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Our Local Environment

The Karoonda region is a low-rainfall region and offers challenges to both agriculture and the environment. This information is gratefully provided by the Murray Mallee Local Action Planning Association.

Soils

Soils are generally sandy and, when left bare, are highly susceptible to wind erosion. Water repellent (“non- wetting”) soils occur in the south.

Groundwater

Groundwater quality is good in the Pinnaroo-Lameroo area but declines to the north and west, posing salinity problems for the Murray River. Good quality groundwater is currently being used for irrigated horticulture as well as stock watering.

Climate

Rainfall is relatively low ranging from 250mm per annum in the north and 400mm per annum in the south. Drought can be expected 1 in 5 years in the northern areas. Frosts can occur from July to September. Strong winds from the SW to NW can feature from July on and hot northerlies can occur from Sept through summer. Average daily maximum temperatures range from mid to high teens °Celsius in winter to low thirties °Celsius in summer.

Vegetation

Around 80% of the original mallee vegetation has been cleared with most remnant vegetation left on poorer soils. Conservation reserves account for 12% of the district and about 8% of the region consists of native vegetation on private property.

Agriculture

76% of the land is used for dryland agriculture, 3% for pastoralism and less than 1% for horticulture (mainly potatoes). Intensive animal industries (eg pigs and poultry) also operate in the region.

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