Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 6 : Healthy Soils
Tool 6.1
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There are a number of methods for classifying land capability. These methods attempt to rank the capability of the natural resource using land class as the basis to sustaining production over time. Use the key features and options for the various land classes shown in the following table (adapted from NSW DPI) to identify the pasture and cropping zones on your farm.

Land Class (LC) Key features Options
Arable land suited
to intensive (LC 1)
and regular (LC 2)

• Arable
• Higher fertility
• Minimal erosion risk
• Non-acid (pH above 5)*
• For pasture and crop production when rainfall is adequate
• High input / high output systems work well
Grazing land suited to
cultivation for pasture
improvement and/or
occasional cropping

• Lower to middle slopes
• Semi-arable
• Lower natural fertility
• Moderate acidity (pH 4.5-5)*
• Moderate erosion risk
• Groundcover and pasture persistence is important
• Maintain pasture base through direct drill options
• Occasional cropping
Land suited to grazing
but not for cultivation
• Middle to upper slopes
• Non-arable
• Low fertility, shallow soils
• Acidic (pH below 4.5)*
• Moderate to high erosion risk
• Only suited to permanent pasture
• Manage to maintain pasture stability and groundcover
• Best suited to lower input management systems
• Generally not suited to introduced perennial grasses

Land suited to lighter
grazing only
• Steep upper slopes
• Non-arable
• Low fertility, shallow soils
• Acidic (pH below 4.5)*
• Subject to erosion

• Leave natural or revegetate
• Lightly graze to maintain existing pasture / groundcover
• Potential conservation areas

* All pH measured by CaCl2