Darren Kidd1, Mathew Webb1,2, Rhys Stickler 1
1Natural Values Conservation, DPIPWE, Prospect, TAS, Australia
2School of Life and Environmental Sciences & Sydney Institute of Agriculture, The University of Sydney, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia
A series of new irrigation schemes in Tasmania, Australia, along with Tasmanian Government policies, is currently stimulating agricultural growth in the State. This has been supported through the Tasmanian Government’s ‘Water for Profit’ Program, designed to provide farmers with the tools and knowledge to maximise profits on new irrigation water investments. The program includes the Department of Primary Industries Parks Water & Environment’s ‘Enterprise Suitability Mapping’, using advanced Digital Soil Mapping, Climate Modelling and Enterprise Suitability Rulesets in consultation with industry to produce high resolution (30m) digital maps of the suitability status of a range of agricultural enterprises. The maps have been uploaded to a publically accessible internet mapping portal, and give users the capacity to interactively identify the suitability rating, soil and climate parameters and required management at any location in the State. The maps provide an indication of potential soil vulnerability and relevant management that might be required to ensure agricultural sustainability, along with combined enterprise versatility to show the areas suited to the most crops. The mapping has achieved a high level of interest in Tasmania, totalling > 143,000 internet mapping visits in the 6 months between April and September 2018.
Darren Kidd works for the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries Parks Water and Environment (DPIPWE), in the Natural Assets Spatial Intelligence Section, based in Launceston. He began his soil and spatial sciences career with Forestry Tasmania and NSW Agriculture prior to joining DPIPWE to work on soil correlation, condition monitoring, and land degradation mapping. Darren has spent the last several years researching and collaborating with the University of Sydney in Digital Soil Mapping for Tasmanian Enterprise Suitability Assessment and soil vulnerability, and more recently in mapping Soil Security. He is the current Chair of the Digital Soil Assessment Working Group under the National Committee of Soil and Terrain (NCST).