Project extended to overcome Mallee seeps on Eyre Peninsula farms

News article |

A project that has been trialling the keys to managing and restoring Mallee seeps on Eyre Peninsula farms, will continue for another 12 months with the aim of fully restoring demonstration sites and realising the impact of January’s high rainfall event.

The $20,000 12-month project has been funded by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board as an extension to a two-year project funded by the Australian Government which concluded in June.

“The initial two years of the project produced some great outcomes with regard to identifying and managing Mallee seeps on Eyre Peninsula,” says EP Landscape Board Team Leader Eastern District, Tim Breuer.

“The extension to the project allows us to continue to monitor and implement on-ground actions at the trial sites which will hopefully see the sites rehabilitated to the desired level.

“Continuing the project will also mean that we have a full monitoring data set for each of the six trial sites, including data from the high rainfall event in January that affected the Eyre Peninsula.”

There are six trial demonstration sites on farms at Kimba (two), Lock, Rudall and Cowell with local farmers closely involved to ensure that the most appropriate strategies for managing a seep are also practical solutions for farmers to implement.

Project extended to overcome Mallee seeps on Eyre Peninsula farms
Farming Systems Consultant Chris McDonough at a Mallee seeps restoration site with Eyre Peninsula farmer Kerran Glover.

Mallee seeps expert, Farming Systems Consultant Chris McDonough from Insight Extension for Agriculture, has been working closely with the farmers involved in the trial sites, along with the Board’s Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, Amy Wright.

The progress of the trial sites has been documented with four videos released so far in which Chris shows how sites at Kimba, Rudall and Lock have improved through the introduction of salt-tolerant plants such as puccinellia and lucerne. A further two videos will be released this year.

“At the end of this additional 12 months, we will have six demonstration sites that can be used as examples of how different Mallee seep situations can be managed; and which show what a rehabilitated site looks like,” says Mr Breuer.

“We really want local farmers and land managers to benefit from what we have learnt in this project.”

A Mallee seep is an area affected by a localised perched water table that brings water and salt to the surface soil layers that can result in surface ponding and bare saline scalding over time. Mallee seeps generally begin when too much fresh water is present in the soil.

More details about the project can be found on our Mallee seeps page.

The project videos are also available now on the Board’s YouTube channel.

The videos have also contributed to the Mallee Seeps Decision Tree tool, which is an interactive online guide to help farmers with Mallee seeps management, developed by the Mallee Sustainable Farming group.

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