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Report into pH, soil organic carbon helps improves local understanding of carbon farming

Report into pH, soil organic carbon improves local understanding of carbon farming

Riverine Plains has recently completed a region-first project looking into the viability and practicality of increasing soil carbon for trading through the Australian Government’s Emission Reduction Fund.

As part of the project, and with the support of the Cool Soil Initiative, paddocks were sampled to determine baseline soil pH and soil organic carbon using the  methods set out in the Carbon Farming Initiative.

Stocks of soil organic carbon were calculated for each paddock, with a specific paddock example used to determine what a 0.5% increase in soil carbon might look like in terms of the Australian Carbon Credit Unit, (the unit of trade for the Emission Reduction Fund).

The calculations, based on a pasture paddock near Springhurst, showed the potential financial gains from carbon farming to be modest, with the returns also weighed against the sampling, auditing and reporting costs of participating in the Emission Reduction Fund.

The project highlighted how complex it can be to measure and validate any increase or change in soil organic carbon over time, and that trading carbon through the Emission Reduction Fund requires a thorough understanding of the process before committing.

Aside from carbon farming, one of the most important take-home messages from the project was that interactions between soil pH and soil organic carbon are complex, and that soil pH is a key parameter driving the soil’s ability to increase soil carbon, with low pH soils having reduced microbial activity and organic matter turnover.

For the full report, visit https://riverineplains.org.au/quantifying-the-carbon-gains-from-mixed-cropping-systems/

This project was completed within the Cool Soil Initiative with partners Mars Petcare, Kellogg’s, Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle, through the Sustainable Food Lab and Charles Sturt University (CSU), with additional funding through the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and participating growers. This project was also supported by the North East and Goulburn Broken CMAs through funding provided by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Soil Pit & Moisture Probe Discussion – Boorhaman, 23 February

Riverine Plains Inc and Boorhaman Landcare will host a soil pit and discussion about the NECMA soil moisture probe project on Friday 23 February, 2018, from 9am – 1pm.

A series of soil pits will be inspected and discussed, with the program as follows;

9am: Soil pit at Neil Fisher’s property, corner Morton and Cornishtown Roads.
10:30am: Soil pit at Brad Schmidt/Paul Blackshaw’s property on Humphreys Road (between Walsh Rd and Eggleston Rd)
12:00pm: Soil pit at Ben Spence’s property on McPhersons Road (between Federation Way and Jacks Road)

All are welcome to attend this free event. This event is part of the Soil Moisture Probe Network Project, a partnership between Riverine Plains Inc & Boorhaman Landcare Group.

For further information, please download the Boorhaman Soil Pit Morning Flyer or contact Cassandra Schefe at Riverine Plains Inc on 0419 238 798 or email cassandra@riverineplains.org.au

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