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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Property Management Planning Risk Assessment


Soil Module
Are you currently irrigating? No Yes
If yes, how many years irrigation experience do you have?

Do you operate under a Quality Assurance System? No Yes If yes, which one?
Do you have a Property Management Plan / Whole Farm Plan? No Yes If yes, when was it completed?
If yes, which one and when was it
Have you completed a FarmSat or DairySat assessment?
No Yes completed?

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

1. Geomorphological Features
Physical Characteristics or Risk

Karst
Are there any
Deflation Basins
significant Some geomorphological features are fragile and need special
geomorphological management to protect them.
Dunes (Lunettes)
features on the
1.1
property?
Other
many some none unsure
Details:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Karst
Over what area of
the property are Deflation Basins
Knowing the extent of geomorphological features gives a better
these features
understanding of their significance in the landscape.
represented? Dunes (Lunettes)
1.2 Estimate for each
feature. Other
>5ha 1-5ha <1 ha unsure
Details:

Some features require specific management actions to proect their


condition and integrity. E.g. Lunettes are very vulnerable to wind
erosion, karst features are very sensitive to water quality.
Are these areas managed differently from rarely sometimes always unsure
1.3
other areas on the farm? Details:

Summary:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

2. Soil Structure and Compaction


Physical Characteristics or Risk
Compaction reduces root growth and function, water holding
capacity and makes soil management more difficult and expensive.
most some none unsure
Are there paddocks on the farm that are
2.1 Details:
compacted?

Is root growth assessed?


rarely sometimes usually unsure
Are roots restricted to hard surfaces on the
Using a spade during the irrigation season is a good way to look at
outside of clods?
root growth at the same time as assessing soil moisture. Root
growth and health provides information on soil structure, potential
Are roots misshapen or flattened?
nutrient uptake efficiency and general soil health.
2.2
Are taproots turned sideways by compact
layers? most some none unsure
Details:

The soil structure scoring system is explained in Soil health for


farming in Tasmania (Cotching). It is a useful and simple technique.
A low score indicates poor soil structure, a high score good
Has a soil structure score card ever been
never sometimes usually unsure structure. The score relates to yield potential in most crops.
2.3 used to assess soil structure of any
Details:
paddocks?

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Record keeping is important for identifying trends - either


improvements or deterioration of soil properties.
rarely sometimes usually
Are records of monitoring results kept (diary
2.4 Details:
entries, reports, photos)?

Summary:

Management Practices or Needs


Soil preparation and harvesting for root crops (e.g. potatoes,
carrots, onions) and wet harvested crops (e.g. peas, brocoli) have a
How often in a 10 year rotation are the >4 2-4 <2 unsure greater potential of damaging soil structure.
2.5 following crops grown: root crops, wet Details:
harvested crops?

Harvesting of dry harvested crops does not have as much potential


to cause compactionand damage soil structure. Pastures, if not
stocked during wet conditions, may assist in maintaining or
How often in a 10 year rotation are the
<2 3-6 >6 unsure improving soil structure.
2.6 following crops grown: dry harvested crops,
Details:
pasture?

Livestock can cause compaction in bare paddocks, especially in wet


conditions.
usually sometimes rarely unsure
2.7 Is livestock used to clean-up after harvest? Details:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

"Pugging" by stock damages soil structure.


rarely sometimes usually unsure
Are stock removed from wet or low lying
2.8 Details:
paddocks / areas during wet periods?

Soil structure can not be improved by working the soil. Over-


working will damage soil structure and cause a loss of organic
usually sometimes rarely unsure carbon.
Are several passes needed with a power
2.9 Details:
implement to achieve a good seedbed?

The need for frequent deep ripping indicates compaction layers in


the rootzone. Deep ripping is not an effective long term option to
Are paddocks deep ripped or deep usually sometimes rarely unsure manage compaction.
2.10 cultivated more than once in a 5 year Details:
rotation?

If heavy equipment and trucks are allowed to drive anywhere on the


Is the traffic (tractors, harvesters, trucks) on paddock, compaction over the whole paddock will be the result.
rarely sometimes usually unsure
paddocks contained to certain areas to
2.11 Details:
minimise impacts over the rest of the
paddock?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

3. Organic Matter and Soil Health


Physical Characteristics or Risk
Regular testing allows trends to be observed and quick action if
there are problems.
rarely sometimes usually unsure
Are soils tested regularly i.e. every 1- 2 years
3.1 Details:
for organic carbon?

Negative trends indicate that soil management should change to


cropping soils?
What general stop or reverse the trend. If there are losses in organic carbon,
trends in organic compaction, poor water holding capacity, low disease suppression
pastures?
carbon occur in: and poor overall soil health will be a result.
3.2 decreasing stable increasing unsure
Details:

Keeping soil test results for extended periods in an easy to access


file allows changes in results to be monitored and acted on.
rarely sometimes usually unsure
Are soil test reports kept in chronological
3.3 Details:
order for more than 10 years?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Other soil health indicators such as structure scores, soil fauna,
penetration resistance and even feel or smell indicate the soil health
status. Records should be kept so trends can be noticed and acted
Is soil health monitored and are records kept
rarely sometimes usually unsure on.
3.4 for other indicators than provided by a
Details:
conventional soil test?

Summary:

Management Practices or Needs


Crop residues are an important food source for soil micro-organisms
and return nutrients and organic carbon to the soil. If residues break
down too slowly, it may be an indicator of poor soil health.
Are practices used to incorporate organic rarely sometimes usually unsure
3.5
matter from crop residues into the soil? Details:

Soil health management includes e.g. management of soil structure,


organic carbon, rotation, fertiliser and pesticide selection, amounts
used as well as erosion control and monitoring recording of
rarely sometimes always unsure changes.
3.6 Is soil health actively managed?
Details:

Bare fallows pose the greatest risk for loss of organic carbon from
Are bare fallows (no stubble, pasture, or
soils.
crops for > 3 months) regularly used in usually sometimes rarely unsure
3.7 rotations in paddocks that are not in Details:
permanent pasture, long term crops or
trees?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Cover crops between cash crops prevent organic carbon loss,
provide food to the soil fauna and capture nutrients left over from
rarely sometimes usually unsure cash crops.
Are green crops / break crops or short term
3.8 Details:
pastures regularly used in the rotation?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

4. Erosion
Physical Characteristics or Risk
Cropping steep slopes increases the risk of erosion and thus loss of
sediment and nutrients. Off site impacts may occur on neighbouring
> 18% 5 - 18% <5% unsure farms and waterways.
What slopes are typically cropped on the
4.1 Details:
farm?

Sandy soils, especially when dry, are easily blown during strong
winds, when ground cover is less than 70%. The wind blown sand
often sometimes rarely unsure particles are abrasive to crops.
If there are sandy soils on the farm, are they
4.2 Details:
at risk of being eroded by strong winds?

Erosion hot spots need managing to prevent further damage.


many some none unsure
Are there any known erosion hotspots (e.g.
4.3 Details:
tunnels, gullies, sand blows)?

North facing slopes in low rainfall areas are vulnerable to loss of


pasture cover and erosion.
many some none unsure
If the farm is in a low rainfall area (<800
4.4 Details:
mm), are there any north facing slopes?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Management Practices or Needs
If north facing slopes are not fenced and managed sensitively to
maintain ground cover, loss of organic matter and pasture cover will
make them unproductive for stock. They will not be a good habitat
If there are north facing slopes, are they
few some most unsure for beneficial flora and fauna, if damaged.
4.5 fenced and managed separately to other
Details:
areas?

stubble retention

direct drilling

contour drains
On the majority of
the farm, are mulched rip lines
practices used to Depending on the soil type, climate and cropping / pasture type a
reduce the risk of grassed drainage lines range of management tools are available to prevent erosion.
soil erosion by wind
4.6
or water ? cut off drains

cover crops

other

rarely sometimes usually unsure


Details:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Pasture ground cover is not only a good indicator for productivity


but also indicates the risk for soil and water erosion. Monitoring and
recording allows trends to be observed and will trigger actions to
For most paddocks, is pasture ground cover
improve a deteriorating situation.
4.7 monitored and are results recorded (e.g. rarely sometimes usually unsure
percentage cover or photos)? Details:

Measures to improve pasture cover will control erosion, loss of


organic carbon and improve productivity.
If pasture ground cover is poor, are rarely sometimes usually unsure
4.8 measures taken to allow recovery (e.g. de- Details:
stocking)?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

5. Sodicity
Physical Characteristics or Risk
If soils in the catchment are known to be sodic, soils on the property
may be sodic. This should be ground truthed.
yes no unsure
Are soils in the catchment known to be
5.1 Details:
sodic?

Surface crusting and hard setting soils with crop establishment


problems are signs of sodic soils.
Do problems with seedling emergence due often sometimes rarely unsure
5.2 to soil surface crusting occur on the farm Details:
and / or does the soil set hard when dry?

Sodic soils are also known as dispersive soils. In water the soil
particles separate and remain in solution (for non-sodic soils the soil
often sometimes rarely unsure particles will drop out of solution as sediment when placed in
Does standing water in puddles in cropping
5.3 Details:
areas or dam water stay cloudy?

ESP is a measure for sodicity (it is the % of sodium compared to


other cations in the soil). Sodicity is an inherent characteristic of
some soils. However, some testing has shown that ESP may be
Does the farm have paddocks with ESP
many some none unsure influenced by poor quality irrigation water.
5.4 (exchangeable sodium percentage) values >
Details:
6 % in the topsoil?

Many soil types in Tasmania do not have sodic topsoils, but do have
sodic subsoils. These are best managed by maintaining a protective
many some none unsure cover of topsoil, and not disturbing them.
Does the farm have paddocks with ESP
5.5 Details:
values > 6 % in the subsoil?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
topsoils The Emerson dispersion test is a simple, quick and accurate
indicator of soil sodicity. A dry soil aggregate is dropped in distilled
Have soil dispersion
subsoils water or rainwater; sodic soil will disperse easily turning the water
tests been
no yes unsure cloudy.
5.6 undertaken for
paddocks with Details:
suspected sodicity?

Summary:

Management Practices or Needs


Cropping duplex soils with sodic subsoils requires careful
management (e.g. minimum tillage, careful crop selection, organic
often sometimes rarely unsure
matter inputs, deficit irrigation, quality fertilisers) to avoid exposing
Are duplex soils that have sodic subsoils the subsoils, or exacerbating the sodicity problems.
5.7
being cropped?
Details:

Cultivating into the B horizon will result in mixing better topsoil with
sodic subsoil and thus losing productivity.
often sometimes rarely unsure
When cultivating soils, are they worked into
5.8 Details:
the B horizon?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Sodic soils have severely restricted internal drainage and need
careful irrigation management with long periods of deep drying
often sometimes no unsure between irrigated crops. Sodic water may worsen the problem,
Are duplex soils that have sodic subsoils while slightly saline water may help in maintaining structure in sodic
5.9 irrigated? If yes, what is the water quality soils.
(ECe and ESP)? Details:

Regular monitoring allows trends to be seen and acted on before


productivity losses occur. Monitoring could include ESP for soil
rarely sometimes usually unsure tests, dispersion tests, photos, etc.
Are top and subsoils of areas that are sodic
5.10 Details:
monitored are regular and records kept?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

6. Salinity
Physical Characteristics or Risk
If soils or water in the catchment are saline it is worth assessing the
property for signs of salinity during the property visit.
yes no unsure
Is salinity known to occur in the catchment
6.1 Details:
(either soil or water salinity)?

If the water table is close to the soil surface, salts contained in


ground water may easily reach the rootzone. There is also the
yes no unsure
potential for an increase in irrigation to lead to a raised ground
water depth, increasing the risk of salinity. Use the Landscape
Assessment to Inform Salinity Management Planning in Tasmanian
Is the watertable less than 1.5 m from the
6.2 NAP region modelled groundwater depth map (Figure 99) (Hocking)
soil surface anywhere on the property?
to help answer this question, if there is no data for the property.

Details:

In low rainfall areas, salts brought up from the groundwater or


applied via fertilisers or naturally occurring in rainfall may not be
yes no unsure washed out of the rootzone and will accumulate.
Is the average rainfall on the property less
6.3 Details:
than 800 mm?

If evaporation exceeds rainfall for extended periods, salts may


become concentrated in soils and waterways.
yes no unsure
Does the evaporation exceed rainfall for
6.4 Details:
more than six months of the year?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

If GFS on the property have a high salinity hazard potential, the


property may be at risk of being affected by salinity (especially if
yes no unsure
On the property, are there any groundwater there is a change in land use to irrigation). Use the 14 Municipal
flow systems (GFS) that have been identified Salinity Hazard Reports and maps to answer this question.
6.5
for the municipality to be of moderate to
Details:
high salinity hazard?

Are there saline the property Saline surface waters indicate that salinity is a natural part of the
surface waters on landscape, and salinity in soils and ground water should be
the property or nearby properties suspected. Change in land use to irrigation may exacerbate salinity
nearby properties? yes no unsure issues if not carefully managed.
6.6
Details:

Salt tolerant plant species are a good indicator of saline areas on a


farm.
yes no unsure
Can salt tolerant indicator species be found
6.7 Details:
anywhere on the farm?

Poor crop or pasture performance and bare areas in paddocks may


In any paddocks, are there poor areas, be a sign of salinity.
many some none unsure
stunted plants / burnt leaves and yield
6.8 Details:
losses, or soil surface crusting and / or bare
areas?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Do you have topsoil
ECe values above 2 dS/m indicate that a range of crops will suffer
paddocks with ECe
yield losses. ECe is more meaningful for soils than EC1:5 (refer to
values above 2 subsoil
Glossary for more information). Careful crop selection, soil, fertiliser
dS/m in the:
and irrigation management are required.
6.9 many some none unsure
Details:

variable or
Trends in salinity give a warning of deteriorating conditions or
improvements, so that management can be adjusted accordingly.
increasing stable decreasing unsure
What are the trends in topsoil salinity in
6.10 Details:
irrigated areas?

variable or Trends in salinity give a warning of deteriorating conditions or


improvements, so that management can be adjusted accordingly.
increasing stable decreasing unsure
What are the trends in topsoil salinity in
6.11 Details:
dryland areas?

topsoil Trends in salinity give a warning of deteriorating conditions or


improvements, so that management can be adjusted accordingly.
subsoil
Is soil salinity monitored rarely sometimes regularly unsure
6.12
regularly and records kept? Details:

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Management Practices or Needs
Saline soils are usually fragile in structure and crops that are
root crops
damaging to soil structure and need high inputs of irrigation water
must be very carefully managed. In addition, these crops may lead
How often in a 10 wet harvested crops
to ground water recharge, which can lead to increase in extent
year rotation are
and/or severity of salinity. Proceed with caution with these types of
6.13 the following dairy pastures
crops in known saline areas.
irrigated crops >4 1-4 0 unsure
grown: Details:

Dryland phases are useful in reducing groundwater recharge and


dryland crops
managing soil structure. These rotations are applicable for farms at
How often in a 10
risk of salinity.
year rotation are dryland pastures 0 1-4 >5 unsure
6.14
the following crops Details:
grown:

Salt tolerant plants can improve salt scalds, reduce groundwater


recharge and, in some cases, remove salts from the soil.
none some many
Are salt tolerant pastures, shrubs, deep
6.15 Details:
rooting perennials etc grown in saline areas?

If saline paddocks are managed senstively and monitored to inform


management decisions, then they can be used as productive areas
Are saline paddocks managed differently of a farm, while minimising off-site impacts.
rarely sometimes often unsure
6.16 form others (e.g. rotation, soil management,
Details:
irrigation management)?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Is groundwater depth
depth and salinity salinity
monitored? rarely sometimes often unsure
Monitoring and observing trends is an important part of risk
depth decreasing increasing management, giving an opportunity for preventive action.

6.17
What are the stable or
trends? salinity increasing variable decreasing unsure
Details:

Some standard fertilisers may increase the salt content of soils.


Organic matter amendments may reduce the negative effects of
Is the selection of fertilisers and / or soil rarely sometimes often unsure salinity on crops.
6.18 amendments different in saline areas Details:
compared to non-saline areas?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

7. Drainage
Physical Characteristics or Risk
Poor drainage will not allow crops to reach their full potential.
Waterlogging in areas that are not irrigated may indicate that
Are any areas on the farm prone to drainage works are required if irrigation is to be introduced.
many some few unsure
7.1 waterlogging for four weeks or more in a
Details:
year with average rainfall?

Waterlogging can indicate poor soil structure, shallow topsoil,


impermeable subsoils, or shallow groundwater tables. It can also
many some few unsure often be associated with saline and/or sodic soils.
Are any irrigated paddocks prone to
7.2 Details:
waterlogging during the irrigation season?

Waterlogging can indicate poor soil structure, shallow topsoil,


impermeable subsoils, or shallow groundwater tables. It can also
After rain, does runoff from adjacent areas often sometimes rarely unsure often be associated with saline and/or sodic soils.
7.3 pond or pool in others (on own or Details:
neighbouring farms)?

Springs or seepage areas indicate a connection to the groundwater.


many some none unsure
Are there are springs or seepage areas in
7.4 Details:
cropping paddocks?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
If low lying areas that are prone to waterlogging are saline or sodic,
a greater area of the paddock may become affected if irrigation is
many some none unsure introduced.
Are low lying, poorly drained areas in
7.5 Details:
dryland paddocks sodic and / or saline?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Management Practices or Needs
Drainage works may be required for managing saline areas
effectively, if water can be discharged without damage to other
yes no unsure areas or water bodies. Draining sodic soils can exacerbate the
Have drainage works been done for
7.6 Details:
paddocks with saline or sodic conditions?

For flat areas prone to waterlogging, topographic surveys are an


essential tool for planning surface drainage and raised beds.
rarely sometimes always unsure
Are paddocks surveyed prior to undertaking
7.7 Details:
drainage works?

Soil health management practices can improve drainage (e.g.


Are you aware of the links between compacted soils will not drain properly).
no yes unsure
management practices used to improve soil
7.8 Details:
health and their effect on drainage (e.g.
controlled traffic, stubble retention)?

Summary:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

8. Acid Sulfate Soil (ASS)


Physical Characteristics or Risk
If the property is in a region with potential for ASS, a more detailed
assessment of soils on the property may be advisable. Use the TASSI
yes partly no unsure map to answer this question.
Is the property in a region with potential for
8.1 Details:
acid sulfate soils (TASSI map)?

Peat or back swamps may be at risk of developing ASS.


Are there any peat soil, back swamp
yes no unsure
drainage basin areas or very poorly drained
8.2 Details:
areas within paddocks which will be or are
irrigated and/or cultivated?

Scalded areas that do not respond to liming may be an indicator of


ASS.
yes no unsure
Are there any scalded areas or low pH soils
8.3 Details:
that do not respond to liming?

If the ASS layer is close to the surface, the soil must not be
cultivated or drained using deep drainage.
<0.5m 0.5-1m >1m unsure
What is the depth between the soil surface
8.4 Details:
and the start of the ASS layer?

Summary:

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
Management Practices or Needs
Testing is an important risk management tool. For information
about field testing using the hydraulic conductivity test, see NSW
no yes unsure DPI website.
8.5 Have suspect soils been field tested for ASS? Details:

Testing is an important risk management tool. Field testing is not


100% reliable and shouldbe confirmed using a laboratory test.
no yes unsure
Have suspect soils been confirmed using a
8.6 Details:
laboratory test?

cultivated

Are areas with acid irrigated Irrigating, cultivating and deep draining ASS may be a risk as severe
sulfate soils: expression of the problem may occur.
deep drained
8.8
often sometimes rarely unsure
Details:

Ground water extraction can expose ASS causing severe expression


of ASS.
yes no unsure
Are ground water extractions occurring in
8.9 Details:
areas known or suspected to have ASS?

Summary:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

9. Nutrient Management
Physical Characteristics or Risk

The pH is an important fertility indicator.


<5 or >7 5-6 6-7 unsure
9.1 What is the pH range of soils on the farm? Details:

Summary:

Management Practices or Needs


soils Monitoring and recording to observe trends are important risk
Is testing
management tools. Monitoring nutrient levels of soils and crops
undertaken for
crops enables the exact amount of nutrient that the crops or pasture
nutrient levels of:
rarely sometimes often unsure requires to be applied.
9.2
Details:

Planning and adjusting crop nutrient inputs based on soil and plant
monitoring as well as crop removal rates prevents over or
rarely sometimes often unsure underfertilsing.
Are crop nutrient budgets or plans used to
9.3 Details:
decide on fertiliser applications?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Runoff and leaching increase fertiliser costs, may reduce crop


productivity and will have negative impacts on the environment.
rarely sometimes often unsure
Techniques could include top dressing at maximum crop growth, or
Are fertilisers used in ways that will control
use of liquid fertilisers for direct uptake.
9.4 nutrient leaching or runoff?
Details:

Measures to mitigate the potential for nutrient losses are an


important management tool (after first ensuring that fertilisers are
rarely sometimes usually unsure not applied in excess of crop needs).
Are grassed or mulched drains used to filter
9.5 Details:
/ retain excess nutrients?

Measures to mitigate the potential for nutrient losses are an


important management tool (after first ensuring that fertilisers in
rarely sometimes usually unsure excess of crop needs aren't applied).
Are vegetated buffers in place adjacent to
9.6 Details:
waterways?

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Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Measures to prevent nutrient losses such as 'cover crops' and


careful irrigation management are important management tools.
rarely sometimes usually unsure
Are cover crops or short term grasses used
9.7 Details:
after cash crops to use leftover nutrients?

Split fertiliser applications that match crop needs prevent losses of


excess nutrients via leaching or surface runoff.
Are split fertiliser applications used during rarely sometimes usually unsure
9.8 the season (i.e. several topdressings of Details:
nitrogen)?

Fertiliser application with irrigation (fertigation) must be managed


carefully. Some irrigation systems are not suitable for fertigation.
rarely sometimes usually unsure
If fertilisers are applied via irrigation
9.9 Details:
systems, are off-target areas protected?

Monitoring for off-site effects such as measuring nutrient levels


below the rootzone or in adjacent waterbodies are tools to assess
whether nutrients are being lost from the farming system.
Are soil nutrient levels below the rootzone never sometimes often unsure
9.10
checked to monitor leaching? Details:

Summary:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

10. Irrigation Management


Management Practices or Needs
Measures to prevent nutrient losses such as irrigation scheduling
and soil moisture monitoring are important management tools.
Is irrigation scheduled and monitored to rarely sometimes usually unsure
10.1 ensure nutrients are maintained in the root Details:
zone?

Are the following


texture
properties known
for soils on the Understanding soil properties allows for effective irrigation
water holding capacity
farm: scheduling.
10.2 readily available water (RAW)
few some all unsure
Details:

Understanding soil properties allows for effective irrigation


scheduling, and will reduce the likelihood of runoff.
few some all unsure
Are infiltration rates of different soil types
10.3 Details:
known (high, medium, low)?

Knowing the rooting depth (effective rootzone) allows for adequate


irrigation scheduling, without applying too much or too little water.
few some all unsure
Is the effective root zone for different crops
10.4 Details:
known?

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Constant monitoring is required to fine tune irrigation scheduling,


especially where different soil types are being irrigated using the
most every
How frequently are irrigated areas one system.
rarely irrigations irrigation unsure
10.5 monitored/assessed for soil moisture during
Details:
the growing season?

Each soil type differs in its water holding capacity and infiltration
rates. Where different soils are being irrigated using the one system
it is important to monitor the different areas separately to
Are several different soil types and / or determine the most appropriate irrigation scheduling. This situation
10.6 topographic areas being (or proposed to be) requires careful proactive management.
many some none unsure
irrigated under the same irrigation system?
Details:

Building subsoil moisture may lead to water and nutrient losses


from the root zone.
yes some no unsure
When scheduling irrigation, is one aim to
10.7 Details:
build subsoil moisture levels?

If runoff / drainage occurs, the irrigation scheduling, application


rates, etc may need to be reviewed.
yes some no unsure
Is there run-off or drainage into adjacent
10.8 Details:
paddocks following irrigation?

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L
If runoff / drainage occurs, the irrigation scheduling, application
rates, etc may need to be reviewed. Measures to protect
yes some no unsure
watercourses from soil and nutrient inputs e.g. vegetation buffers
Is there is run-off or drainage into may need to be put into place.
10.9
watercourses following irrigation? Details:

If water is not infiltrating soils well, soil structure may be an issue.


Alternatively, the amount of water applied per irrigation run may be
many some none unsure too high for the soil.
Does water lie on paddocks for some time
10.10 Details:
following irrigation?

Summary:

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

11. Sustainable Production


Management Practices or Needs

Crop productivity is a good indicator for sustainable management.


decreasing stable increasing unsure
What is the trend in productivity of your
11.1 Details:
cropping soils?

Double cropping may increase the risk of soil borne diseases and
cause general soil health decline.
often sometimes rarely unsure
11.2 Is double-cropping ever undertaken? Details:

Do you use any of the following practices?


- stubble retention
- regular grass/green manure crops
Sustainable management practices help to maintain soil and crop
- have occasional years without irrigation
productivity.
- grow cover crops, rather than have bare
11.3 fallows
rarely sometimes often unsure
Details:

Major land use change, could include irrigation development,


change to enterprises (e.g. cropping to dairy), etc
yes no unsure
Is any major land use change planned for the
11.4
property?

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PMP Risk Assessment - Soil

Risk
Question Response Importance
Rating
High Medium Low Review N/A H, M, L

Pasture breaks will maintain soil health and crop productivity -


continuous cropping can be hard on soils.
8 - 10 5-7 <4
What is the usual cropping frequency (out of
11.5 Details:
10 years)?

Summary:

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