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  • Where possible cultivate across the slope rather than down to reduce the speed of water run-off and encourage infiltration for plant growth.

  • Do not work up too much land ahead of actual planting, in order to avoid bare soil being exposed to erosion risks.

  • Cultivate when soils are slightly moist to avoid soil particle breakdown and creation of a plough layer/hard pan. Avoid cultivation or over-stocking when the soil is too moist (i.e. wetter than the plastic limit).
  • Some steep paddocks, although tractorable will have a high risk of soil erosion if cultivated regularly. Therefore identify these paddocks and only cultivate when it is necessary for renovation purposes, leaving flatter paddocks for the regular cropping rotation. Where possible, direct drill to renovate steeper paddocks.
Photo: Cultivation
Photo: Snow peas on a steep slope near the Bass River
Snow peas on a steep slope near the Bass River. Steep slope and up and down cultivation increases the likelihood of soil and nutrient loss. Photos by: Rawdon Sthradher (Fine Focus Photography).
  • Try to leave a strip of pasture at intervals on slopping cultivated land to intercept run-off and break long slopes of continuous cultivation. Leave natural drainage lines grassed and consider sediment traps, diversion banks and semi permeable barriers such as straw bales and flood detention dams. Run-off should be diverted onto undisturbed areas and vegetation in order to trap sediment and encourage infiltration of water.
  • To help prevent loss with run-off, fertiliser can be incorporated into the soil when cultivating.
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