State and trends of soil acidification

Component
Summary
Grade
Very poor Poor Good Very good
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

Naturally fertile land under intensive use. Insufficient lime application

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Naturally fertile land with widespread intensive use. Insufficient lime application

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Soils under pine plantations are acidifying, but improved practices for sugar cane and horticulture appear to be effective

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Soils under pine plantations are acidifying, but improved practices for sugar cane and horticulture appear to be effective

Year(s): 
2011
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Improved practices across diverse land uses, but localised subsoil acidification under banana cropping

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Improved practices across diverse land uses, but localised subsoil acidification under banana cropping

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Recently intensified land use after clearing

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Recently intensified land use after clearing

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Grazing of modified and natural pastures, with widespread declines in pH. In the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, 11% of soil monitoring units report acidification is an issue

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Grazing of modified and natural pastures, with widespread declines in pH

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Coastal lowlands with a variety of soil types. Significant decline in pH on the floodplains due to intensive agriculture. in the North Coast region of New South Wales, 22% of soil monitoring units report acidification as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Coastal lowlands with a variety of soil types. Significant decline in pH on the floodplains due to intensive agriculture

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Cropping and grazing of modified and natural pastures in the east, with declines in pH evident

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Cropping and grazing of modified and natural pastures in the east, with declines in pH evident

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse landscape, but pH has declined markedly, especially on soils with a long history of mixed farming

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Diverse landscape, but pH has declined markedly, especially on soils with a long history of mixed farming

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Fertile Ferrosols and Vertosols, mostly used for mixed farming. Slow decline in pH likely due to management systems

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Fertile Ferrosols and Vertosols, mostly used for mixed farming. Slow decline in pH likely due to management systems

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Minimal evidence, but declines in pH are expected as a result of lack of liming

Year(s): 
2016
4
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Minimal evidence, but declines in pH are expected due to lack of liming

Year(s): 
2011
4
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Soil acidity is a problem on coastal floodplains. In the Hunter region of New South Wales, 25% of soil monitoring units report it as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Mined areas and Hunter River floodplains are mostly managed sustainably for acidification, but declines in pH are expected on the Singleton Valley floodplains

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse region, with probable decline in pH in irrigation districts and in soils used for dryland cropping and grazing of annual pastures, especially in the south. None of the soil monitoring units in this region have reported soil acidity as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Diverse region, with declines in pH in irrigation districts and in soils used for dryland cropping and grazing of annual pastures, especially in the south

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Mostly mixed farming. Widespread and significant declines in soil pH. In the South East region of New South Wales, 18% of soil monitoring units have reported soil acidity as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Mostly mixed farming. Widespread and significant declines in soil pH

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declines in pH restricted to irrigation districts

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declines in pH restricted to irrigation districts

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

 Diverse soils, used for grazing of modified and natural pastures. None of the soil monitoring units in the Central Tablelands region of NSW have reported soil acidity as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Diverse soils used for grazing of modified and natural pastures

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Substantial declines in pH in soils used for agriculture. In the Greater Sydney region of New South Wales, 43% of soil monitoring units have reported soil acidity as an issue

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Substantial declines in pH in soils used for agriculture

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declining pH in soils used for vegetable production and intensive agriculture

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Somewhat adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declining pH in soils used for vegetable production and intensive agriculture

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of native and improved pastures

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of native and improved pastures

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of natural and modified pastures

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of natural and modified pastures

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declines in pH in soils used for grazing

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declines in pH in soils used for grazing

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of natural and modified pastures

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declining pH in soils used for grazing of natural and modified pastures

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Grazing lands outside conservation reserves are showing declines in pH

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Grazing lands outside conservation reserves are showing declines in pH

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Areas used for grazing of dryland annual pastures are acidifying

Year(s): 
2016
2
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Areas used for grazing of dryland annual pastures are acidifying

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse lands, with evidence of acidification on poorly drained Sodosols and Vertosols used for dryland cropping and the grazing of annual pastures

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Diverse lands with evidence of acidification restricted to poorly drained Sodosols and Vertosols used for dryland cropping and the grazing of annual pastures

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Mainly dryland agriculture. Generally stable pH in Calcarosols, but rates of liming are not sufficient to balance rates of acid addition for most soils

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Mainly dryland agriculture. Rates of liming are not sufficient to balance rates of acid addition for most soils. Generally stable pH in Calcarosols

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse lands, with stable pH in the arid north. Declines in pH are occurring in the temperate central area under dryland cropping and viticulture, and in the cool temperate south under viticulture, horticulture, and grazing

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Diverse lands with stable pH in the arid north. Declines in pH are occurring in the temperate central area under dryland cropping and viticulture. Lands in the cool temperate south used for viticulture, horticulture and grazing are acidifying

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Mainly cropping in rotation with pastures. Declining pH in surface soil over calcareous subsoils. Significant declines in pH in horticulture areas along the Murray River

Year(s): 
2016
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Mainly cropping in rotation with pastures. Trend to more cropping. Declining pH in surface soil layers over calcareous subsoils. Significant declines in pH in horticulture areas along the Murray River

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse soils used for dryland cropping, grazing, some irrigation and forestry in the south. Declining trend in pH due to insufficient lime use

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Diverse soils used for dryland cropping, grazing, some irrigation and forestry in the south. Declining trend in pH due to insufficient lime use

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Forestry, intensive agriculture and dryland cropping. Intensively used areas are still below desired pH

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Forestry, intensive agriculture and dryland cropping. Significant declines in pH in intensively used areas

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Grazing and cropping systems are acidifying, particularly on lighter soils

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Grazing and cropping systems are acidifying, particularly on lighter soils

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Diverse soils. Widespread surface and subsurface soil acidity. Some improvement in the north

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Diverse soils. Widespread surface and subsurface soil acidity. Inadequate application of lime

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Mostly forested, but areas used for cropping and grazing are acidifying

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Mostly forested, but areas use for cropping and grazing are acidifying

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Urban areas and intensive agriculture. Most of the region is below desired pH and continues to acidify

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Urban areas and intensive agriculture, with declines in pH in the latter

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Some local pockets of improvement in pH trend, but decline in pH continues

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Declines in pH restricted to areas used for cropping and grazing systems

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Some local pockets of improvement in pH trend, but decline in pH continues

Year(s): 
2016
2
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Significant acidification of both surface and subsurface horizons on noncalcareous soils used for cropping

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Some local pockets of improvement in pH trend, but decline in pH continues

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Comparable

Significant acidification and low pH in the western part of the region used for cropping

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Probable declining pH in agricultural areas used for intensive irrigation and horticulture

Year(s): 
2016
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Very limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Declining pH in agricultural areas used for intensive irrigation and horticulture

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Probable declining pH in areas used for horticulture and more intensive pastoral development

Year(s): 
2016
3
Unclear
Confidence (in grade): 
Very limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Low
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Somewhat comparable

Declining pH in areas used for horticulture and more intensive pastoral development

Year(s): 
2011
3
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Limited
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Metcalfe D, Bui E (2016). Land: State and trends of soil acidification. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-52-state-and-trends-soil-acidification-0, DOI 10.4226/94/58b6585f94911