The ability of the Deep Seedbed Conditioner to create a ~ 300 mm deep, loose and structurally stable root zone, which overlies naturally consolidated subsoil, produced dramatically large improvements in irrigation efficiency, crop water use efficiency, waterlogging prevention and crop production.
On a furrow-irrigated, black self-mulching soil on the Queensland Darling Downs and 2 metre wide beds, DCS:
Note: 1. All these irrigation efficiency improvements will transfer to DRIP and SPRAY irrigation systems, because they are the consequence of the improved soil physical conditions created and maintained by DSC.
2. The benefits will NOT transfer to FLOOD IRRIGATION, because this type of water application breaks down soil structure, reduces soil aeration and permeability, allows sodic soils to disperse, reduces infiltration and hastens soil consolidation. (See Information Sheets Nos 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11. )
On a wide range of waterlog-prone soils, DSC:
Easily readable details of these findings are presented in the Information Sheets attached to the Green Bars below.
Information Sheets containing explanations and substantiation of all the claimed operational, productivity and environmental benefits that flow from the practice of Deep Seedbed Conditioning can be accessed by clicking on the Green Bars below and then clicking on the red download buttons.
The furrow irrigation Information Sheet presents data collected from a black self-mulching soil on the Darling Downs. On moist and dry soil prior to irrigating, the data illustrate DSC soil produced:
(i) large savings in application times (36 to 70 per cent less, respectively);
(ii) lateral water penetration rates three times greater than vertical;
(iii) 16 mm and 35 mm more of infiltrated water in moist and dry soil irrigations, respectively; and
(iv) an average saving in irrigation water of 25 per cent.
With the stabilisation of soil structure through the practice of DSC, theoretical calculations were able to match field measurements of moisture distribution during furrow irrigation. Infiltration was not confounded by changing pore structure. It varied only with soil moisture content. In this Information Sheet theoretical calculations of the distribution of water spreading from surface and sub-surface driplines in soil profiles with layers with different permeability are shown to match moisture distributions photographed in the field. These analyses show root-stabilised soil structure enhances the rate and extent of lateral spread of water, and they provide guidance for the optimum placement of drip-lines.
This information Sheet describes how the loose, root-stabilised porosity created and maintained by DSC soil management provides rapid drainage and the return of 10 per cent air-filled pore space that plants need to avoid suffering the effects of waterlogging (i.e., oxygen depletion damage, which actually ‘prunes’ their root systems). The extra (tilth) porosity created by DSC management easily allows drainage to restore aerobic conditions within 48 hours (the generally recognised duration of anaerobic conditions before plants suffer permanent damage). The consequences of DSC management are thus shown to be capable of preventing waterlogging on beds ≤2 m wide on irrigated land and ≤3 wide on rainfed land.