Pacific Complete highway North Coast NSW
Glencoe Cut Comparison Trial, NSW
After a BioGrowth Soil Science assessment, ECM was applied to a section of the Pacific Complete highway upgrade in New South Wales. A conventional revegetation program was applied simultaneously next to ECM to trial its success. The purpose of the trial was to determine the best approach to revegetation and rehabilitation in order to ensure that the works achieve the desired outcome.
- A low rate of Calcium Plus (a high neutralising calcium source for plant establishment) was ripped into the subsoil to a minimum of 150 mm.
- Topsoil was placed and track-rolled.
- ECM growth medium was applied.
Half of the following ameliorants were ripped into the subsoil to a minimum depth of 150 mm prior to the placement of topsoil, after which the surface was track-rolled and the remaining half of the ameliorants plus EnviroStraw Plus Hydromulch and fertiliser were applied.
- 5 tonnes of agricultural grade lime
- 5 tonnes of agricultural grade gypsum
- 5 tonnes of dolomite
- 100 kg of CK88 fertiliser
ECM provided a straightforward, cost effective and timely solution to revegetate the trial site. Vegetation established successfully at the site. Soil analyses indicated that pH and organic carbon, the key focus of the ECM program, improved significantly.
Acacia species and native grasses have established 10 to 12 months on. Vegetation in the ECM roots are healthy and show increased growth in comparison to the alternative program. Six months on, in December 2017, the comparison between the two applications was still evident. The ECM program site exhibits pioneer grasses at full maturity, while the vegetation at the other site is struggling to establish.
The ECM program surpassed the performance of the alternative program. It has proven itself to be an excellent solution to ensure rehabilitation at the project site. The program eliminates the need for costly maintenance, letting nature take its course. The conventional program in comparison, is based on the concept that soil must be conditioned to maximise plant establishment and growth with the use of high analyses water-soluble fertilisers and pH adjusting soil conditioners.