Home' Grower : June 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- June 2011
Leaching With Rainfall
RAINFALL is liquid gold as far as
salinity management is concerned.
It may occur as a single, larger
event or series of smaller events over several
Making the most of an opportunity when
it presents itself is essential.
Dominant rainfall occurs over a series of
weeks or months -- during winter in
southern parts of Australia, and summer
along the upper eastern coast and tropical
But rainfall is not always predictable, as
can be seen in Figure 1.
SOIL must be at its full point to sustain
During winter of 2007, long, dr y periods
separated rainfall events.
Priming the soil by applying irrigation
was necessary to ensure that subsequent
rainfall events promoted leaching.
By contrast, continuous winter rainfall
during winter 2008 was more effective in
The benefit of leaching under dominant
rainfall will last until regular irrigation
begins due to higher water salinity, or as
higher crop demand for water reduces
Annual vegetable cropping cycles can be
grown entirely under rain-fed conditions
and can fully benefit from the reduction in
root zone salinity.
Perennial crops potentially have a rain-
fed season followed and an irrigated
Figure 1: Rainfall at Virginia. Source - ICMS 2009.
PREVIOUS articles in this series have looked at types of salt,
measuring salinity and movement of salt into and out of the
crop root zone. In this article, ANTHONY FOX and JEANETTE
CHAPMAN covers strategies for leaching with rainfall and
ways of monitoring salt movement within soil.
The HortEx Alliance builds partnerships between
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Pollies broach carbon tax issue
By ASHLEY WALMSLEY
CARBON, not carrots, became a
theme throughout the AUSVEG
National Convention in Brisbane
Various views from both sides of politics
were shared at different times, providing
delegates with plenty to mull over as to
how the proposed Carbon Tax could
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry Joe Ludwig was the guest speak-
er at the AUSVEG National Awards of
Excellence where he took the opportunity
to not only praise the horticulture indus-
try for its $3.1 billion contribution to the
economy, but also to sell the "action on
climate change" message.
Mr Ludwig said the proposed carbon
price mechanism to be introduced from
July 1, 2012 would assist households,
support jobs in the most affected indus-
tries and encourage the transition to the
clean energy future.
"More than 50pc of the carbon price
revenue will be used to assist households,"
he said. Millions of householders will, as a
consequence, be better off under the car-
bon price and that assistance will be perma-
nent. He was careful to point out that
agricultural emissions would be excluded,
but said there would be opportunities for
the sector to participate in abatement
activities right across the board "in order
to reduce the effects of climate change and
promote both productivity and outcomes
in efficiency within the industry".
"The government will provide signifi-
cant support to landholders to ensure
they are aware of the details of this pack-
age," he said.
Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who
also attended the awards dinner, provided
an opposing view of the scheme,
announcing an honorary bravery award to
Mr Ludwig for "selling a carbon tax to
Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott
met growers and wholesalers during the
convention, and labelled the scheme sim-
ply as a bad tax.
"The carbon tax will increase your power
bills by 25 per cent and that's just for
starters," Mr Abbott said. "This is a bad tax.
It's a bad tax based on a lie and the only way
to stop this bad tax is to support people like
me, like John Cobb and Campbell Newman.
"We are here to protect the people of
Australia from a bad tax that will damage
their cost of living and destroy our jobs
and we hear a lot of talk from the govern-
ment about compensation."
Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce also
made the most of his invitation as keynote
speaker at the Convention by attacking
the carbon pricing scheme.
"Carbon sequestration to improve the
productivity of land is a good idea on
multiple fronts because it allows us to
produce more and to feed more," he said.
"But carbon sequestration policies that
inspire a forest, where once there was prime
agricultural land producing food, are of lit-
tle use to humanity unless we envisage
evolving into a higher form of termite."
With tongue in cheek, he made light of
the notion that Canberra decision-makers
could change the temperature of the
world, while warning growers that despite
agricultural emissions being excluded,
negative effects would be felt.
"You're going to be part of it. Every
time you see that little red light on the
clock radio, reminding you it's time to get
out of bed. That little red light reminds
you that Big Red Julia has been taxing
you through the night," he said.
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