The project aim is to develop new products that will help farmers better manage water and nutrients in the soil and thereby improve dryland productivity. Development is occurring in: (i) surfactant-enhanced soil wetting; and (ii) functionalised soil polymers. This collaboration marks an important step in building technology that demonstrates our commitment to farmers in Australia and around the world.
Non-wetting soils comprise up to 30% of Australia’s cropping land and produce only 10% of the nation’s broad acre crops, which is well below their water-limited potential, because of run-off and poor furrow efficiencies. Research is targeting the management of soil moisture (controlling soil wettability and nutrient delivery) and optimising the physical, chemical and biological responses, both in the plant root zone and the soil biota. It includes the effects of different soil types, crops and growing conditions on crop yield benefits. The output from this research will be a range of polymers for improving crop productivity by controlling soil wettability.
- Professor Alexander Wissemeier, BASF