- Acquisition of a new land and existing operations
- Soil preparation, remediation, amelioration and management
- Selection and acquisition of soil ameliorants, farm equipment and machinery
- Acquisition of a new land for bio-fuel production and carbon sequestration for the credit market
- Selection of irrigation systems, water scheduling and moisture monitoring
- Benchmarking, monitoring and prevention strategies
- Whole farm planning and management
Implementing and Supervising
- Drainage and amelioration of hydromorphic soils
- Amelioration of hardpan and duplex soils
- Remediation of sodic, saline and chemically imbalanced soils
- Remediation of water repellent sands
- Amelioration of acid sulfate soil
- Remediation of cracking soils with gilgai
Drainage and amelioration of hydromorphic soils
Hydromorphic soils contain excess water throughout or in some parts of their soil profiles. This water can be permanent or transitory. Plants differ enormously in their rooting habits and tolerance to excess water which, depending on where and when it occurs, may or may not adversely affect the land performance and crop production. For example, poorly drained soils are unsuitable for most agricultural crops but suitable for rice. Well-drained soils are favourable for most crops but unsuitable for rice.
However, soil drainage is never an easy, simple and cheap procedure and it can be very expensive if conducted inappropriately or unnecessarily. Our surveys rely primarily on soil profiling to indentify areas, offer solutions and supervise the installation of drainage systems to ensure the best outcome for your money is achieved.
Amelioration of hardpan and duplex soils
Many soils have one or more layers that can interfere with gaseous exchange, roots and water penetration. Impeding layers can vary considerably in their characteristics, and the possibility of eliminating an adverse effect on land use through amelioration and management practices also varies according to their properties. A lot of money is spent on ripping, trenching, blasting or similar practices for the improvement of such soils globally, which do not always perform up to expectations.
Our soil survey can identify restrictive layers and provide cost-effective strategies for their elimination. This should be done ideally before the pre-designing and pre-planting stage as, in some cases, little can be done afterward (e.g. orchards, vineyards, forests, etc.)
Amelioration of sodic, saline and chemically imbalanced soils
As with the drainage and restrictive layers, soil chemistry is one of the most important soil factors determining certain kinds of land uses. Plants, for example, differ enormously in their nutrient requirements and tolerance to high concentrations of particular salts or deficiencies of some trace elements and other soluble compounds in the soil.
We can help you with the identification and chemical restoration of your land and assist with selecting the right crops and right fertiliser for the right soils to prevent crops failure and production losses, similar to this vineyard or orchard affected by lime chlorosis, nutrient deficiency and soil toxicity.
Amelioration of water repellent sands
Patchy growth and seeds germination are often indicators of some non-wetting soils, which can be costly to land users. Up to date, many remedies have been tested on such soils, but no singular method applies universally. Our soil surveys can identify affected areas, offer the solutions and predict – with a high degree of certainty – whether the suggested treatments are likely to succeed.
Amelioration of acid sulfate soil
The dark rusty scum draining from the shallow iron sulfide layer is showing that the iron sulfides are oxidising in contact with air and forming sulfuric acid and some other toxic substances that can kill plants, birds, fish and animals (also note the yellow band of sulphur around the water rim on the adjoining photo). Our survey must recognise and delineate such nasty soils and show them on soil maps. While the amelioration of acid sulfate soils is possible, it is always a difficult, long term and very expensive procedure to implement.
Amelioration of cracking clay soils with gilgai
On a global scale, cracking soils occupy around 330 million hectares of the ice-free land area. They are generally deep and fertile soils and deserve attention here because, under irrigation, they have a considerable potential for producing good yields of many crops without added fertilisers. Shrinking and swelling resists compaction, but often produces an uneven surface known as “Gilgai microrelief”, which can cause management problems.
If land users are unaware of such a situation, they invest heavily into the consecutive production of only alternating or flip-flop yields despite the great effort and an expensive state of the art irrigation system or machinery that can be in place. In most cases, the problem for altering yields is not the irrigation system or machinery, but luck of understanding of unique behaviour of reactive soils, ignorance of soil survey information, inappropriate and often damaging land preparation, poor management or some combination of these.
JRC has a proven record of spectacular increases in crop production using drip and spray irrigation. However, it must be strongly emphasised that the results presented here are not only because of soil survey and recommendations, but also due to the full cooperation of all involved in the process, from the highest management to contractors to the site management team. Together, we make the difference.