Regional Land Partnerships Agriculture

Regional Land Partnerships Agriculture

 

Addressing soil and vegetation priorities to support sustainable primary production.

 

Regional Landcare Program Agriculture, RALF with farmers and a car in the backgroundNatural resource management planning and prioritisation of management actions.

Increasing adoption of improved land management practices through soil and vegetation services in South East Queensland.

The project works with landholders, farming, and community groups to improve soil health and native vegetation which underpins the region’s agricultural productivity and profitability and contributes significantly to maintaining ecosystem services including water quality and biodiversity in South East Queensland.

 

The program focuses on:

  • Addressing key local, regional & national priorities of:
    • Soil fertility and soil carbon decline.
    • Soil acidification.
    • Hillslope erosion.
    • Vegetation condition.
  • Improving knowledge and understanding through workshops, field days, demonstration sites, and tailored information packets.
  • Detailed five-year project plan including Communication Plan, Stakeholder and Community Plan in conjunction with key partners from DAF, peak Industry bodies, local community & farming groups

 

Addressing Regional Landcare Partnership Agricultural soil and vegetation priorities to assist in primary production.

 

What we did

Healthy Land & Water has been delivering Agricultural soil and vegetation advice and workshops under the RLP Program.

This encompasses several community-centred key outcomes. These include assessing information uptake and working closely with landholders to run field days, demonstrations, and technical advice interactions.

We also assess the on-ground status of several catchments, including collecting, or synthesising baseline data, soil testing, identifying the location of potential sites (erosion control), and establishing monitoring regimes.

2022 - 2023

2022-23 was the final year of the Increasing adoption of improved land management practices through soil & vegetation services -SEQ project, funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Key achievements from the program include :

  • Delivered 59 workshops and field days, involving 1569 landholders managing over 92,400 ha.
  • Partnered with 45 organisations including 13 Landcare & 4 industry groups, 11 Councils, 8 agribusinesses, QFBC, Seqwater, Universities & several State agencies.
  • 20 property visits to assess erosion and provide detailed erosion control reports.
  • Ran 5 local soil health programs with on-farm soil sampling at 172 sites across 94 farms, providing advice to 168 farmers.
  • Supported the development of 184 property management &/or fire management plans.
  • Established 5 erosion control demo sites and 9 soil health trial sites.
  • Developed 198 communications materials including fact sheets and case studies.

Highlights from the end-of-project survey :

Soil Health

  • 92 % of participating landholders who had made changes to their practices, had reported a noticeable improvement in soil health on their farms, with 45 % rating a good improvement and 10 % reporting a significant improvement.
  • Show 89% of participating landholders have improved understanding & capacity to interpret soil test results.
  • 93 % of farmers indicated that they had improved knowledge & capacity to improve soil health on their farms.
  • Landholders reported implementing practices to improve soil health over 1 335 ha with future changes planned over a further 5 800 ha.

Erosion control

  • 94% of participating landholders have improved understanding, knowledge & capacity to prevent erosion through improved groundcover, pasture, and grazing management.
  • 94% of participating landholders who had made changes to their practices, had reported a noticeable improvement in groundcover and land condition on their properties.
  • Landholders reported implementing improved groundcover, pasture management & erosion control over 5 536 ha with future works planned over a further 16,248 ha.

Native Veg

  • Show 92% of participating landholders have improved understanding & knowledge of their soils, land types, native vegetation & biodiversity values
  • 87.5 % of participating landholders who had made changes to their practices, had reported a noticeable improvement in native vegetation on their properties
  • Landholders reported implementing practices that enhanced the condition of over 1 543 ha of native vegetation, with future on-ground works and practices planned over a further 9 249 ha.

Climate adaptation

  • 85% of participating landholders have improved understanding & knowledge of climate drivers and accessing climate information for decisions.
  • 96 % of the landholders at the workshops identified climate adaptation strategies and/or management practices they were considering implementing on their properties/businesses.
  • Landholders reported an intention to develop drought management & recovery plans over a further 7,827 ha.

Overall

  • 91% of landholders indicated that their involvement had increased long-term sustainability and production.
  • 91% of landholders indicated that their participation has led to increased resilience of enterprises and natural assets to deal with climate change.
  • 95% of landholders found that participation in project activities has assisted them in dealing with challenges in managing their land.
  • Overall 50% of landholders responding to the End of Program survey, are planning to make further changes over time to improve natural asset conditions over 63,500 ha, providing further evidence of behaviour change and ongoing commitment to implementing recommended land management practices.

Measuring success

As a result of the program, the following was achieved:

  • Soil Carbon and Soil Acidification: There will be increased farmer knowledge, skills, and capacity to manage soil health issues and increased adoption of soil and nutrient management practices to improve soil carbon levels and manage acidification over 1,500 ha of farming land in SEQ.

  • Soil erosion program: increased adoption of best management practices to maintain regional groundcover target levels to reduce nutrient & soil loss over 10,000 ha in SEQ.

  • Native vegetation sub-program: increased landholder skills and capacity to manage threats to on-farm native vegetation and increased adoption of appropriate grazing, fire, and weed & pest management to improve vegetation condition over 5,000 ha in SEQ.

  • Climate change adaptation: increased land manager skills and capacity to manage climate change impacts and increased adoption of effective strategies to help maintain productivity and resource condition, in SEQ.

     

 

Why this project is important

SEQ region contributes significantly to QLD’s economy by producing in 2010-2011 12.6% of QLD agriculture commodities. Approximately 55% of SEQ is classed as farmland with grazing, cropping & irrigated agriculture forestry, and turf as the main land uses.

The region’s ability to maintain agricultural productivity and competitiveness is highly reliant on maintaining its natural resource assets in good condition, minimising nutrient losses into waterways, and providing related ecosystem services.

This project provides the most effective approach to addressing key threats of soil erosion, acidification, soil carbon decline, and native vegetation which have been identified as priority regional targets in the South East Queensland Regional NRM Plan (2009, updated 2016) and Catchment Action Plans, developed through Resilient Rivers Initiative, in addition to the NLP priorities and mapping.

 

Project snapshot

Project name:  Regional Landcare Partnerships - Agriculture
Project manager:  Bruce Lord, Healthy Land & Water
Catchment:  South East Queensland
Timing: 2018 – 2023 (Completed)
Budget: $1,400,000
Partnerships:  This program is part of a $1 billion investment across the nation from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, to deliver environmental and agricultural outcomes.

The project has been delivered alongside amazing partners including private landowners, land managers, local Landcare groups, and Traditional Owners.

Project collaborators

This program is funded by the Australian Government National Landcare Program and delivered in collaboration with landowners, managers, local Landcare groups, and Traditional Owners.  

 Australian Government NLP