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Visual indicators of soil condition

Item 7 of 17
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Indicator 6 – lucerne stunting

What do you see and when?

  • Lucerne stunting or patchy poor growth following establishment
  • Seen in the first three to four months after establishment

What could this indicate?

Pictured: Stunted lucerne with J-shaped roots from poor growth patches (left) compared to healthy plants
  • Soil acidity with associated high soil aluminium. This affects root growth, causing stunting, sideways growth of roots and plant loss.
  • Waterlogging may cause a similar effect.

What test can I do to confirm?

  • Soil test, with reference to pH and aluminium at 0-10, 10-20 and 20-30cm to detect top and sub soil acidity.

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