Soil Quality

Nutrient Management

A workshop was held in March 2012, the culmination of three projects which looked at soil test results and fertiliser management for 10 King Island farms. A range of production types and samples of different catchments on King Island were sampled in the studies. Dr Cameron Gourley, Agricultural Scientific Researcher, DPI Vic, presented infomation from “Accounting for Nutrients on Australian Dairy Farms”; and Dr Richard Rawnsley, Research Fellow, TIAR, discussed nutrients on farm; Dr Bill Cotching, Soil Researcher, TIAR, presented information from the King Island Nutrient Management Project.

Acid Sulfate

Acid sulfate soil (ASS) is the common name given to soils and sediments containing iron sulfides, the most common being pyrite. When exposed to air due to drainage or disturbance, these soils produce sulfuric acid, often releasing toxic quantities of iron, aluminium and heavy metals.

Pyrite (FeS2) found in acid sulfate soils is not visible to the naked eye.

For more information: Tasmanian Acid Sulfate Soil Management Guidelines

Waterlogging & Salinity

King Island has two projects aimed at salinity management, KISMAP & KISHAP.

  • These projects create a greater understanding of the processes that drive salinity in those areas that already identified as having a salt hazard
  • Delineate those areas that have no visible salt but have a defined potential salt hazard
  • Develop guidelines for land managers to pre-emptively manage potential salt hazards.


King Island Salt Hazard Assessment Project

See: Salinity and Waterlogging Control Manual for King Island’s Farmland


King Island Salinity Management Action Program – Demonstration Trail.

This was an Australian Government Envirofund Project funded through the Natural Heritage Trust.
This project followed the successful Salinity Partnership Project run by the King Island Natural Resource Management Group in 2001.
The project aimed to educate the community and assist in the development of trial sites that demonstrate effective salinity management strategies on King Island.

Four sites were developed in 2003 and 2004 showing the use of:

  • drainage to improve surface water run-off
  • planting of salt tolerant pasture species in previously unpriductive salt scald areas
  • colonisation of Sarcocornia quinqueflora in a natural saline wetland
  • establishment of an artificial saline wetland with trial planting of halophtyes
  • revegetation of deeper rooted native vegetation

Sites and signage show what can be done to increase the productivity of salt affected land.

Consultant for the project, Dr Mike Walker, has overseen the implementation of project works in conjunction with landholders, Reekara Landcare Group Inc., and staff of the King Island Natural Resource Management Group Inc.

Early in 2003, Dr Walker completed a snapshot telephone survey of King Island residents, which assessed community awareness of salinity as an issue on King Island.

Brochures, a large informative sign located at Reekara Community Complex, and a three dimensional model of the Yellow Rock River catchment will allow the Project Demonstration Trail to be instructive and interesting to visitors and residents alike.
This project was supported by: NHT, Envirofund, KINRMG Inc., Reekara Landcare Group Inc., Elders/Webster

Last Updated on 27 August 2021