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Soil Quality in the Waikato Region 2008

TR 2009/16

Report: TR 2009/16

Author: Bryan Stevenson, Landcare Research Ltd.


Environment Waikato (EW) participated in two national soil quality monitoring projects from 1995–2001. The two projects co-funded from the Ministry for the Environment Sustainable Management Fund (SMF), identified methods and protocols for soil quality monitoring. The projects ceased in June 2001, but EW has continued to sample new sites and resample previously sampled sites each year to determine the extent and direction of changes in soil condition. Soil quality analysis using the same protocols has also been followed by several other regional councils.

The EW staff with responsibility for land resources selected 24 sites (nine new sites and 15 previously sampled sites) for sampling. Samples were supplied to Landcare Research for analyses using a standard set of soil chemical, physical and biochemical characteristics as defined under the 500 Soils Project protocols, and interpretation. Data from these samples were added to the EW soil quality database, which now consists of 137 sites. A brief summary of sites sampled this year and interpretation on the whole dataset is presented in this report.

Soil Quality in the Waikato Region 2008
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Table of contents

  Summary 1
1. Introduction 4
1.1. Background 4
2. Objectives 4
3. Methods 4
3.1. Soil sampling 4
3.2. Soil quality measurements 5
3.3. Analyses 5
  Biochemical properties 5
  Chemical properties 5
  Physical properties 5
3.4. Data presentation 5
3.5. Target Ranges 6
4. Results 8
4.1. Soils and sites 8
5. Discussion 14
5.1. Soil quality of sites sampled in 2008/09 14
5.2 Overall soil quality 14
5.3 Soil quality by land area 18
5.4 Changes in soil quality since previous sampling 20
5.5 Summary 22
6. Conclusions 22
7. Recommendations 23
8. Acknowledgements 23
9. References 23
  Appendices 26