Organic N versus Synthetic N

Organic N versus Synthetic N: soil health, yield response and its economic analysis.

Project Funder: University of New England & USQ Armidale Node

Project Lead Organisation/Researcher: University of Southern Queensland, Ms Lu Hogan

Project Duration: May 2022 – March 2024

Project Locations: Forbes, NSW


The project aims to derive the results in soil health improvement and grain yield response by using two different forms of Nitrogen (N), i.e., Organic N (Leguminous crops + Crop Rotation) and Synthetic N (Urea). Upon its completion, the project will also aim to deliver the cost-benefit analysis of the two different strategies over the period of two years.

Description and background

N mining occurs through the process of continuous cropping. This means that the current application rate of N-fertiliser to dryland crops, ~45 kg N/ha, will need to double in about five decades if yields are to be maintained. This will substantially increase the cost of fertiliser required unless nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) isn’t greatly increased.

Growers in the Central West of NSW have identified a high level of interest in comparing bagged N to grown N and the impact it could have on yield, gross margins and soil health. This project will provide locally relevant information that supports local needs and help farmers participate and build confidence to try new practices on their properties, with clear environmental and economic benefits.

Reports & Media Releases


This project is a partnership between University of Southern Queensland, University of New England, and Central West Farming Systems.