Unlocking Soil Nutrients with Organic Matter

Unlocking Soil Nutrients with Organic Matter

Project 3.1.006

Dr Balaji Seshadri – Project Leader
The University of Newcastle


Three years


Enhancing nutrient use efficiency in agricultural soils is challenging due to diminishing natural resources such as phosphate rock and water availability. The use of organic wastes (e.g. composts, manures, biosolids) as soil amendments can potentially reduce the dependence on naturally available materials.

Maintaining and enhancing soil fertility are key issues for sustainability in an agricultural system with organic or low input methods. This project will study the effect of organic amendments on nutrient release in selected soil and cropping systems under different soil management practices. It aims to explore how organic amendments can unlock tightly bound soil nutrients, enhancing nutrient use efficiency (NUE). The project will also establish innovative approaches to apply organic amendments in agricultural soils and examine ways to make the nutrients available for plants through moisture retention and nutrient mobilisation.


The University of Newcastle
University of Southern Queensland
Central West Farming Systems
South East Water
Primary Industries and Regions SA
Australian Organics Recycling Association
Herbert Cane Productivity Services
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research New Zealand