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Soil acidity survey to help sustain soil health

News release
04 April 2022

Eligible landholders with 1000 acres or more in the Southern Mallee and surrounds are encouraged to participate in the soil acidity survey until 15 April 2022.

The soil acidity surveys are supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and landscape levies.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Zoe Starkey said soil acidity is a critical land and soil management issue in the Southern Mallee and surrounding areas, with more than 1.9 million hectares of SA’s agricultural land affected.

“Acidic soils negatively impact crop and pasture production, and increased soil erosion risk can be created through reduced vegetation and ground cover,” she said.

“Soil acidification is increased by agricultural practices such as removing grain, hay and livestock from the paddock, using ammonia-based fertilisers, and leaching of nitrate nitrogen derived from legume plants or fertilisers. Sandy soils and higher production levels can lead to higher acidification rates.

“We are focusing on properties of 1000 acres or larger in the southern Mallee and surrounding areas but are also investigating other potential areas at risk on the sandy soil types in the upper Mallee region.

“Soil acidity surveys allow us to gauge the extent of the acidity problem and rate of change on individual properties.

“Establishing if property owners have managed soil acidification and how provides an overview of practical options to remediate soils affected by acidity and understand the importance of addressing the issue.

Mrs Starkey said once the landholders know if there is soil acidity on their property, they can improve the pH of the soil.

“By providing tools and practical information, we hope landholders will understand how remediating soil acidity can increase production and decrease the risk of soil erosion due to reduced vegetation and ground cover.

“It’s important to maintain a good soil pH as it will sustain the health of the soil and the broader landscape,” Mrs Starkey said.

Complete the short survey to help us understand the impact of soil acidification across the region.

If you would like more information, please contact the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator on email or phone: 0408 416 684.

Soil acidity survey to help sustain soil health
The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is providing advice and support to assist eligible landholders manage soil acidity on their properties until 15 April 2022.