NACHIMUTHU, Gunasekhar

Gunasekhar Nachimuthu

Research interests

  • Sustainable management of cropping soils
  • Soil erosion, runoff water quality
  • Cotton farming systems (tillage x crop rotation)
  • Soil carbon dynamics
  • Nutrient cycling in farming systems


Gunasekhar Nachimuthu (known as Guna) is a soil scientist for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and his current work is focused on cotton farming systems. Guna joined NSW DPI in April 2014. His work includes research into soil issues for cotton and grains. Guna’s PhD research was focused on phosphorus nutrition in organic production. In his previous role as Research Scientist with Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Guna worked on quantifying the implications of adopting improved management practices to reduce offsite water quality impacts in a cropping system characterised by sugarcane and intensive vegetable or legume rotations.


  • BSc (Ag.), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, India (2001)
  • MSc (Ag.) in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, TNAU, India (2003)
  • PhD (Soil fertility), The University of New England, Armidale, Australia (2008)

Current projects

  • Closing the carbon soil balance in cotton farming systems (CRDC project:2014-2016)
  • Resilient cotton-farming systems in irrigated Vertosols: soil quality, cotton growth and yield in long-term studies (CRDC project:2014-2017)
  • Determining optimum nitrogen strategies for abatement of emissions for different irrigated cotton systems (DAFF/CRDC:2013-2017)

Recent publications

Nachimuthu, G and Hulugalle, N. 2014. Closing the soil carbon balance. Proceedings of the 17th Australian Cotton Conference, Aug 5-7, Goldcoast, Australia

Nachimuthu, G., Halpin, N., and Bell, M., 2013. Impact of management practices on water quality outcomes during capsicum growth in the Burnett Mary region. Case study. Reef Water Quality Protection Plan. Reef Plan unit. Queensland Government.

Nachimuthu, G., Kristiansen, P., Guppy, C., Lockwood, P., and King, K.L. 2012. Organic vegetable farms are not nutritionally disadvantaged compared with adjacent conventional or integrated vegetable farms in Eastern Australia. Scientia Horticulturae. 146: 164-168

Kristiansen,P and Nachimuthu, G. 2010. Optimisation of Phosphorus Nutrition in Organic Vegetable Production. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Report. ISBN: 978-1-74254-150-1

Nachimuthu, G., Guppy, C., Kristiansen, P and Lockwood, P. 2009. Isotopic tracing of phosphorus from 33P labelled legume residues and 32P fertilisers to subsequent corn in legume-corn rotation in a sandy loam soil. Plant and Soil. 314 (1-2) : 303-310

Nachimuthu, G., Lockwood, P., Guppy, C and Kristiansen, P. 2009. Phosphorus uptake in faba bean, field pea, and corn cultivars from different sources: preliminary studies of two options for organic farmers. Crop and Pasture Science. 60 (2): 183-189

Nachimuthu, G., King, K.L., Kristiansen, P., Lockwood, P and Guppy, C. 2007. Comparison of methods for measuring soil microbial activity using cotton strips and a respirometer. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 69: 322-329


The Australian Cotton Research Institute in Narrabri is certified under ISO 9001 by BSI under certificate number FS 603588 (PDF, 921.76 KB)

BSI certification

Professional associations and activities

*    Australian Society of Soil Science
*    International Union of Soil Science
*    Soil Science Society of America
*    American Society of Agronomy
*    Crop Science Society of America

Fields of research

*    050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
*    070107 Farming System Research
*    050304 Soil Chemistry
*    050305 Soil Physics
*    070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development

Keywords/phrase list of research interests

  • Soil and water management
  • Cotton
  • Soil erosion
  • Soil carbon
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Runoff
  • Water quality

Contact details

Phone: (02) 6799 24077
Fax: 02 6799 1503
Location: Australian Cotton Research Institute, Narrabri, NSW