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Mallee Manurial No.1 (MM1) - Walpeup

The MM1 experiment was established in 1943 to determine the long term effect of superphosphate on wheat yield response in the Mallee.

The agro-ecological context of this site is a rain-fed cropping systems within the Mallee, which is a semi-arid (average 334 mm of annual rainfall) Mediterranean type environment. It is located within the Central Mallee land system on a plain landform (swale).

The soil is a gradational calcareous earth known as a Calcarosol. An example of a similar Calcarosol soil profile.

MM1 sign at Walpeup - the sign reads ' Permanent fertiliser expt.' (experiment)
MM1 sign at Walpeup - the sign reads ' Permanent fertiliser expt.' (experiment)

Landscape visualisation

To take a better look at the MM1 research site, use your keyboard and mouse to navigate the panorama of the MM1 experimental area. To zoom in or out, left mouse click inside the panorama and use the mouse's 'scroll wheel' (if you have one) or press and hold 'Shift' or 'Ctrl'. To explore the landscape, click and hold the left mouse button on the landscape and move the mouse left, right, up or down or use 'cursor keys'.

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NOTE: To leave panorama press 'Ctrl' and 'F5'.

Click on icons appearing in the landscape for access to photographs, further information and other panoramas in this experimental area.

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The MM1 site has determined the long term effect of superphosphate on wheat yield response in the Mallee and scientific publications arising from this site are listed below.

The MM1 site is also used regularly as a resource for post graduate students and agricultural researchers within collaborative projects, where it provides a known history of fertiliser management and rotation treatment.

Experimental Design

Plots at the MM1 site at Walpeup are 3.5 metres wide by 30 metres long. Testing rates are 0, 35, 67, 101, and 135 kg of phosphorus per hectare as single superphosphate. The original purpose was to test long term effect of superphosphate on wheat (cv. Insignia) growth, yet some variations from the original design occurred between 1943 to 1959, with a three year rotation (fallow-wheat-oats) used across three paddocks, with one paddock in wheat phase each year.

From 1960 to 2010 a two year rotation (fallow - wheat) was used at two of the original three paddocks, with only one paddock sown each year.

From 1959 to 1970 plots were halved lengthwise to test top-dressing with nitrogen. From 1985 to 1987 plots were halved width wise to test under sowing of medic (cv. Paraggio).

Since 1987, subplot treatments have been abandoned, although subplot divisions still exist on the ground and are shown on the figure below as dotted lines.

From 1943 to the present, grain yield and climate data has been recorded. In 1976, 1977, 1990, 1997 and 2007 grain protein was measured and in 1997 and 2005 soil phosphorus was measured. One thousand grain weight and screenings were completed in 2006. Soil nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium was measured over 17 years between 1959 and 2005. No soil moisture data is available.

Related Publications

McClelland VF (1968) Superphosphate on wheat: the cumulative effect of repeated applications on yield response. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 19, 1–8.

Latta RA, Mock I, Smith J (2008) The effect of repeated application of phosphorous fertiliser on wheat yields in the Mallee. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 59, 742-7.

Vu DT, Tang C, Armstrong RD (2008) Changes and availability of phosphate fractions following 65 years of P application to a calcareous soil in a Mediterranean climate. Plant & Soil 304, 21-33.

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