Vegetation and grain sampling

For us to be able to understand the impacts of the mixed-species treatments, we need to be able to quantify both biomass production of the cover crops, and also response of the following cash crop. As a result, we require growers/collaborators to conduct the following tasks:

  1. Collect biomass cuts for the cover crops at the end of their growing season. You can do this in the same way as biomass cuts would be taken from a cereal crop. To capture heterogeneity, at least 2-3 sampling areas per field plot should be completed. Please ensure that control plots are also sampled if weeds present. These samples should dried and weighed to record biomass. You should then send a representative sub-sample (12 in total for each site = 1 per plot) sent to CSIRO for nutrient analysis.
  2. Collect biomass cuts from the final cash crop in the same manner as the cover crop sampling. Please also record dry biomass, homogenise, and send 12 representative samples to CSIRO. As per biomass cuts of the cover crop, we will analyse these for nutrient content.
  3. Cash crop yield. Please quantify this by either:
    1. Manual harvesting, threshing etc. of sub-plots, or
    2. Running a plot harvester through each demonstration plot (avoiding areas where biomass cuts have been taken).
  4. Grain quality. We need you to send subsamples of grain from each plot (12 in total) should be sent to CSIRO for nutrient analysis. In addition, typical grain quality analysis conducted regionally (% screenings, etc.) should be conducted where possible and data recorded.