Demonstration Site / Number: SA05WB-03
Grower Collaborator: Littabella Pines
Location 2: South Littabella Road, Yandaran
Start Date: April 2019
To establish and evaluate a sediment catchment pond built within specific guidelines, designed to capture and degrade pesticide.
- To build a sediment catchment pond within the current confines of a standard farm layout.
- To evaluate a sediment catchment pond built under specific dimensions to capture the first flush after rainfall events.
- To evaluate the potential to degrade pesticides under certain environmental conditions exacerbated within the sediment catchment pond.
BACKGROUND / METHODOLOGY
The trial site is strategically located draining into Littabella Creek and subsequently into a High Environmental Value (HEV) area – the Great Barrier Reef marine park.
The research site is the first of two sites, with the second planned for Southeast Queensland.
A sediment catchment pond was constructed under the following parameters:
- The dimensions of the sediment catchment pond are designed to capture the first 25 mm flush per hectare. Previous research has indicated the first 25 mm flush contains a significant majority of nutrients and pesticide attached to the sediment. The sediment catchment pond measures 1 m deep, 25 m long and 10 m wide. This is enough to capture 250,000 litres of water or 25 mm per hectare rainfall. The shallow depth of the catchment pond is designed to increase the water temperature and expose the pesticide attached to the sediment to solar radiation.
- The sediment catchment pond is lined with black plastic. The purpose of the black plastic is to further increase the temperature of the water captured in the pond.
This increase in temperature and exposure to solar radiation is hypothesised to breakdown pesticide more rapidly.
Preparation of Research Site
Contour map of trial location (image courtesy of Central Queensland University).
ASSESSMENT / EVALUATION METHOD AND DELIVERY SCHEDULE
A site has been strategically identified that meets the criteria for monitoring environmental outcomes for the pineapple industry.
Catchment area block land prepped
Pre-plant pesticide and nutrition applied
Initial demonstrations being applied.
Sediment catchment pond constructed.
First samples taken after major rainfall event
Sampling and analysis regime begun
Delayed start awaiting outcomes of DES findings for further monitoring sites across industry mitigating off-farm deposition. Planning phase has taken longer whilst working with collaborative partners in this initial site through the PEST group.
Site has been selected for its strategic location – it drains into Littabella Creek which runs into the nearby ocean with the Great Barrier Reef off-shore. Staff are collaborating with Growcom and DAF with on-farm initiatives in this trial.