Understanding the soil type you are working with is an important aspect of land management. To help landholders better understand the soils of their areas a soil survey was undertaken to determine the major soil types found in the Corangamite Lakes Landcare Network area. Results were then provided to landholders through a series of soil workshops which included a soil pit inspection and discussion of management options for that soil type.
The survey aimed to charactorise major soil types across the Lismore, Mingay, Bradvale, Vite Vite, Larralea and Foxhow areas. Soil characterisation was conducted on ten farms across the study area to identify soil constraints and soil management issues. The project involved extracting meter deep soil cores to determine soil type as well as physical and chemical composition of the profile.
The selection of the farms was based predominantly upon landform and geology, which are major influences upon soil formation. However given much of the study area is on basalt geological units, selection also took into account the age of the geological unit, delineating “older”, “intermediate” and “younger” basalts. A hydraulic soil sampling rig was used to take 122 soil cores (40mm diameter) to a maximum of 1.2m depth (or shallower where rock prevented penetration), and their physical attributes described and recorded as per the Australian Soil and Land Survey Handbook.The findings of the field work were communicated back to landholders via a series of workshops to raise their awareness of, and increase their knowledge and capacity to manage any identified soil management issues.