The Soils Near Me app classifies the land and soils of NSW using the Land and Soil Capability (LSC) scheme.
Land capability is the inherent physical capacity of the land and soil to sustain a range of land uses and management practices in the long term, without degradation to soil, land, air and water resources.
The LSC scheme uses the biophysical features of land and soil to provide ratings for a range of land and soil hazards, each of which receives a rating from 1 (best) to 8 (worst). The value for the most limiting of these hazards gives the overall LSC class for that land. The individual hazards assessed under the LSC are:
- Mass movement hazard
- Salinity hazard
- Shallow soils and rockiness hazard
- Soil acidification hazard
- Soil structure decline hazard
- Waterlogging hazard
- Water erosion hazard
- Wind erosion hazard
The LSC classes are:
Land capable of a wide variety of land uses
- Extremely high capability land: Land has no limitations. No special land management practices required. Land capable of all rural land uses and land management practices.
- Very high capability land: Land has slight limitations. These can be managed by readily available, easily implemented management practices. Land is capable of most land uses and land management practices, including intensive cropping with cultivation.
- High capability land: Land has moderate limitations and is capable of sustaining high-impact land uses, such as cropping with cultivation, using more intensive, readily available and widely accepted management practices. However, careful management of limitations is required for cropping and intensive grazing to avoid land and environmental degradation.
Land capable of a variety of land uses (cropping with restricted cultivation, pasture cropping, grazing, some horticulture, forestry, nature conservation)
- Moderate capability land: Land has moderate to high limitations for high-impact land uses. Will restrict land management options for regular high-impact land uses such as cropping, high-intensity grazing and horticulture. These limitations can only be managed by specialised management practices with a high level of knowledge, expertise, inputs, investment and technology.
- Moderate–low capability land: Land has high limitations for high-impact land uses. Will largely restrict land use to grazing, some horticulture (orchards), forestry and nature conservation. The limitations need to be carefully managed to prevent long-term degradation.
Land capable for a limited set of land uses (grazing, forestry and nature conservation, some horticulture
- Low capability land: Land has very high limitations for high-impact land uses. Land use restricted to low-impact land uses such as grazing, forestry and nature conservation. Careful management of limitations is required to prevent severe land and environmental degradation.
Land generally incapable of agricultural land use (selective forestry and nature conservation
- Very low capability land: Land has severe limitations that restrict most land uses and generally cannot be overcome. On-site and off-site impacts of land management practices can be extremely severe if limitations not managed. There should be minimal disturbance of native vegetation.
- Extremely low capability land: Limitations are so severe that the land is incapable of sustaining any land use apart from nature conservation. There should be no disturbance of native vegetation.
For more information about the LSC scheme, refer to the PDF at www.environment.nsw.gov. More maps and information about land and soil capability in NSW are available on eSPADE at espade.environment.nsw.gov.au