Guideline Index

Chapter 7: Managing Limiting Soil Factors

Download Chapter

Soil factors can limit plant growth. Find out how to recognise when dispersion, compaction, waterlogging, salinity and acidity are limiting production; and learn how to manage these factors.

7.1 Introduction

To get the best from fertilisers, you must first eliminate or reduce any soil-related factors that limit pasture growth. This chapter describes several soil-related factors that can limit plant growth and the management methods that can be used to remove or reduce their impact.

Read more

7.2 [no explanation]Slaking[/no explanation] and [no explanation]dispersion[/no explanation]

Slaking and dispersion can result in reduced seedling emergence; poor root penetration; and restricted water and air movement. Find out how to recognise and test for slaking and dispersion; what causes it to happen; and how to manage problem soils, including the use of gypsum.

Read more

7.3 [no explanation]Compaction[/no explanation]

Compaction reduces water and air infiltration, restricts pasture root growth, and slows pasture growth rates. A compacted soil is one in which the soil aggregates have been compressed so that the pore spaces between the aggregates have been substantially decreased. Find out how to recognise soil compaction, what causes it to happen, and what can be done to manage it.

Read more

7.4 Waterlogging

Waterlogging is a common problem on many soil types, particularly in predominantly clay soils. Waterlogging prevents air and many nutrients from reaching the roots, thus seriously inhibiting plant growth. Waterlogging can be a result of a combination of factors including: heavy rainfall, dispersion, compaction, poor irrigation management, rising watertables, and poor drainage. Find out more about waterlogging and how to manage water logged soils, including drainage options.

Read more

7.5 [no explanation]Salinity[/no explanation]

Saline soils have sufficiently high levels of salt in the root zone to adversely affect plant growth. Find out what causes salinity; how to recognise and measure it; the tolerance of crops and pastures to salt; and how to manage salinity.

Read more

7.6 Soil [no explanation]pH[/no explanation]

Acid soils reduce the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients, and can cause aluminium and manganese toxicity. Find out the following: how to measure pH and recognise acid soils; the problems associated with acid soils; what causes soil acidification and which soils are more susceptible; the optimum pH range for plants and biological activity; and how to correct soil acidity, including the use of lime and dolomite.

Read more

7.7 Summary

Read more

7.8 References

Read more