SOILpak - Southern Irrigators

For irrigated broad area agriculture on the Riverine Plain in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys.

This manual is a guide to recognising the soil groups, diagnosing soil problems and best practice soil management for broad area irrigation farmers on the Riverine Plain in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys.

Section A.  Introduction

  • Introduction
  • Read this first!
  • The ideal soil
  • Soils of the Riverine Landscape
  • Soil limitations to crop production

Section B. Quick help guide

  • Trouble-shooting guide
  • Reducing waterlogging
  • Managing crusting and hardsetting soil
  • Do I have a compaction problem?
  • Is my soil is acid?
  • Is my soil saline?
  • Is my soil suitable for rice growing?
  • Is my soil suitable for direct drilling?
  • Is my soil suitable for raised bedfarming?
  • Managing paddocks with soil variation
  • Soil survey for irrigation development or redevelopment?
  • Managing recently landformed areas

Section C. Diagnosis of soil

  • How to use this section
  • Soil pit digging: where, how and why?
  • How to assess a soil profile
  • Soil surface
  • Soil structure
  • Soil texture
  • Slaking and dispersion
  • Assessing soil moisture
  • Other chemical tests
  • Testing soil salinity in the field

Section D. Soil management for the main farming systems of southern NSW

  • Management for crop and pasture rotation systems
  • Management for rice rotation systems
  • Management for summer cropping/double cropping rotation systems
  • Management for winter cropping rotation systems
  • Management for irrigated pastures

Section E. General soil and other information

  • Sodicity and soil management
  • Crusting and hardsetting
  • Landforming and soil management
  • Cultivation and soil structure
  • Improving soil structure by crop rotation
  • Improving soil through biological activity
  • Irrigation scheduling

NSW Agriculture, 1999