Maca growers in erosion study

MAPPED: Erosion potential utilising the LIDAR data.
MAPPED: Erosion potential utilising the LIDAR data.

AN UPDATED guide offering strategies on erosion management in macadamia orchards was launched at the 2017 Macadamia Consultant's Forum in Brisbane recently.

The guide, a collaboration between North Coast Local Land Services, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and industry consultants, studies the benefits of installing successful drainage systems to reduce erosion.

Land Services officer Kel Langfield said The Integrated Orchard Management Guide offered growers and managers the latest information on best drainage practices that would support orchard productivity and improve catchment condition.

The DPI's Jeremy Bright said the guide would help growers plan for water flow through their orchard.

"Moving water through orchards in a controlled fashion leads to cleaner water out of the orchard, less soil loss and root exposure, and ultimately a healthier catchment system,” he said.

Erosion and drainage management is being transformed through new uses of light detection and ranging (LIDAR) information.

This remote sensing technique uses lasers to map a three-dimensional view of a property.

Digital models for elevation and predicted soil loss can identify orchard zones that need different management.

Changes to ground cover and placement of drainage structures can be modelled to show the potential changes in soil loss.

"Using LiDAR and digital modelling for planning is a key step to improving the viability and sustainability of macadamia orchards on the North Coast,” Mr Bright said.

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