Soil and Land Capability Assessment in the Barkly Region

Published

The Department of Land Resource Management (DLRM) today released the latest in a series of reports identifying soil and land capability across the Northern Territory.

DLRM Land Assessment Branch Director Jason Hill said today’s release of the Soil and Land Capability Assessment for Irrigated Agriculture on Kurnturlpara and Part of Warumungu Aboriginal Land Trusts follows extensive field surveys conducted in October 2015 and March 2016.

The agricultural land suitability information collected on Aboriginal Land provided real opportunities for agricultural development.

“In this particular case, the traditional owners were very supportive of the study because it directly supported their plan for agricultural development,” Mr Hill said.

“Known locally as Frewena, the soil and land capability assessment that informed this report was conducted for Northern Territory Portions 502 (Warumungu Aboriginal Land Trust) and 4802 (Kurnturlpara Aboriginal Land Trust), covering 17,232 hectares,” Mr Hill said.

“Approximately 2490 hectares were considered to have moderate capability, consisting of deep, well drained, sandy and loamy texture soils.”

The Department had worked closely with the Manungura Aboriginal Corporation through TopEnd Farm, an Aboriginal-owned commercial economic development entity, to specifically identify an area about 130km east of Tennant Creek adjacent to the Barkly Highway suitable for a range of crops including irrigated fodder production.

A concurrent Departmental groundwater investigation across the broader region, to be finalised in the near future, is likely to identify viable aquifers for irrigation.

Other departmental agricultural land suitability investigations finalised recently or currently underway on Aboriginal Land included Bathurst Island, Larrimah, Ali-Curung, Ti Tree, Tennant Creek and Wadeye areas.

“We are gradually finalising a number of studies on Aboriginal Land to support land use planning and agricultural development into the future,” Mr Hill said.

Similar soil and land suitability investigations already completed focused on the Larrimah Area and Wildman River region.

The report released today is now available at www.landresources.nt.gov.au/rangelands/publications/land-soil-vegetation

Soil and Land Capability Assessment for Irrigated Agriculture on Kurnturlpara and Part of Warumungu Aboriginal Land Trusts

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