Soil moisture probes and climate ready corridor projects awarded grants

Two New South Wales rural Landcare Groups are the recipients of 2019 Landcare Australia grants funded by the Jaramas Foundation.

As with 25 past grants funded by Jaramas since 2012, the focus is on the uptake of sustainable agriculture techniques that reduce environmental degradation or the repair and restore degraded agricultural land.

The Riverina Highlands Landcare Network received a $14,495 grant for their Climate Ready Corridors project.

The project’s aim is to establish a series of connecting corridors of native vegetation across up to five properties in the Tumut area. The goal is for the corridors to adapt to future climate variability by utilising species that show resilience to these anticipated changes.

With this project, the Landcare Network is addressing the concerns landholders have expressed over the loss of native vegetation to provide shade and shelter for livestock and the need for assistance to address these issues. 

Like many parts of the Riverina Highlands, clearing, grazing and stock camping in the Tumut area has led to land degradation issues including weeds, soil erosion and nutrient run off.  Climatic extremes, including drought conditions have exacerbated this issue. The loss of deep rooted perennial vegetation has also caused problems with erosion and therefore declining water quality.

A key component of the Riverina Highlands Landcare Network project is to propagate climate ready tubestock. This will be done by the amazing team of volunteers at the Landcare Nursery, under the guidance of our Nursery Coordinator Steve Hamill. The nursery will also hold a native seed bomb workshop to provide the community with the knowledge and skills of implementing a new revegetation technique adapted to climatic variability.

The Harden-Murrumburrah Landcare Group (HMLG) received a $10,000 grant to assist in the development and management of a more resilient landscape by promoting the use of soil moisture data in landholder management decisions.

They plan to achieve this by consolidating and improving data available on the HMLG website to make it more farmer-friendly so that landholders can easily access information for more objective decision making.  This will help promote optimised water management, improvements in on-farm efficiencies and to help identify trends.

The enhanced data will provide better explanations including how soil moisture probes can be used to assist management decisions in similar land types across the Harden Murrumburrah landscape.

Soil moisture probes provide landholders with information they need to plan crops, manage water logging and salinity, manage fertiliser rates and understand how land management effects groundwater recharge and discharge into local surface water systems.

This project will also result in increased community awareness of sustainable agriculture practices based on available moisture and provide a larger audience with tangible data.

Soil moisture probes like the one shone here can be used to assist land management decisions in similar land types across the Harden Murrumburrah landscape.

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