Toolbox

NQ Dry Tropics launches guide and ‘how to videos’ to help farmers assess soil health NQ DRY Tropics has developed an online tool box to help landholders assess the condition of soil on different land types across their properties. The tool box consists of a Rapid...

Hub

Facebook group for BBB community A FACEBOOK group has been formed for BBB graziers and non-grazing land managers who work in the Bowen, Broken, Bogie (BBB) catchment near Bowen and Collinsville. It’s called the BBB Community – Events & Info Hub. It...

Soil

A soil test can maximise the return on investment March-December Across the BBB catchment THE only way to determine the soil nutrient profile is to undertake a soil test.  Soil analysis can measure the soil’s ability to supply essential nutrients and quantify...

Trial something

Here’s an opportunity to trial something new WANT to trial something on your property?  Up to $40,000 per enterprise is available to help make your business more resilient while improving the quality of water leaving your property. Are you a land manager who lives in...

NIRS Testing

Faecal NIRS testing – quick, inexpensive and informative March-December Across the BBB catchment THE quality of the diet consumed by cattle is one of the main determinants of productivity, including reproductive performance, growth rate and carcass quality. The...

Herd productivity

Measuring herd performance a key step March-December Across the BBB catchment MEASURING and benchmarking the herd’s performance and productivity is a key step in analysing the profitability and productivity of your grazing enterprise. Producers in the BBB catchment...

 

Reef regulations - grazing, standard conditions

  1. For land in good or fair condition (more than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), continue using measures to maintain land condition.
  2. For land in poor condition (less than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition.
  3. For land in degraded condition (less than 20 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition OR prevent areas from further degrading or expanding.
  4. Keep records of measures taken and also of agricultural chemicals, fertiliser and mill mud or mill ash applied to land.
KEQ #8

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KEQ #4

The LDC project monitors four gully sites (represented in this table) with gold standard equipment and analysis, carried out by CSIRO.

Results have been compiled in a preliminary report from Bartley et al (2020), with the final report expected to be released by the end of 2020. The preliminary report shows all four sites have indicators of improvements, notably the Strathbogie and Mt Wickham sites.

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*The Exploring New Incentives activity area has provided an opportunity for graziers to adopt improved land management practices through a range of activities. For some of these properties, it was the first time they signed contracts for on-ground works.

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Figure 1. Total fine sediment reduction by project type and erosion source. Inset shows the proportion of the total project area for each project type.

These estimates have been calculated using two methods: 

1) The pollutant reduction component of the Alluvium/Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) investment tool for hillslope and streambank erosion management projects; 

2) The Reef Trust Gully Toolbox method for gully erosion management projects. The LDC Water Quality Report 2020 (Waterhouse et al., 2020) highlights that a number of assumptions underlay these calculations, therefore these figures should be treated as the best available estimate of sediment reductions to date.

Preventing sediment from reaching the Great Barrier Reef

Each wet season sediment is washed into local waterways and out to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 

Most sediment is very fine, and can stay suspended for a long time and can travel great distances. Valuable topsoil is lost from production, and increased concentrations on the reef can be harmful to seagrasses and corals. 

Landholders in the BBB have completed 69 on-ground water quality practice changes, and it is estimated that these have contributed a fine sediment reduction of 6,154 tonnes per year from reaching the GBR. 

Of this, approximately half of the sediment savings are attributable to grazing land management changes on hillslopes and streambanks, and the other half as a result of gully remediation treatments across a broad range of scales, as shown in the graphs above. 

The table below also highlights the relatively small area of intervention in the gully management projects compared to the large sediment savings that these can achieve - 60 per cent of the sediment savings over only 4 per cent of the project area.

Table 1. Estimated sediment reductions (tonnes) from projects completed in the LDC Project to date.

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*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water