CHRIS PIPPOS, Food bowl plans may end in disaster ...
SENIOR bureaucrats have shared serious concerns about Premier David Bartlett’s $400million food bowl vision and proposed expansion into the Midlands because of soil, frost and salinity problems. Retired senior public servant, agricultural scientist and Coastal primary producer Dr Mike Walker said senior bureaucrats within the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment agreed with him privately that the move was inherently risky. Dr Walker said there was a lot of “hype” but the reality was that soils in the Midlands, increased inland frost risks and dangers of salinity meant tens of millions could be wasted on irrigation schemes. “You can’t change the soil,” said Dr Walker, of Spalford, who is on the Forth River Irrigation Scheme Consultative Group and is about to publish his concerns in the Good Fruit and Vegetables journal. Read more here

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