Guideline Index

Chapter 6: Soil Types

6.1 Introduction

It is essential to know the locations and characteristics of specific soil types on a dairy farm in order to make sound soil and fertiliser management decisions. Soil properties such as soil structure, depth, texture, salinity, acidity, waterlogging or compaction can limit crop and pasture growth even when the soil has adequate nutrients – See Chapter 4, ‘Soil Properties’. Soil factors limiting production must be managed to minimise their impact, so that fertiliser applications are as effective as possible – See Chapter 7, ‘Managing Limiting Soil Factors’.

In recent years soil maps and descriptions of the chemical and physical characteristics of soils from numerous sites across Australia have been uploaded to websites. These online resources are improving each year as additional information is uploaded. Regional soil information can be used in combination with local knowledge of the soils to help prepare a farm soil map – See Chapter 1.1.4.