Soil monitoring

Poor water quality in lowland streams and rivers in Southland has been linked to the rapid intensification of land use. Scientific studies have shown that soil and water quality is strongly linked to land use and land management practices.

As part of the Southland Science Programme, the land use inputs project is investigating what happens on the land – specifically how much nutrient is being applied and how much escapes to waterways. In particular this project will look at contaminant sources and answer what, where and how contaminants are entering waterways from the land. This project will also investigate land use or land management practices and the benefit of mitigation measures.

Visit the Southland Science Programme page for more information on this project, updates on how it is progressing, reports and results.

Soil maps and information

Environment Southland has a network of sites across Southland that measure soil moisture, rainfall and soil temperature.  This information is particularly useful in assisting farmers to manage their irrigation programme.

Several factors will influence their decision on when and how to irrigate. From an environmental perspective the weather, pasture growth and application rate are critical factors in mitigating environmental effects. In order to help dairy farmers decide whether soil conditions are suitable for effluent disposal, Environment Southland has installed a number of sites across the region in a range of soil types and climates. Data is updated to the website twice a day.

View our soil monitoring map on our mapping service, Beacon.

The soil information maps are based on the Topoclimate Survey of Southland and South Otago, which covered approximately 825,000 hectares of the intensively farmed land of the region. The results of the survey were published as a series of 36 district maps at a scale of 1:50,000. This scale is capable of identifying significant soil variations at the farm level, which is sufficient for most land users. It is more detailed than any previous surveys of Southland, although some intensive surveys have been carried out previously on small portions of the region.

View our topoclimate map on our mapping service, Beacon.

Page reviewed: 27 Apr 2016 9:41am