Research
APAL is committed to research, development and innovation in agriculture by offering leading edge services and contributing to the future and sustainability of the industry. We are the preferred supplier and industry collaborator of leading Australian research organisations including SARDI, University of Adelaide, CSIRO, plus a large number of industry and grower groups.

APAL provides a range of flexible services to the research industry which can include;

  • Analysis
  • Analysis of prepared samples
  • Collaboration on projects
  • Method development

Our systems allow seamless uploads of large submission datasets into the laboratory system, along with flexible data reporting options. Get in touch with APAL to discuss further our commitment and service to R&D.

Recent Projects

Some of our recent research projects are detailed below.

Incorporation of MIR Techniques for Soil Testing and Analysis

in conjunction with The University of Adelaide

Standard soil analysis for several soil properties can be expensive and time-consuming. However, infrared spectroscopy offers a rapid alternative method that can be relatively cost-effective once set up as a soil property prediction tool.

This project aims to set up MIR techniques at the APAL soil and plant testing laboratory for predicting a range of soil and plant properties from infrared spectra. Using infrared spectroscopy will allow us to generate data on specific soil properties to improve our interpretation in a variety of crops and varying soil types.

National Paddock Survey Project

The ‘National Paddock Survey’ initiative is funded by the GRDC (Grains Research and Development Corporation) and is a joint project led by the BCG (Birchip Cropping Group) in association with CSIRO, farming systems groups and agronomic consultants in the Western, Northern and Southern GRDC regions.

Crop performance data will be collected throughout the cropping cycle (pre-sowing to harvest) on two production zones in 250 paddocks nationally and correlated to plant water use. This data will be used to identify the major constraints to production in different regions and soil types.

APAL is conducting the lab analysis for this 5-year project.

Wheat response to increasing potassium rates on northern sands

APAL has joined with Summit Field Research and Summit Fertilizers to run a test in Western Australia which is investigating the conventional wisdom on soil test methods for potassium (K).

While traditional methods have been providing valuable information on some soil types, there is growing concern that in some soil types and circumstances these methods are providing questionable recommendations for the economic use of K fertilisers.

Our largest data set of field trials (BFDC) doesn’t allow for a comparative analysis between the performance of soil K tests. In fact, it is becoming increasing evident that within the critical range of the Colwell K and Exchangeable K, the relationship is not 1 to 1.

The trial site will investigate the performance of several potassium existing and new methods against crop response to applied K across several years. It is hoped this will increase the confidence of advisers and growers to provide improved guidelines to manage and profit from their K inputs.

The methods being used are Colwell K (Bicarbonate), Exchangeable K (Ammonium Acetate), Exchangeable K (Ammonium Chloride/Barium Chloride) and DGT K (Diffusive Gradient Thin-Films).

Have a project to propose?

We'd love to speak with you. Contact us on (08) 8332 0199.

Education & Training

There is a need for sound, independent training in the areas of soils and nutrition, and APAL is leading the way.

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