soil for Macadamias

Commercial Macadamia farm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

qld-jb-sunshine-764compDescriptionred to brown, sandy loam top soil 20 -100 cm deep; 0 – 20 cm: pH 6.7; 1.8% organic carbon.

Location: flat, slightly undulating alluvial plain of Glasshouse Mountains  of the Sunshine Coast

  • qld-jb-usefarmirrig-752compValues for this soil:  
  • 1 Commercial farming: previously for pineapples,
  • Now growing macadamias, avocados and lychees 

2 Farm research: currently assessing how compost can:
reduce the use of mineral fertilisers
and prevent bare soil under the trees

Challenges for this soil to grow macadamias – and managements used: 
– Different nutrient needs of different crops as soils inherited after 30 years in pineapples
qld-jb-chalero-429comp–   (Pineapples, an introduced plant, benefitted from the high phosphorus content of chicken manure; Macadamias are an Australian native, so needs low phosphorus soils;)
Clear soil harvesting methods with all leaf litter under tree line removed, exposes soils to erosion in heavy rain. 
– Changing climate with erratic rainfall and dry seasons – managed with investment in irrigation now 
Slow response times for changing soil managements – research well before acting.

See other Soil Selfies for more about ”
for research on  vertisols see the Soil Selfies at the Gatton Research station from the Lockyer Valley, Queensland, and at the Horsham Grains Innovation Park Soil Selfies from the Wimmera
or challenges and managements when planting trees  on a volcanic soils see the M’fango Island Kenya

Credits Johannes Biala, of Queensland, gives permission for the photos and information to be used under a (cc) license 2015.  Editing and page created by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all®, Warracknabeal, for use in education under a (cc) licence 2015

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page set up 17 June 2015, updated 8 January 2016