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APA 8. Preventing Soil Degradation - Wunch Case Study
15 Apr 2009
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7. Preventing Soil Degradation – Wunch Case Study

Steve & Anne Wunch farm 809 hectares on the Brigalow Floodplain. They first ventured into precision agriculture a couple of years ago with the purchase of a light-bar system. They have experienced significant benefits in soil structure and reduced compaction as a result.

In October 2008, Steve purchased a HP 10cm accurate system and upgraded to the electric EZ Steer 2cm accurate GPS system. They ventured into this technology to allow for “tram-tracking style farming”. In the past they had set up markers to control traffic some of their country, but really wanted to achieve greater accuracy. This photo illustrates the difference between the use of the light bar system (with sub-meter accuracy) and the 2cm accurate GPS system in harvested sorghum country. The lines are considerably straighter in the image on the right. The repeatability of this track is expected to bring improvements in soil structure.

Steve admits that not all of his country lends itself to control traffic farming. He farms on Brigalow-Belah soils, however, on his home property “Creekside” the slope is likely to prevent the implementation of tram tracking due to the risk of erosion the landform poses.

All Steve’s farming equipment are on two metre bases. All of his planting and spraying equipment is on 12 meters , however, his harvesting equipment is 30 meters. Gradually over time Steve plans to bring all the equipment to a common base width to make the most of the 2cm technology, and the consequent soil benefits that result.

Steve’s is quoted “Plans for future farming will allow better rotational systems due to the accuracy of planting, spraying, fertilising and harvesting techniques, resulting in more productive cropping outcomes”. He expects to see continued improvements in his soils that will facilitate these outcomes.

Thanks must go to all partners, especially Steve Wunch for his participation in the Case Study series.

Comments (1)
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