Impact assessment

Sulphur test KCl-40 and growth of the Australian canola industry

Date released
23 June 1998
Publication Code

ACIL Consulting



Two ACIAR projects in the mid-1980s (Projects 8328 and 8804) funded research at the University of New England to help better understand and improve phosphorus and sulphur management in tropical agricultural systems. As tropical agriculture expands into more marginal land and production systems intensify, the demands for soil phosphorus and sulfur increase Major outcomes of the research were a better understanding of the nutrient dynamics in South-East Asia and the development of a new and more reliable soil test for available sulfur. The new test (KCl-40) more accurately measured the sulfur available to plants, as it was able to measure the sulfur held within organic matter. A spin-off from the development of the KCl-40 test was its application to Australian agriculture, specifically the pasture-based livestock industries and the canola industry. This economic evaluation focuses on the impact of the project outcomes for the canola industry. The value of the production increase resulting from additional growers applying sulphur is estimated to have resulted in a benefit-cost return on the ACIAR research cost of around 3.4:1 on the estimated share of the ACIAR investment which could be attributed to canola. From an aggregate perspective, these benefits paid for about half of ACIAR's total research investment in the two projects.