Get your farm soil maps in Google Earth

Accessing soil maps for your farm in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) just became a bit easier. If you have Google Earth or Google Earth Pro loaded on your computer you can directly download the maps for your area.

How to access the maps

If you do not have Google Earth or Google Earth Pro loaded onto your computer go to the link below and follow the instructions to install Google Earth Pro.

https://www.google.com/earth/desktop/

Once you have Google Earth Pro loaded, click on the relevant link below to download the .kmz files.  To open, simply double click on the downloaded .kmz file and they will open in Google Earth Pro.

The download links to the .kmz files can be found for each region below:

Central Goulburn

Murray Valley

Rochester

Torrumbarry

Loddon Valley

Swan Hill

When the map is loaded, click on any part of the soil map and a tab will appear showing the soil type and group at that location (Figure 1 – A).

You can turn on and off the soil layer by clicking the check box next to map name shown in the ‘Places’ pane (Figure 1 – B).

You can also turn on and off individual soil types by clicking the triangle next to the map name, then clicking the check boxes next to each soil type (Figure 1 – C).

Figure 1: Soil Maps as displayed in Google Earth Pro

Understanding the soil maps

Soils in the GMID have been broadly categorised into 6 groups based on their suitability for irrigation and particular crops.

Figure 2: Soil classifications

Group 1 soils are located in the highest parts of the landscape and are generally more undulating and better drained. Groups 1 and 2 are considered most suitable for horticulture crops, Groups 3 and 4 for pasture and shallow-rooting crops, Group 5 for summer fodder crops and annual pastures and Group 6, the lowest in the landscape, is not recommended for irrigation because it is usually prone to intermittent flooding and salinity.

Detailed information about soil chemical and hydraulic properties in the GMID can be found at:

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/gbbregn.nsf/pages/soil_hydraulic#database

For more information about the the soils in each region follow the links below.

Central Goulburn

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/gbbregn.nsf/pages/soil_survey_goulburn

Murray Valley        

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/gbbregn.nsf/pages/soil_survey_mvwest

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/gbbregn.nsf/pages/soil_survey_mveast

Rochester

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/gbbregn.nsf/pages/soil_survey_roch

Torrumbarry

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/nthcenregn.nsf/pages/nthcen_soil_dssurveys_torrumburry

Loddon Valley

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/nthcenregn.nsf/pages/nthcen_soil_mid_loddon

Swan Hill

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/nthcenregn.nsf/pages/nthcen_soil_swhill

All soil maps for North Central Victoria

http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/nthcenregn.nsf/pages/nc_soil-surveys_map

Contacts at Agriculture Victoria

Nick O’Halloran – Tatura

03 5833 5303

Andy McAllister – Tatura

03 5833 5281

Maps and files provided by Agriculture Victoria Research

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