The climate, geology, landforms, soils, native vegetation and land uses of the Esperance agricultural district of Western Australia are described, while the soil landscapes of the survey area of about 336,000 ha, covered by the Esperance and Merivale 1:100,000 topographic map sheets, are described in detail. The survey area represents most of the features and problems of the district, especially those of the Esperance sandplain for more resource information. An appropriate mapping scale was chosen from a preliminary survey of five farms on the Esperance sandplain. The study identifies five major land systems which are divided into map units on the basis of soils and landforms. Other landscape features such as swamps, drainage lines and salt-affected areas are also mapped. The land uses; improved annual pastures (clover and medics), perennial grasses, cereal crops, lupins, perennial legume pastures (lucerne, tagasaste) and pine trees for wind-breaks and/or agroforestry are common or proposed for appropriate situations in the Esperance district. Land qualities important for plant growth, farm management and for soil conservation requirements are identified for each of seven land uses. Data on rainfall zones and climatic hazards were added to the resource information to more closely align the capability ratings with production potential. All the map units identified are classified for the above five-class capability classification. We believe results of the survey will be of value to landholders and agricultural advisers in farm and regional planning.
Land use, Land use planning, Land capability, Rural planning, Western Australia, Esperance region (WA)
Overheu, T D, Muller, P G, Gee, S T, and Moore, G A. (1993), Esperance land resource survey. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth. Report 8.
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