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12 April 2011 | Categories: , , , ,

SoilMate® user queries on appropriate lime and gypsum products, amendment mixes and specific rates prompted Back Paddock to develop a soil amendment module that makes it easier to make decisions about the most appropriate soil amendment and its application rate

The new module automatically provides solutions on the most appropriate soil amendment product and rate for the particular soil chemistry, while allowing sufficient control for users to tailor their recommendations for local conditions.

The new module will enable users to develop management strategies for soil with low pH, problematic dispersion or a combination of both , also helping select the most effective product for the situation i.e. gypsum lime, dolomite or combinations. A cost comparison calculator in included to help determine the  cheapest way of doing it.

Users will be able to compare of lime and gypsum and their mixes from different suppliers to work out the cheapest option for problematic dispersive soils.

The pH amendment calculations are performed through LimeMate and the dispersion through SodiCalc calculators, however they also integrate to help determine the most effective amendment product or product mix, rate and cost for a given situation.

 At the heart of LimeMate for acidic soils is a formula that estimates the pH buffer capacity from the soil organic carbon percentage and the effective Cation Exchange Capacity.

This formula was selected from those recently suggested as acceptable by a National Land and Water Resources Audit report on pH buffer equations.  Using  this equation, LimeMate rates for a range of scenarios were compared to publish liming tables from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland DPIs, the Bureau of Sugar Extension Services and the SA Research and Development Institute and was found to provide comparable results.

Users have control of parameters such as target pH, soil bulk density, depth of incorporation and effective neutralising value of the product to better refine the application rate.

Product, transport and spreading cost can also be input to calculate the most cost-effective product.

SodiCalc for problematic dispersive soils, calculates the rate of soil amendment required to reduce the sodium percentage of cations and/or magnesium percentage of cations to a alleviate dispersion.

Advisers can also customise the rate by modifying parameters such as target sodium and magnesium percentage of cations, soil bulk density, treatment depth and amendment purity.