Foliar nutrition survey and management implications for young Blue gum plantations

Foliar nutrition survey and management implications for young Blue gum plantations


  • Client: MBAC Consulting Group
  • Scope:

    Using standard foliar protocols, foliar sampling was undertaken of E. globulus (Blue gum) plantations throughout Tasmania, Victoria, South-Australia and Western Australia to assess nutritional health of plantations, and to identify which plantations could economically benefit from supplementary fertiliser applications, and those which would not yield a return on investment. Nutritional health was assessed by a number of methods including:

    • visual symptomatic analysis
    • laboratory analysis
    • threshold analysis
    • regression analysis
    • discussion on importance of plant nutrition
    • review of plant nutrition practice
    • recommendations for remedial nutrient applications and estimated costs
  • Challenge:

    Plantations temporarily unmanaged due to liquidation of the management company required evaluation to determine the value of additional investment to maintain and improve investor returns.

  • Solution:

    Verterra developed a field assessment procedure, supported by laboratory analysis of foliar nutrition, to rapidly and efficiently provide a quantitative assessment of expected plantation response to fertiliser application. The approach merged forest economics into a simple prescription for the plantations assessed. The approach enabled assessment of 126 sampling points over 30 properties and three states in 10 days.

  • Benefit to Client:

    This study formed part of an expert witness report that provided the client with a rapid assessment of a cross section of the subject plantations, and an overview of overall estate nutritional health to support evaluation of both prior management effectiveness, and potential to economically improve future productivity.

  • Market Sector: Renewable resources - agriculture, grazing and forestry
  • Capabilities:
    • Forest and fodder crops
    • General land, water and vegetation technical services
    • Project commercial services
  • Location: Australia
  • Year: 2011