Monitor soil quality to yield a better future

A new and interactive web based tool for assessing a range of chemical, physical and biological soil quality parameters was unveiled at the WA Soil Health Forum.

“Soilquality.org.au” has been developed through a collaborative project delivered by a range of research delivery organisations, agribusiness and growers groups.

Designed to raise awareness of the health of agricultural soil across the state, it will provide useful information to farmers to aid their management of on farm soil health issues.

This unique website provides site provides a means of comparing local, regional and state wide soil quality data sets.

For the first time in Western Australia, farmers can access information about soil quality in their own area and compare the results of their own soil tests with averages in the region and across the state.

It provides the basis for a database of locally validated and quality assured benchmarks for soil health.

The site also provides the ability to relate soil properties such as soil organic carbon with biological indicators such as microbial biomass; and provides a range of fact sheets describing the importance of the soil quality parameters reported.

The site also provides tools to assess potential yield based on rainfall, and a calculator for assessing the potential benefits/costs of a green manure phase.

The website will not only increase the information available to the farmer but save them time, money and effort in retrieving useful information.

Dan Murphy from UWA has been integral in developing the website “You can use the tools provided on this website to gain a greater understanding of the health of your soil. You can look at regional soil quality information, compare your data and examine soil relationships.”

“We will continue to build on the information and functions of the website to make it even more beneficial to users.”

The Soil Quality website has been developed by UWA and DAFWA in conjunction with the Avon Catchment Council, Land and Water Australia and GRDC. It is a result of investment from the State and Australian Government through the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

Visit Soil Quality website: www.soilquality.org.au