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Mallee Soils

The Mallee Soil Erosion and Land Management Survey commenced in 1978 as a means to assess land management practices and the degree to which erosion was occurring on dryland agricultural land in the region.  Data has been collected annually over the past 30 years.

The survey is currently conducted three times a year with in paddock measurement undertaken at approximately 160 sites for the assessment of current management phase, erosion risk (vegetation cover & soil dry aggregates) and livestock presence.

The Mallee Soil Health Monitoring framework was designed in 2008-09. The framework recommends monitoring of soil health indicators at two levels across the Mallee:

  1. Focus sites are a large number of sites, proportionally positioned across the Mallee land systems where a small number of key soil parameters can be monitored through time.

  2. Benchmark sites are a small number of intensively monitored paddocks, strategically positioned across land systems and climate zones.

The implementation of the Mallee Soil Health Monitoring Program will begin in 2010 and full implementation will be staggered across the next few years. This project will complement the Mallee Soil Erosion and Land Management Survey.

Dissaggregation of Mallee Land Systems aims to develop more detailed soil and landform mapping for the Mallee region. The Rowan and Downes (1963) description of Mallee land systems still serves as the most used terrain interpretation of the Victorian Mallee. The land system description provides broad-scale information about landform components at a scale of 1:250,000. This project is creating spatial datasets that detail landform components within each land system.


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