Corangamite Region   'Brown Book'   - How to optimise your soils to enhance productivity
Case Study
Soil structure differences under raised beds in the Corangamite region
Source: Peries et al, (2004)
  • A long-term experiment commenced in 1998 at Gnarwarre near Geelong in south-west Victoria to assess the impact of raised beds on soil structure. Selected farming systems were established on two soil types that are representative of the soils in the region. They are:
    • Black, self-mulching cracking clay
    • Mottled grey-brown clay
  • When raised beds are installed on these soils, water drains off easily into the furrows due to the porous and open nature of the soil in the beds. This prevents waterlogging where excess water saturates the root zones of the crop plants. After many cycles of wetting and drying, the soil has the ability to form aggregates on beds and this is aided by the lack of compaction on beds. Tractor wheels are confined to the furrows at all times
  • Research of ‘systems on raised beds’ was conducted with controlled traffic (CT) and minimum tillage. During all major field operations such as sowing, spraying, harvesting etc. the tractor wheels were confined to the furrows between the beds, thus minimising compaction compared to a flat pasture or flat cropping situation. Treatments also included two and four-year phases of grazed pasture on raised beds that were tactically grazed to avoid excessive compaction

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This project is supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country

Page Updated: September 2013
Produced by AS Miner Geotechnical