15210: Plantation to Pasture – Understanding and preventing Nutrient loss

    The current economics around tree plantations has been changing in recent years and leading to an increase of tree plantation removal, and landholders investigating the viability of other land uses.  lack of knowledge about soil changes could lead to excessive nutrient application in an attempt to rapidly improve soil quality and thereby increase nutrient runoff from farms into waterways.

    This project will deliver information requested by the community, to aid them in reducing nutrient input and output from properties by increasing knowledge about this land use change. The lower reaches of the Blackwood river and the Hardy Inlet estuarine system are highly valued, both socially and ecologically, and these values are all at risk if water quality does not improve. Potentially toxic cyanobacteria blooms, fish kills due to low oxygen concentrations in the water column and blooms of filamentous green algae have occurred in the Hardy Inlet and are at risk of occurring more widespread and regularly without management.

    Project activities will include soil sampling of two farms with Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations that are about to be removed, over two years.  Sample analysis and recomendation for suitable soil amendment in the first year and analysis to determine the effectiveness of the soil amendment in the second year.  A workshop will also be used to present the findings.

    Investment: $ 15 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 6 350
    Delivery organisation: Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee
    Project duration: March 2016 - June 2017
    Location: Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Shire of Nannup
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