Water repellent sandy soils are a major problem across the western and southern grain growing regions of Australia. Water repellency is caused when hydrophobic “skins” made from plant waxes and other products from the natural process of plant biodegradation, from around individual sand grains. These waxy skins effectively repel the water from the soil and limit water availability to the crop. CSIRO Plant Industry research has shown that if the number of beneficial bacteria can be increased in these soils, water repellency can be reduced. And the easiest way to start this process is by a simple application of time.