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Grazing impacts on cover, water, sediment and nutrient loss in the Upper Burdekin catchment (2006/07)
Poor land condition resulting from unsustainable grazing practices can reduce enterprise profitability and increase water and sediment yields from grazed catchments. This study has demonstrated that it is possible to improve ground cover and soil surface condition, as well as reduce hillslope sediment and nutrient yields, after just 5 years of improved land management in the form of wet season spelling. This will help retain valuable soil resources on the paddocks for future pasture growth and beef production, as well as help reduce impacts on downstream ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef. Despite the reduced sediment and nutrient yields at the hillslope scale, there has not been a measurable reduction in yields at the catchment outlet. This is because gully and bank erosion are the major erosion processes contributing sediments and phosphorus to the end of catchment. This will therefore make evaluating end of catchment water quality targets problematic as improvements in land management may not be seen for many decades.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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