Soil compaction has long been considered an important issue for soils of the region and modern farming methods have been developed to minimise damage to these soils from farm machinery. However, it has not been clear what damage may result from the large numbers of vehicles used along CSG pipelines and access tracks and within lease areas.
- Soil compaction has been found to be higher in areas around CSG wells than in neighbouring fields.
- The levels of compaction were similar to those tested in agronomic trials in Queensland which found yield impacts of up to 43% and 5 years for rehabilitation by natural processes.
- Simulation modelling suggests that rehabilitation of damage to the surface 30 cm may remove most of the impact on crop production. Rehabilitation would need to be undertaken under suitable soil moisture conditions.