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The department is responsible for implementing the South Australia's Strategic Plan target for soil protection; "By 2014, achieve a 20 percent increase in South Australia's agricultural cropping land that is adequately protected from erosion". The soil protection target (T3.3) is one of six targets under the Attaining Sustainability objective the plan.

The department leads and implements collaborative projects with industry and agency partners to achieve the target. This involes the Sustainable Dryland Agriculture Initiative within the state NRM Program and provides funding for regional and primary producer group projects to implement the target.

The key measure for the target is the average number of days that agricultural cropping land is adequately protected from erosion. Since 2002-2003, the baseline year, there has been a 10 percent improvement in protection from erosion but progress was delayed by drought conditions during 2006, 2007 and 2008.