Property plan with accuracy — remove the guesswork with mapping

NQ Dry Topics Project Officer Cherry Emerick (left) with Glencoe grazier Bob Harris and Department of Resources Maree Cali.

Two Mile grazier Graham Gordon and Department of Resources’ Maree Cali.

NQ Dry Tropics Grazing Support Officer Sheridan Callcott and Glencoe grazier Bob Harris.

Local graziers have taken part in a Maps and Apps workshop to learn how Queensland Globe can assist with property management and planning.

Graziers were provided with the knowledge, skills and tools to produce customised maps of their property to help them plan, analyse and monitor their property infrastructure. 

Workshop organiser NQ Dry Tropics Landholders Driving Change Senior Project Officer Cherry Emerick said Queensland Globe was a free, mobile-friendly tool which allowed graziers to zoom in to their property and overlay that image with property-specific information such as water catchments, soil types and terrain.

“Its real power is the ability to easily overlay the picture with data layers – ranging from flood mapping lines to vegetation management mapping,” Ms Emerick said.

“Property boundaries, soil types, proximity to local roads, rail lines, water catchments are all available on the Queensland Globe, together with detailed location-specific grazing land management, topography, and hundreds of other datasets.

“Graziers are able to draw fencelines and water points, measure paddock sizes, calculate elevations, view historical satellite imagery and access vegetation management layers.

“This provides graziers with the power to make informed decisions with reliable, up to date information in the one place.”

Grazier Jon Haucke, of Heidleberg Station, agreed. 

He said the ability to overlay specific data on his property map provided information to help support decision-making for property management.

“It’s been invaluable information for setting up property maps going forward,” Mr Haucke said.

Workshop participants also learned how to use Avenza Maps, a mobile map app that allows users to download maps for offline use on smart phones or tablets. Users can also plot and record information about locations, import and export place marks, measure distance and area, and plot photos.

Three presenters from the Department of Resources helped guide graziers through the process. Ms Emerick said the presenters provided one-on-one  demonstrations to help aid learning.

Department of Resources Kylie Jones with NQ Dry Tropics staff members Brad Martin (left) and Josh Nicolls.

Byweren grazier Stacey Haucke, Department of Resources representative David Lin (standing) and Heidelberg grazier Jon Haucke.

NQ Dry Tropics Graduate Grazing Extension Officer Brad Martin completing a mapping exercise during the workshop.

 

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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