Graziers invited to test their property’s water quality at Beef Week

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health, a collective of organisations working to provide a clearer picture of river health in the Fitzroy Basin, is calling on local graziers to not only pack their boots and hats for Beef Week this year but to bring in water samples from their property’s waterways, dams and bores to test for salinity.
Using stock and irrigation guidelines from Salinity Explorer Tool will compare a property’s water sample against what salinity levels are recommended for the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality, the Partnership’s salinity meter and unique stock watering, as well as irrigation of crops.
According to Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Executive Officer Nathan Johnston said they are fully aware of the great strides the agricultural industry has taken to improve grazing practices to reduce run-off and bank erosion from cattle watering, and control fertilizer run-off.
“We encourage graziers to take up this opportunity to have a look at the salinity levels of their water, particularly to find out what their cattle are drinking, but also to go back and determine if there are any measures that can be taken to improve what’s happening on farm,” he said.
“The Salinity Explorer Tool compares individual water samples to the level of salinity in seawater, and when you consider the threshold value for broadacre crops like wheat and sorghum is 3100 uS/cm, horticultural crops such as grapes and oranges is around 1,000 uS/cm and beef cattle is 5970 uS/cm it is clear that producers need to be aware of their property’s water quality.”
Located at the Fitzroy Basin Association exhibit in the Sidney Kidman Pavilion at Beef 2015, pop in to see a member of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health staff who will be available to test your water onsite. Minimum 500 ml samples are recommended.
“We want to flag the water sampling is only for education purposes, and for specific water quality testing of other nutrient and toxicant levels we urge property owners to seek independent water testing advice.”
The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health has released three river health report cards since its formation in 2012. The Partnership includes organisations from government, agriculture, resources, industry, research and community and continues its aim of providing the most complete picture of river health in the Fitzroy Basin.