New Horizons

New Horizons is a Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) initiative to significantly improve broadacre crop and livestock pasture productivity on South Australia's poorly performing soils.

The program addresses these soil constraints:

  • soil compaction that limits root growth
  • low fertility or nutrient deficient soils
  • soils with low water holding capacity.

Trials were established in 2014 with results obtained from 2014 and 2015.

The program is trialling the addition of:

  • clay
  • organic matter
  • nutrients
at a range of of depths at 3 trial sites across South Australia.

Download the New Horizons results brochure (PDF 3.4 MB).

You can watch our video on the New Horizons program:

Benefits to farmers

The outcomes of the New Horizons programs are: 

  • a significant increase in productivity and profitability
  • improved water use efficiency
  • increased fertility
  • long-term storage of carbon
  • reduced soil erosion risk.

It is estimated that there will be a net increase in agricultural production of $800 million per annum in South Australia if the proposed production techniques are used across the low production soils of the state.

2016 trials

The program will continue the existing trials for a third year to gain greater certainty about the potential benefits and longevity of each of the applied treatments.

We will also continue to:

  • analyse the economic viability at the farm level and the impact across the state
  • establish a new paddock-scale demonstration site at the Struan Research Centre in the South East to specifically look at cost-effective treatment options using locally available organic matter sources
  • work with the University of South Australia on the opportunity for our advanced manufacturing sector to design, engineer and test the machinery necessary to deliver the New Horizons practices
  • continue to work with industry and the community to increase knowledge and adoption of the program.

Research partners

The trials are coordinated by PIRSA divisions: 

  • Rural Solutions SA
  • South Australian Research and Development Institute.
Input and advice is provided by: 
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of South Australia
  • Department of Environment, Water and Natural resources.
  • Regional Farming Systems Groups.


Brett Bartel
Phone: (08) 8429 0353

More information


    Map showing sandy soils (scattered around the southern areas of the state with highest concentration in South-Western and South-Eastern areas), sodic soils (concertrated around centre of the state and streatching from Southern cost to North of Port Augusta) and trial site (Brimpton Lake, Karoonda and Cadgee) locations.
    Image: Map South Australian land with the potential to boost productivity by addressing subsoil limiting factors.

    (Click on map for larger version)

    Page Last Reviewed: 10 Feb 2016
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