether to sow or not)
  • timing of sowing
  • crop type and variety choice
  • input level of resources such as nitrogen fertiliser.

Past investments by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), CSIRO and other collaborators helped deliver a database of more than 1,000 PAWC characterisations across the country. Between 2014 and 2017, a GRDC-funded project titled Measuring and Managing Soil Water in Australian Agriculture contributed a further 250 PAWC characterisations, 10 of which were located in the Liverpool Plains. These were carried out in collaboration with Local Land Services staff from the Gunnedah office and consultants. This report documents the results from these characterisations.

The increasing availability of regional, state and national soil information online opens the way to more soil specific management and digital agriculture. Research, development and extension work will continue to make this information accessible and interpretable by growers and advisors.

Download the Liverpool Plains PAWC report.