Horticultural Application

Background

Queensland offers some of the best pineapple growing conditions in Australia, its tropical climate provides the humidity, warmth and moisture required.

Fields are commonly planted on gently sloping hills (2 – 6 degrees is preferred), however, pineapple fields can also be found on much steeper ground. Free draining soils are required to ensure that water does not pond, ponding tends to make the root system weak and susceptible to root and heart rot diseases (DAF, 2019).

Pineapples are planted in raised beds approximately 30cm high between every row, running perpendicular to the contour to aid runoff. The fruit takes between 22 and 24 months to grow from planting to harvest.

 

 

Problem

Sediment from agriculture has been identified as a significant source of pollution impacting the Great Barrier Reef.

Annual rainfall is high 1.5m metres and sediment runoff is a common occurrence from exposed soil surfaces, such as pineapple plantations.  The sediments can also contain agrichemicals (weed suppressants and fertilisers).  

Agriculture has traditionally been largely unregulated in the Queensland area, however, as the focus has increased, growers are more actively looking for innovative solutions to aid in reducing their sediment runoff and impact on the Great Barrier Reef Catchment.

Solution

Vital Chemical was engaged to provide a cost-effective, practical solution which would minimise sediment loss while preserving the integrity of the pineapple fields, without compromising the growth and quality of the fruit.

Vital Bon-Matt P47 (VR1) and Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall were applied to the raised beds to minimise erosion and subsequent loss of sediment, nutrients and herbicides. Stabilisation utilising this method is only required for the first 6 – 12 months following planting. As the plant grows, its foliage covers the bare soil reducing the need for erosion control.

Benefit

The use of the Vital Bon-Matt range has produced noticeable benefits to the growers, these not only include environmental benefits but also monetary savings.

Vital Bon-Matt P47-VR1

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