Not many land managers enjoy the prospect of losing valuable soil through gully erosion.

Unfortunately, many of the soils throughout Queensland have naturally occurring high sodium levels (sodic soils) which makes them particularly vulnerable to gully erosion. The highest sodium levels are often found in the sub-soil clay which may only be 10-30cm from the surface. The surface soil may be stable and healthy despite the fragile sodic soil underneath.  In this type of soil structure, any loss of the protective surface soil layer and exposure of the sodic sub-soil can result in small scale erosion. This small-scale erosion can rapidly accelerate into full-scale gully erosion after a significant rain event.

In recognition of the challenges that gully erosion presents both on and off farm, the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) has used funding from the Australian Government’s Reef Trust III program to produce a comprehensive guide to assist land managers in dealing with this issue.  The guide, titled, “Gully ErosionOptions for Prevention and Rehabilitation – Experiences from the Burnett and Mary River Catchments”, draws on the vast, collective experience of soil conservation officers John Day and Bob Shepherd.  The guide contains practical tips, low cost options, local case studies and clear photographs that simply explain the various types of gully erosion and management options.

The publication of the guide was a Reef Trust III project. The Reef Trust Phase III: Reef Alliance ‘Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project is a partnership between agricultural industry, regional NRM bodies and facilitated by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF), with a common goal of securing the future health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Alliance Program is funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust.

Copies of this invaluable resource may be obtained free-of-charge from BMRG’s Bundaberg and Wondai offices or downloaded from the website, www.bmrg.org.au.