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Visual indicators of soil condition

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Item 4 of 17
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Indicator 3 – grass dominant pasture

What do you see and when?

  • Grass dominant pasture with little or no legume and slow growth
  • Best seen late winter to mid spring

What could this indicate?

  • Possible phosphorus or molybdenum deficiency
  • Low soil pH (soil acidity)
  • Inappropriate sub-clover management, such as leaving too much dry material at the autumn break, long rotations encouraging grass dominance or cutting hay in later maturing clovers.

What test can I do to confirm?

Pictured: Amount of loose litter in late summer. Ideally one to two handfuls in 0.1 m2 quadrat promotes hard seed breakdown of sub-clover
  • Soil test, with reference to phosphorus, pH and aluminium.
  • Plant tissue test for molybdenum.
  • The dry material litter test in late summer/early autumn.


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