Sunday, 30 September 2018

Black Soil Plain

The fertile black soil plains of the Darling Downs were named by the explorer Allan Cunningham in 1827, after the then governor of New South Wales. The crops grown in this soil include soy beans, chick peas, cotton, wheat, barley and sorghum. This is the area in Australia where I lived for many years.

The area produces one quarter of all the agricultural output of the state of Queensland. The soil is the largest area of rich heavy cracking clay (basaltic alluvium) suitable for agriculture in Australia but much of the land is also both drought and flood prone. The climate is sub-tropical, with average rainfall about 800 mm per annum. The summer temperatures regularly hit the low 40s these days and winter lows can be in the low minuses (with frost and occasional very light snow). Before white settlement the aboriginals managed the lush natural grasslands here with fire. 

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