Research topic 5: Management of Erosion and Sedimentation
Trial number: 05-SEQ-01
In agriculture and horticulture soil erosion removes valuable top soil which is the most valuable asset for farmers. The loss of this top soil results in lower yields and higher production costs. When top soil is gone, erosion can cause rills and gullies that make the cultivation of paddocks impossible. It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding.
Soil stabilisers are an important tool in mitigating soil erosion. Soil stabilisers function by binding soil particles together and improving resistance to water flow. Stabilisation can increase the shear strength and ‘shrink-swell’ properties of a soil, thus improving the soil’s ability to withstand the influences of wind, rainfall and water flow. Geopolymers bind dust particles and particulate matter through their strong binding properties and flexibility.
The geopolymers tested in this trial are suitable for low to moderately trafficked areas and their non-hazardous formulation make them easy to apply, usually curing within a few hours, they will not remobilise into the surrounding environment.
This demonstration trial set out to evaluate practices to stabilise the soil surface at the source of soil erosion. The practices were:
- Establishing a ‘living mulch’ into a field with a standard industry herbicide program.
- Retrofit a standard industry headland sprayer into a precision application inter-row sprayer.
- Examine the potential for stabilising herbicides on the soil surface by combining them with geopolymers.