Back to: Victorian Dairy Soils
|There is a great diversity of soil types across Victoria’s dairying regions that reflect differences in parent material, topography, climate, biological activity and age (e.g. degree of weathering). These different soil types have a range of physical and chemical characteristics (e.g. structure, drainage, depth, pH, sodicity) that impact on management. The map of Victorian Dairy Soils presented here is a consistent and broad statewide overview that displays the dominant Soil Orders in each of the major dairying regions, using the Australian Soil Classification (Isbell, 2002). |
For more detailed mapping and information about regional soils and landforms in particular areas please access these regional areas of the VRO website:
East Gippsland region
West Gippsland region
North Central region
Goulburn Broken region
North East region
Also, the Soil and Land Survey Directory enables you to search for and access legacy soil and landscape survey reports based on a Local Government Area or catchment management region of interest.
|Texture contrast soils||Sodosols||Kurosols||Chromosols|
|Cracking clay soils||Vertosols|
|Non texture contrast soils||Dermosols||Ferrosols||Kandosols|
|Shallow and stony soils|
|Sodosols have subsoils that are not strongly acid (i.e. pH >5.5 in water) but are sodic and usually dense and coarsely structured. Red Sodosols (previously referred to as red-brown earths) occur extensively on the older alluvial plains in northern Victoria. Black and Brown Sodosols occur in the South West where they are associated with basalt plains and rises. In Gippsland, Yellow and Brown Sodosols are common on the plains and rises to the east of Traralgon where rainfall is relatively lower.|
More detailed information about Sodosols in Victorian dairy regions
|Kurosols have clay subsoils that are strongly acid (i.e. pH less than 5.5 in water). They occur to a minor degree on hills in the higher rainfall dairying areas in Gippsland, South West and North Eastern Victoria.|
More detailed information about Kurosols in Victorian dairy regions
|Chromosols have clay subsoils that are not strongly acid (i.e. pH 5.5 or greater in water) and are non-sodic. Chromosols are most common on the volcanic plains in South West Victoria, particularly west of Camperdown. There are minor occurrences in West Gippsland and the North East.|
More detailed information about Chromosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|Cracking clay soils are referred to as Vertosols using the Australian Soil Classification. They are clay soils that shrink and swell causing seasonal cracking as the soil dries out. In the northern dairy region, Grey Vertosols are most common on large floodplains in the Murray and Loddon valleys in northern Victoria. There are some small occurrences in Gippsland and South West Victoria dairy regions and are often difficult to map at this statewide overview level where they may occur as minor components in many of the landscapes.|
More detailed information about Vertosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|The most common sandy soils in Victorian dairy regions are Podosols. These are mainly sandy soils with accumulations of organic materials and aluminium (with or without iron compounds) - often referred to as “coffee rock” in the subsoil. Other sandy soils include weakly developed Tenosols, associated with older prior streams, or in current floodplain areas.|
Podosols are common in Gippsland dairying regions, particularly south of Sale. South of Leongatha, Podosols occur (along with other soils) on Tertiary and early Pleistocene sediments where they have formed within the surface horizons of older soil profiles and have a distinct hardpan below the surface (referred to as Parapanic). Podosols are also reasonably common in South West Victoria where they occur on sedimentary plains.
More detailed information about Podosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|Red Dermosols are widespread throughout the North East region where they are generally well drained and strongly acid, and occur in many landscapes (from lower terraces to mountains) having developed on a range of rock types and alluvial sediments. There are minor occurrences in south-west Victoria on limestone in the Heytesbury region.|
|Brown Dermosols are widespread on the steep hills of the Strzelecki Ranges of Gippsland and Otway Ranges in South West Victoria. In these higher rainfall areas, they are generally strongly acid throughout the soil profile.|
|Well-structured Black Dermosols are common on alluvial plains near Maffra and on volcanic ash deposits in South West Victoria.|
|Yellow and Grey Dermosols that are strongly leached and acidic are associated with older Tertiary landscapes in West Gippsland. They also occur on rises and plains associated with marl deposits in southwest Victoria where they tend to be calcareous at depth. |
More detailed information about Dermosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|Ferrosols (formerly referred to as ‘krasnozems’) are deep, strongly-structured and friable red and brown soils that have formed on basalt. They are high in free iron oxide and clay, and are generally strongly acid. Ferrosols are common in West Gippsland associated with the rolling older basalt hills around Warragul, Thorpdale and Leongatha. |
More detailed information about Ferrosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|Kandosols are non-texture contrast earthy soils that have structureless, or only weakly structured, subsoils.|
More detailed information about Kandosols in Victorian dairy regions.
|Very shallow and stony Dermosols and Rudosols occur on the stony rises surrounding Lake Corangamite and to the north and south of Derrinallum in South West Victoria.|
|Soils that are seasonally or permanently saturated (i.e. for at least 2-3 months per year) are referred to as Hydrosols. These soils are common in lower lying areas in valley floors in higher rainfall areas and are most extensive in West Gippsland. There are also occurrences in South West Victoria but these are usually not large enough to map at the statewide scale used here.|