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Grains & Cropping

19 August, 2020

Soiled undies given a whole new meaning

CottonInfo is once again inviting Queenslanders to ‘soil their undies’ in the name of soil health.


Participants of the fun soil science experiment are challenged to bury a pair of 100 per cent white cotton undies in topsoil for two months, before returning to the site to check levels of decomposition.

The CottonInfo team said if there was not much left of the undies, this indicated good biological activity and healthy soils. Soil organisms can break down plant materials in much the same way.

To make more sense of your soil health, the group suggested making the following comparisons:

  • Testing similar soil types under different rotations, tillage or water management;
  • Comparing your field with remnant, revegetated or grassy areas on your farm; OR
  • Asking your neighbour to “soil their pants” as well to compare results across the fence line.

As biological activity is much more obvious when there’s good soil moisture, this coming season is a great opportunity to give the challenge a go.

To participate, simply contact your local CottonInfo REO to request a pair of cotton undies. After conducting the experiment, share your photos with your REO, the Twitter community using the hashtag #soilyourundies, and online using the interactive tool to map where you left your pants.

For more information, visit




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