Definition of ABCD land condition framework

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ABCD Land Condition Framework for Grazing

The DPI&F has developed a simple method of assessing land condition called the ABCD framework. Using this method, graziers can identify whether their land condition is improving, stable or deteriorating. The framework is based on land type and considers a number of indicators including pasture composition, ground cover, weed infestation, tree thickening, erosion and soil surface condition.

Land in A condition is considered the best condition land and D condition the worst. Land in A condition maximises rainfall infiltration and pasture production and reduces runoff, and soil and nutrient loss. Animal production is also maximised and vulnerability to drought is reduced in the long term (due to lower chance of feed shortage). Land in D condition may have a general lack of perennial grasses and/or have severe scalding or erosion resulting in a hostile environment for plant growth. Woody weed thickets may also cover part or most of the area. Land in D condition has lost approximately 80% of its productive potential. It is often hard to recover D condition land without some sort of mechanical intervention like ripping. The rehabilitation of C condition land to B condition is considered a good outcome.

A Condition (Good)

Has the following characteristics

  • Good coverage of 3p grasses for that land type with less than 30% bare ground.
  • No significant weed infestations.
  • No erosion and good soil surface condition.
  • No, or early signs of woodland thickening.
  • 100% of original carrying capacity for that land type.

B Condition (Fair)

Has one or more of the following:

  • Some decline in 3p grasses an increase in less-favoured grasses and weeds,and/or bare ground greater than 25% but less than 50%.
  • Some decline in soil condition and some signs of previous and/or current susceptibility to erosion.
  • Some thickening in density of woody plants.
  • 80% of original carrying capacity.

C Condition (Poor)

Has one or more of the following:

  • General decline of 3p grasses, large amount of less-favoured species and/or bare ground greater than 50% but less than 80%.
  • Obvious signs of past erosion and/or susceptibility currently high.
  • General thickening in density of woody plants.
  • 55% of original carrying capacity.

D Condition (Very Poor)

Has one or more of the following:

  • General lack of any perennial grasses or forbs.
  • Severe erosion or scalding, resulting in a hostile environment for plant growth.
  • 20% of original carrying capacity.