Journal article

Ameliorating dense clay subsoils to increase the yield of rain-fed crops

Bill Malcolm, P Sale, E Tavakkoli, R Armstrong, N Wilhelm, Caixian Tang, J Desbiolles, G O'Leary, G Dean, D Davenport, S Henty, M Hart

Advances in Agronomy 2021 | Elsevier Inc. | Published : 2021


The yield of rain-fed crops needs to increase to meet the requirements of a growing human population. One way to achieve this is to store more rain in the root zone of soils and increase its use by crops. This will be difficult where poorly structured, dense clay sub- soils occur. These subsoils limit crop yields by reducing root growth, and the uptake of soil water and nutrients. Reduced root growth results from physical factors, such as low poros- ity restricting the movement of air and water, high soil strength and temporal water log- ging which impedes the roots. Chemical factors such as alkalinity, salinity, and sodicity may further restrict root growth in neutral pH and alkaline clay s..

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University of Melbourne Researchers