‘Born Again’ Soil (1989)

By June 1st, 1989

Many of Australia’s soils are naturally acid, but others have been rendered acidic by agriculture. Treating these soils with lime in the traditional way improves only a shallow surface layer.

Now researchers have developed a machine that can mix lime or gypsum deep into the soil in a series of slots. This allows plants to root more deeply, providing access to more nutrients and protecting them from drought.

With slotting, degraded soils can be re-claimed. Trees established on slots can prevent dissolved nutrients from running into creeks and rivers, causing pollution.