CSAs are parts of the landscape, such as swales and gullies, where overland flow and seepage converges to form small channels of running water, which may then flow to streams and rivers.
Identifying these CSAs and then managing them using buffer zones can significantly reduce losses to surface and ground water.
CSAs can transport large amounts of soil, phosphorus and E. coli to waterways.
“My farm is relatively flat. Each winter, after some heavy rain, I look at the paddocks I am hoping to crop next year. I mark out the CSAs then with fence standards because sometimes they are harder to see in Spring.”
Leaving grass buffer strips will provide a filter and slow down water movement, allowing it time to soak into the soil rather than running off.
In situations where a buffer is filtering a large amount of runoff, or it is fast flowing, a larger buffer is required. This includes situations where the crop paddock has a:
- heavy or weakly structured soil
- steeper slope
- higher rainfall
- higher stock density
Once you have identified your paddock and CSA’s its time to complete your winter grazing plan.