Healthy Soil Healthy People

Growing Crops on Salt Affected Soil

29 April 2015

LawrieCo Calendar, April 2015:   Kevin Roberts, "Camden", Cooke Plains, SA



The 2014 season had a disappointingly dry finish, BUT Kevin Roberts was pleasantly surprised at how well his crops held on and the yields they achieved.

Kevin had planted oats for hay and canola on areas where salt was a concern, using LawrieCo seeding program of BioMAX Soluble Humates and SureCROP VAM at seeding.


2014 Cutting Oats for Hay.

Kevin's hay crops were particularly strong, averaging 5T/Ha compared to a district average of 3-4T/Ha.


Kevin Robert's children in the 2014 Canola crop.

This canola crop is on a neighbouring paddock to the 2011 calendar shot, a paddock also affected very negatively by salt before implementing LawrieCo’s Seeding Programme. Kevin particularly notes that he didn’t need to spray the canola at all. Aphids and diamond backed moths which had been an issue the previous year were not evident. It seemed like the paddocks with insect issues had been stressed the previous year, but this paddock didn’t seem to suffer from stress.


Humates hero in salt battle, Paula Thompson, Stock Journal, September 4, 2014. Click here for article.



Worst paddock produces above average yield.

Kevin Roberts in his 2011 Canola crop.

Near Cooke Plains, Kevin Roberts has been using the LawrieCo Seeding Program since 2009 (SureCrop VAM seed dressing and BioMAX Soluble Humates) to buffer against salt issues in a number of cropping paddocks.

On a highway paddock that has historically grown poor crops and is one of the worst salt affected paddocks, Kevin has now been able to produce crops of barley on barley and in 2011 the canola yield (1.2 t/ha) in that paddock was better than the average over his farm.

Kevin comments “in the past crops were affected by poor germination and salt burn, which makes them more susceptible to disease and frost, and there was nothing to harvest. Since 2009 we have used soluble humates with our fertiliser and the VAM seed dressing and been able to produce crops on paddocks that previously we had not harvested.

The humates and seed dressing act as a buffer against the salt to allow good germination and later in the crop minimise salt burn allowing the crop to finish clean.”