ARC Linkage Grant success

10 June 2011

Wealth from water: soil information for new sustainable irrigated agriculture in Tasmania

Key to sustainable irrigation for agricultural production is an understanding of the soil resource. Conventional methods to obtain soil information are outdated and expensive. This linkage project will develop a new strategy to quantitatively assess soil sustainability and to analyse management options thoroughly.

This project is a timely and tactical response to the proposition to make Tasmania a new food bowl for Australia. Working with the Department of Primary Industries Parks Water & the Environment, Prof. Alex McBratney & Dr. Budiman Minasny intend to develop a novel integrated sustainable soil assessment system to inform necessary management practices to support the sustainable expansion of agricultural activities especially through irrigation.

Key novel features of the system are the use of mid-infrared spectroscopy to reduce the cost of data acquisition, material balance depth functions to describe continuous soil property variation, and a system that delivers quantitative and accountable soil information appropriate for biophysical modelling and sustainable soil management.

Contact: Prof. Alex McBratney

Phone: 02 9351 3214

Email: 1634561a451a360522185b284e140c1023533a0a08760153076a563c62