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News

Pine nutrition project to boost production

CSIRO : 19 October, 2006  (Technical Article)
A system designed to optimise fertilising strategies for radiata pine plantations in the Green Triangle (SE South Australia and SW Victoria) is being jointly developed by CSIRO, the Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation and key softwood growers in the region.
A system designed to optimise fertilising strategies for radiata pine plantations in the Green Triangle (SE South Australia and SW Victoria) is being jointly developed by CSIRO, the Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation and key softwood growers in the region.

according to CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products spokesman, Dr Barrie May, improved nutrient management practices could significantly increase the productivity of Australia's radiata pine plantations, boost internal rates of return and improve management flexibility.

'It's estimated that an improved system for predicting stand growth response to nitrogen and phosphorous and optimising application strategies for different site and stand conditions could increase average internal rate-of-return dollars spent on fertiliser application from around six per cent at present to up to 30 per cent,' Dr May says.

'Furthermore, improved targeting of fertiliser use and better application strategies could increase the value of regional wood production by around $5 million a year, give forest managers a means to better regulate timber supply and help minimise any unwanted environmental impacts associated with fertiliser overuse.'

The four-year project (PN03.3907) is focusing on the development of a decision-support system involving CSIRO, the FWPRDC and growers in the Green Triangle (Auspine Ltd, ForestrySA and Green Triangle Forest Products). The project has a total value of $1.58 million with contributions from CSIRO, FWPRDC and industry.

Building on past research, the project will investigate: the value of a new soil-based method of predicting growth responses to N and P; the effects of different fertiliser combinations; and, growth responses to alternative fertiliser forms, rates and application strategies.
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