Avon Catchment Council subsoil acidity project
Aglime of Australia recently completed an ACC funded project to determine the scope of the acidity problem in WA, and the development of methods to alleviate the problem.
The ACC subsidised SoilTech's soil sampling service, allowed free midsoil samples to be taken by farmers in the Avon Catchment region.
The details of the Project are outlined below.
The deliverables to the ACC were:
1. Review regional data to determine available information.
2. Identify sustainable management practices not contributing to acidification and plan demonstration process.
3. Establish appropriate and farm based monitoring techniques
4. Spatial distribution, risk and benchmarks for soil acidity identified.
5. Review current best practice for acidity management and recommend on future direction.
6. Demonstration site establishment (use existing sites and quantify and extend outcomes).
Water Quality Outcomes
Demonstrating effective monitoring and alternative management of soil acidity that will assist in alleviating the following issues:
1. Reduced plant cover due to intolerance to low pH and aluminium toxicity, leading to increased dry land salinity, waterlogging and flooding.
2. Increased nitrate pollution of groundwater and reduced water quality due to excessive use of fertilisers and reduced plant growth due to intolerance to low pH and aluminium toxicity.
3. Reduced vegetation cover and accelerated runoff and erosion due to plant intolerance to low pH and aluminium toxicity.
4. Declining pH of waterways and aquatic environments.
5. Increased infrastructure costs, as a result of increased salinity, waterlogging, flooding and sediment, resulting from increased run off and erosion attributed to reduced plant cover, due to intolerance to low pH and aluminium toxicity.