Shontae Moran
Double D Station


“Soil health is about biodiversity that gives us the balance to produce the beef we need to be able to run profitable enterprises.  

That’s where it starts and that’s why we’re at this workshop.  

I’ve read Christine’s literature for quite some time so the opportunity to come today to listen to her speak was too good of an opportunity to pass up”.


Soil expert tours the BBB

LDC hosted a week-long tour of the BBB region by Dr Christine Jones, of Amazing Carbon.  Workshops were held at Six Mile, Glenalpine, Weetalaba, Mt Pleasant and Glencoe. Many thanks to the landholders of these properties who hosted workshops.

LDC is taking a region-wide approach bringing together soil health professionals and graziers to improve awareness of existing, new, and evolving regional soil health practices and assessment methods. 

Dr Christine Jones’ workshops combined theory with practical, where participants walked the landscape with a shovel to take a closer look at soil.

Discussion topics included:

  • Putting carbon back into the soil.
  • The benefits of increasing plant species.
  • Making plant diversity and soil microbes work.
  • Activating nutrient cycling.
  • Restoring soil-water cycling.

Check out the photos here.

Chris Wendelborn, Wentworth Cattle Company


“I believe that you put great minds together, great things can happen.  

You’ve got Christine Jones sharing her experience and knowledge and you’ve got graziers asking questions and sharing stories about what has and hasn’t worked.  

Everyone is here to learn to do the right thing by their soil and land – education for our industry is vital”.


Dr Christine Jones, (left), Elizabeth Lyons, Four Mile, and Peter Le Feuvre, Belmahar, inspecting root systems and soil aggregate. There is a huge appetite for soil, ecology and grazing information in the Dry Tropics region including Bowen and Collinsville areas, landholders want a better understanding of the science behind pasture management.

Internationally-respected soil and groundcover expert

Dr Christine Jones is a internationally-respected soils and groundcover expert and presenter on soil ecology.  She has worked with graziers on regenerative land management practices for many years.

Earlier this year, Christine was a keynote presenter at a NQ Dry Tropics’ masterclass for field staff to build their capacity around key grazing land management issues, particularly the linkages between grazing practices, soil health and pasture productivity.

Christine was the in-field soil expert during a NQ Dry Tropics Stomping Out Sediment field trip in May.  The project is investigating a range of options for improving grass cover to manage erosion and increase productivity, while also trying different methods for fixing gullies and remediating erosion sites.


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

KEQ #7
KEQ #6

KEQ #5

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.

KEQ #3

*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.

KEQ #1

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.

KEQ #2

*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

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