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Wheat production and soil chemical properties of organic and conventional paired sites in Western Australia

Deria, A., Bell, R.W. and O'Hara, G.W. (1996) Wheat production and soil chemical properties of organic and conventional paired sites in Western Australia. In: Proceedings of 8th Agronomy Conference 1996, 31 January - 3 February, Toowoomba, Qld, Australia pp. 200-202.

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Abstract

Wheat production levels and soil chemical properties on eight paired adjacent fields managed organically and conventionally in Western Australia were monitored and compared in three years (1992-1994). Sites were paired to ensure soil types, crop history before conversion of the organic paddock and, in most cases, the farm managers were the same, so that the management system was the primary object of difference. At four sites (1, 3, 5, 6), the grain yield of organic and conventional wheat was comparable, but grain yield of organic wheat was significantly depressed at the other four sites. The yield depression in the organic plots was most likely related to the lower pre-sowing Colwell-extractable phosphorus level in the soil, later sowing, and low nitrogen supply. In the organic plots, nitrate nitrogen and organic carbon had increased significantly after 2-3 years of pasture in site 3, but Colwell-P and Colwell-K were greatly reduced during this period.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Society of Agronomy
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/18725
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