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APA 2. Managing the Soil Resource - Dalgleish Case Study
15 Apr 2009
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1. Managing the Soil Resource – Dalgliesh Case Study

The Dalgliesh family properties, ‘Limevale’ & ‘Galtymore’, are approximately 2,380 hectares situated on the Brigalow Floodplain. Terry & Greg Dalgliesh crop summer and winter cereals and rotate with summer legumes when nutrient levels or seasons dictate. They have been farming zero tillage for six to eight years but admit to having worked country to treat significant Fleabane infestations. They stress that they try to avoid disturbing the soil as much as possible given the slope on their country. Stubble retention is key to avoiding potential erosion problems.

Terry recalls an experience they had after cultivating for Fleabane control. [Terry Dalgliesh] “At the back of our place we have a bit of slope and of course last year we had a Fleabane problem and worked it, and had nine inches of rain in two days. We had contour banks and it eroded them in places and it made a real mess. And had there still been stubble there it would have went over it and everything but it just doesn’t do the damage”.

The family partnerships goal is ‘to continue to improve the quality of our soil, thereby creating a sustainable and viable farming enterprise that will grow in the future’. They are quoted as saying that they ‘will continue to use the current techniques of Tram Tracking and zero-till farming as well as looking to proven new innovations and techniques to enable us to attain this goal’.

In December 2008, Terry and Greg upgraded from the HP Omnistar 10cm GPS system to the 2cm accurate GPS technology. They’d had the HP system for 12 months but found the need for accuracy and repeatability. Having the 2cm accurate technology will now allow them to change current tram tracks to improve water flow management on the property in problem areas ,as well as the many efficiencies it will bring to the business across the board, such as fuel, chemical, labour, and economies of scale that come with the use of larger machinery. They believe these efficiencies will mean they’ll be “better able to handle the tough times”.

This 2cm technology will open the Dalgliesh family up to new technologies. They currently have an EZ Boom that is self leveling & steering and includes mapping software that identifies areas of the paddock that have already been sprayed. The boom can shut off sections of nozzles to avoid double spraying. With this they intend to reduce their use of herbicides, especially residuals.

The Dalgliesh family are conscious of many aspects of land management and believe Precision Agriculture not only helps them with their business management but of their soil and environmental management.

Thanks must go to all participants of the project and to Terry, Simone, and Greg Dalgliesh for the participation in the Case Study series.

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