RRRD024 Progress Updates

November 2012

Science Summary:

-  A field rehabilitation trial site is established in the Burdekin catchment at the Spyglass Beef Research Facility. Detailed satellite imagery provides baseline vegetation and soil information at the trial site, and will provide an opportunity to compare the trial rehabilitation treatment effectiveness with other degraded sites across the property.

-  Initial sown pasture establishment in the more intensive mechanical treatments (deep ripping, chisel ploughing and hay on the gully head treatments) at Spyglass has been very good and well above expectations for the first year.

-  A more extensive approach is being used in the Fitzroy by working with 2 landholders that already have successful rehabilitation on different land types with longer data.

-  A survey questionnaire to investigate landholder experiences in rehabilitating D class condition land (predominantly bare patches) has been developed and tested on 2 landholders. Additional questions have also been included in the broader P2R Program landholder survey.

Progress Update:

-  The pasture and soil/water runoff field trial work at the three Burdekin and Fitzroy sites has been completed, however, processing runoff samples will take more time. The pasture establishment, composition, cover and yields were recorded after the 2011-12 summer in April and the rainfall simulation of the rehabilitation treatments and sites after the first summer was completed by early August 2012.

-  A soils type, profile description and chemical analysis report has been completed for the Spyglass rehabilitation site. Some preliminary results of water infiltration and runoff have been produced from the rainfall simulations of the three trial sites (Spyglass, Injune and Banana).

-  The rainfall simulation measurements have now been conducted at 10 Spyglass trial plots and at three plots at both Fitzroy sites (3 at Banana and 3 at Injune). This field work has been completed and runoff samples are being processed at present.

-  There is a satellite camera installed and a remote weather station at Spyglass. Both units send daily data to servers and it is available on the web.

-  The landholder surveying will commence after the first rainfall simulation work is completed. The properties to survey have been identified and the surveying has commenced and will have to be conducted by the project team, without input from the Catchment organisations field staff. This is the next phase of the project requiring concentrated effort now the field trials have been measured for the last summer.

-  The wider grazing land management survey has results from over 160 land-holders to date and those interested in rehabilitation of D class land have been identified.

-  An outline of the literature review on rehabilitation of D condition lands has commenced.