Copper management for the future

Project Location
Lower Eyre Peninsula
Project Manager
George Pedler, George Pedler Ag
Funding Source
Project Code
Start Date
July 2017
Finish Date
June 2020

Explore different management strategies to overcome copper deficiency in cereals.

Project findings:

  • Field trials to test management strategies to overcome copper deficiency at six Lower Eyre Peninsula sites were conducted over the three growing seasons of 2017, 2018 and 2019 (two sites per year).
  • Yield loss caused by copper deficiency can be devastating to wheat yield, with significant losses of up to 48.5% in 2018 recorded at Edillilie.
  • Soil and tissue testing can be useful in helping to detect low levels, but are not always definitive.  Copper response appears to be dependent on other complex interactions such as soil moisture, yield potential and other constraints (N fertility etc.) and thus soil/tissue tests alone are not a definitive guide to future responses.
  • Chelate and sulphate formulations performed equally well.
  • Foliar applications performed better than in-furrow liquids at Edillilie in 2018.
  • Foliar application timings between mid-tiller and head emergence were not significantly different in yield response.
  • In-furrow applications at seeding were not as effective as foliar applications.


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