Natural resources, Horticulture
The Midlands groundwater and land assessment is a $4.7 million Water for Food project using Royalties for Regions funding. It is seeking to confirm groundwater availability in focus areas that may form precincts of 2000–3000ha suitable for intensive irrigated horticulture. The Dinner Hill focus area is one of these. The Dinner Hill focus area covers about 50 200ha to the north-west of Moora and north of Dandaragan, in the Midlands area of Western Australia. This report provides details of the soil-landscapes, land capability and land management units for the Dinner Hill focus area. We reviewed existing soil-landscape mapping for the area and found that it needed only minor refinement for this study. We also dug and described an additional 117 soil sites in the focus area and sampled nine of these for laboratory analyses. Two-thirds of the soils of the Dinner Hill focus area are deep sands, usually yellow or red. Ironstone gravelly soils are also common. Because of the sandy nature of the soils, wind erosion is a widespread land management constraint for the Dinner Hill area and ongoing investment is required to manage this, especially for annual horticulture. Water erosion on steeper slopes is also a management constraint. Our analysis showed that if wind erosion risk is managed, most of the soils in the focus area have fair to high capability for annual and perennial horticulture. Therefore, the limiting biophysical factor for expanding irrigated agriculture in this area is water availability. This report includes: • descriptions of geology, geomorphology and the soils • an outline of the capability of the soil and land for irrigated horticulture • identification and characterisation of land management units (LMUs).
Number of Pages
Midlands, soil suitability, soil-landscape mapping, land management units, irrigated agriculture
Griffin, EA, Stuart-Street, A, van Wyk, L & Tille, PJ 2019, ‘Soil capability assessment for expanding irrigated agriculture in the Dinner Hill focus area, Midlands, Western Australia’, Resource management technical report 406, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Perth.
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