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Monitoring Sediment Loss in Turfgrass Production

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Many turf producers would not be aware of the extent of soil and associated nutrient losses that can occur from their property. Rates of soil loss on turf farms are comparable to those of other agricultural industries.
However, unlike other enterprises, the product is a ground cover, which is known for its ability to stabilise potentially erosive areas, therefore preventing sediment movement. Yet, even on turf farms, there are periods in the production cycle when soil loss can be high. These include fallow areas prior to replanting and newly harvested areas.
A sediment monitoring demonstration area was set up at a turf farm located in the Gold Coast hinterland, Queensland. It ran during the summer of 2010-2011, a time characterised by sustained rainfall and a number of high intensity rainfall events, accompanied by widespread flooding in South East Queensland.
The objective was to demonstrate the extent of sediment and associated nutrient movement on adjacent
slopes that were either fully turfed, left bare or sprigged.