Soil acidity is a major constraint to crop production in Australia. Low soil pH results in the formation of toxic forms of aluminium and manganese, which can reduce root growth and yield. Soil acidification is likely to become more severe in the future due to increased crop productivity, expansion of pulses and use of nitrogen fertilisers. Currently, about 2.0 M ha of cropping land in South Australia has surface soil acidity (0‐10 cm < pH 5.5) or is considered acid prone. This area is expected to double over the next 40 years if remedial action, such as the application of lime, is not taken. Lime is relatively insoluble and moves very slowly in undisturbed soils. New methods to increase the effectiveness of lime amendments to ameliorate acid soils in cropping paddocks are needed.
This scholarship will support a full time PhD student to be part of a GRDC-funded project “New knowledge and practices to address top and sub-soil acidity under minimum tillage cropping systems of South Australia” (led by Brian Hughes at PIRSA).
Visit the University of Adelaide Scholarships page for more details