Benefits of building soil carbon
Natural Resources South East Adaptive Agriculture Senior Project Officer Nicola Turner recently led a bus tour to mixed farming property, Yarrock Farms, to explore the potential benefits and methodologies to increase soil carbon.
As a result of his own climate observations, landowner Steven Hobbs became involved in a carbon emission reduction scheme, recognising the holistic farm benefits from altering his management practices.
"Deane Belfield, Director of Regenerative Australian Farmers, gave a coring demonstration and discussed the soils characteristics and ways regenerative farming can assist in encouraging a healthy, effective and functional soil biome. He later advised participants of the process involved in setting up a soil carbon project that will fit within the Emissions Reduction Fund guidelines," Ms Turner said.
Senior Soils Consultant Dr Amanda Schapel gave insight into soil carbon in a sandy soil landscape. She also talked through results from the New Horizons demonstration sites and described where the greatest opportunities lay for soil carbon capture and the factors that influence organic carbon stock.
"This was a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the process of setting up a carbon project on farm, and to learn more from local farmers who have been trialling these options," said Tracey Strugnell, Coorong Tatiara Local Action Plan Senior Sustainability Officer.
Participants had an opportunity to continue the conversation and ask further questions of Deane Belfield and Steven Hobbs over lunch. Discussions were around taking the first step to adopting these practices, any risks that may be associated with a soil carbon project and costs and potential returns for trading carbon credits.
This project is supported by the South East Natural Resources Management Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.