ACCESSing the latest information and evidence on compacted soil management has never been easier for producers, advisors and representatives of the agricultural industry in WA, with expert authors discussing basic concepts, infographics and case studies in a new digital publication Soil Quality: 6 Soil Compaction.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and SoilsWest – a research partnership between Murdoch University and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) – collaborated with the University of Western Australia to publish the eBook free.
Soil Quality: 6 Soil Compaction is the sixth in a series of e-books produced by SoilsWest, which focuses on soil quality for WA and includes current knowledge on stress identification and best practices management software in an easy-to-navigate format.
SoilsWest director and co-author and Murdoch University associate professor Frances Hoyle said there was a growing awareness of the extent of the impact of soil compaction on the agricultural region and increasing evidence of its influence on key soil functions important for production.
“Food starts from scratch, with soil being the lifeblood of what we eat, so it’s important to explore ways to maintain and improve our soil for future generations,” said Dr Hoyle.
“This digital publication provides information on compacted layers of human and natural origin in surface and subterranean soils, as well as strategies to optimize soil habitats to support agricultural production and increase resilience.
“The ebook features short videos and audio from consultants, producers and researchers on training, prevention and improvement of compacted soil – a common and often undiagnosed stress that is prevalent throughout the WA.”
GRDC Director, Agronomy, Soils and Farming Systems West Rowan Maddern said the e-book series was created in response to demand from producers and industry for a platform to enable them to read, listen and view soil management information from any location, including the tractor.
“The topics covered by the eBooks, including those in preparation, cover a number of priority areas addressed in current and previous GRDC investments in soil management and nutrition in Western Australia,” said Dr Maddern .
“A highlight of the book is that it includes not only research information on soil, but also evidence-based perspectives from industry and landowners on soil management challenges and solutions.”
Chris Gazey, DPIRD’s soil science and crop nutrition portfolio manager, said the new publication will add additional value to the SoilsWest e-book series.
“This series provides a legacy of information on past and current investments by GRDC, DPIRD, Murdoch and UWA, as well as contributions from CSIRO and industry experts,” Gazey said. .
The Soil Quality: 6 Soil Compaction ebook is available free through Apple Books, along with the first five publications in the series.