Inherent Fertility

Dataset Number1053
Dataset TitleInherent Fertility
CustodianData Authority: Department for Environment and Water
Data Provider: Department for Environment and Water


DescriptionInherent fertility is a relative indicator of the soil's capacity to retain and release nutrients for uptake by plants. Rankings are based on soil properties such as texture, leaching capacity, exchangeable cation characteristics, susceptibility to acidification, and carbonate and ironstone content. Soils at the extremes of fertility set the limits of the classification, and all other soils are fitted in between. Self-mulching black cracking clays are considered to be representative of South Australia's most chemically fertile soils, while highly leached sands are the least fertile. Each of the 61 soils representative of the range found across SA's agricultural zone has been given an inherent fertility ranking (score) on a scale from 1 to 5 (these are tabulated in the document Assessing Agricultural Land, Maschmedt 2002). Six Inherent Fertility attribute (or 'analysis data') classes have been supplied (see 'N1', 'N2', etc in the table below, including not applicable) as percentage (areal extent) values of each Soil Landscape Map Unit. Note: the sum of all percentage values for each map unit totals 100%. This analysis data is to be used for the calculation of spatial data statistics. For map display purposes, a weighted average Inherent Fertility score is calculated to summarise the variable soils typically found within each map unit. These area-weighted average scores have been categorised INTO six (including not applicable) Inherent Fertility legend categories (FERT_INHER).
UsageLink to Soil Attribute Descriptions. This dataset has been derived from the Soil Landscape Map Units spatial dataset to be used for map creation or the calculation of spatial data statistics. Used to supply Government, community groups, industry and the general public with up to date regional, subregional and catchment level land and soil attribute information for southern South Australia. The aim is to produce maps, statistics and reports displaying and describing: Land and soil attributes within southern South AustraliaSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; Land surface features affecting land use, land management and productivitySELECT 1 FROM DUAL; Limitations / suitability of land and soil for a range of agricultural and other uses. Independent professional advice should be sought before using this in commercial decisions. Further information: soil and land attributes. Inherent fertility dataset can be viewed at NatureMaps (>Soils>Soil Chemistry Attributes). Spatial data downloads are available from Data SA.

Data Quality

LineageThe dataset is based on an interpretation of 1:40,000 stereo colour aerial photography and limited field inspection of landscapes and soils by soil scientists. Soil Landscape Map Unit boundaries were determined after an integration of field observations and recordingsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; laboratory analysesSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; stereoscopic examination of aerial photographsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; understanding of regional landscape processes and stratigraphySELECT 1 FROM DUAL; existing soil and geological mapping data. To avoid inconsistencies and confusion, any updates to the Soil and Land Attribute mapping are to be managed by DEWNR Soil and Land Program. This data has been released under a Creative Commons licence. Where products are derived from this data, DEWNR are to be acknowledged, and any changes to the original data should be indicated.
CompletenessComplete. The spatial data is subject to amendment as and when more data become available.
Positional AccuracyThe accuracy is to the scale of mapping (50 metres at 1:50,000 and 300 metres at 1:100,000 mapping scale). The spatial data is to be used at the regional, subregional and catchment level, and can be used to provide property overviewsSELECT 1 FROM DUAL; however, cannot be used at the paddock level. South East, Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the 'bottom' of Yorke Peninsula have been mapped at 1:50,000. Eyre Peninsula, the main part of Yorke Peninsula, Murray Mallee and Northern Agricultural Districts have been mapped at 1:100,000. Map unit boundaries should be treated as transition zones.

Geographic Extent

Extent NameAgricultural Region - South Australia
Min Easting or Longitude132.25
Min Northing or Latitude-38
Max Easting or Longitude141
Max Northing or Latitude-32.25

Dataset Status

Initially Acquired01-JAN-2000
Last Updated01-JUL-2009
Update FrequencyAs required
Maintenance MethodAs required
LicenseingCC BY (Attribution)


TableNameField AliasData TypeDescription
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentLANSLU CharacterSoil Landscape Map Unit.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentFERT_INHER CharacterAVERAGE INHERENT FERTILITY (Legend category. See layer file for descriptions). Map units are classified according to the inherent fertility of component soils, on a weighted average basis.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentN1 NumberPercentage of map unit which has high to very high inherent fertility.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentN2 NumberPercentage of map unit which has moderate inherent fertility.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentN3 NumberPercentage of map unit which has moderately low inherent fertility.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentN4 NumberPercentage of map unit which has low inherent fertility.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentN5 NumberPercentage of map unit which has very low inherent fertility.
Landscape.SALAD_Fertility_InherentNX NumberPercentage of map unit which is not applicable.

Contact Information

OrganisationDepartment for Environment and Water
Science Monitoring and Knowledge
Postal AddressGPO Box 1047