Nature and magnitude of soil erosion in sugarcane land on the wet tropic coast of north-eastern Queensland - Coorumba

Level 1 General Description


The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between rainfall, management practice and sediment losses.

Methods (Brief)

The study was conducted on a commercial farm in the wet tropics located approximately approximately 4  km south of Innisfail. For each plot, measurements were taken in 2 adjacent interrows at 10m intervals down the slope (16%) to a slope length of 60 m. The study also recorded data on compaction, bulk density, soil moisture, sediment particle size, water-dispersible clay percentage and cation exchange capacity.

Key Findings (Brief)

Soil erosion rate ranged from 5-15 t/ha for no tillage with varied cover, compared to 47-505 t/ha for the conventional cultivation (burning before harvest, tillage, fertiliser and weed control) over the entire study. For the Coorumba site, the soil erosion rate was 10 t/ha for the no tillage methods, and between 153-380 t/ha for the conventional cultivation. No significant difference was measured between no tillage crops with groundcover of 0, 50 and 100%. Most of the annual soil erosion occurred during the wet season.


A and R Cecchi’s East Coorumba is located at Lat 17º 59’ S, Long 145º59’ E.

Related Studies

V and R Caltabiano’s Nerada is located at Lat 17º 33’ S, Long 145º 53’ E.

L Nucifora’s Liverpool Creek is located at Lat 17º 40’ S, Long 146º 03’ E.

C Phillips’ Cowley is located at Lat 17º 40’ S, Long 146º 02’ E.

R Carne’s Babinda is located at Lat 17º 18’ S, Long 145º 55’ E.

Mundoo is located at Lat 17º 34’ S, Long 144º 59’ E.


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