The iconic pineapple is an important contributor to the Queensland horticultural sector.

However, pineapple cropping systems can be vulnerable to erosion which can lead to negative impacts both on and off farm, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.  To assist industry address these challenges, a new trial investigating a series of soil erosion control options has recently been implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in collaboration with a commercial pineapple grower located in the Burnett-Mary catchment.

DAF research agronomist Luke Griffin said that growers are the first to recognise the importance of their soil and are keen to adopt soil conservation best management practices.

“We are working with industry to refine current applied erosion control practices to ensure beneficial outcomes for both growers and the environment”, said Mr Griffin.

“The trial will look at the effectiveness of different management practices in reducing erosion and off-farm water quality impacts.  These will be evaluated by comparing the results with conventional crop production and also looking at the cost/benefits of installing erosion control options.

“Growers and industry stakeholders will have the opportunity to inspect the erosion and sediment management options employed and evaluate their potential use for reducing off-farm soil, nutrient and agrichemical losses later in the year.”

Other collaborators on the project include Growcom, Agri-Supply Global, Burnett-Mary Regional Group (BMRG), and Central Queensland University (CQU).