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Improved on-farm soil and nutrient management practices


(not documented)

Project lead






On-ground work

Case study type


Funding source

Voluntary Mechanism for Stormwater Quality Management

Reef Catchments Ltd

Funding amount


In-kind contribution

(not documented)

Start date

March 2016

End date

March 2018


Council and Reef Catchments Ltd have partnered in a project to partly offset urban pollutant discharges against improvements in management of neighbouring sugarcane farms.

It is a two year project and engages with a 150ha cane farm operator in the Bakers Creek catchment. It focuses on shifting a ‘C – Conventional’ class management practice for soil and nutrient management, to an ‘A – Aspirational’ class practice. This project is being managed by Reef Catchments.

Improving on-farm soil and nutrient management practices as part of the mechanism has been found to represent a very cost effective approach for Council. The cost or removing 1kg of sediment from a farm via the improvement in these practices is valued at $1.50 - $4.00/kg compared to roughly $20/kg in a regional wetland.

An economic analysis of the cost to adopt A class practices on model farms in the Mackay Whitsunday region was undertaken in 2011 as part of the Project Catalyst initiative. This economic analysis highlighted that irrespective of property size, once landholders had adopted ‘A’ class practices, they were more profitable and economically viable. This indicates that landholders are very unlikely to revert back to the old practice once they have made the transition to the new ‘A’ class practice.

This project received significant support from Council and the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). Essentially this approach was seen to prevent large quantities of pollutants from entering our waterways, for significantly less cost than the WSUD approach.


This project will:
  • reduce sediment and nutrient runoff
  • improve productivity.


(not documented)

Reference ID


Last updated: 1 February 2016

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2016) Improved on-farm soil and nutrient management practices, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation