News

Find out the latest news and information on the Soil C Quest Project. Learn more about what the Project is planning to achieve through a series of articles produced in a variety of media.

CONFERENCE TIME – A MUSTER FOR LANDCARE MINDS
28 October 2017

A group representing Central West Lachlan Landcare attended the biannual NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference held in Albury this week.

This is an opportunity for Landcarers from over the State to gather and learn more about issues impacting agriculture, biodiversity, water and culture. The conference started with the Landcare Muster, reviewing what Landcare has achieved over the past two years.

Guy Webb, Mick Wettenhall and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki at the NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference in Albury

CALLING ELON MUSK – ANGUS WANTS YOUR HELP TO SAVE THE PLANET
22 September 2017

Angus Webb may only be in primary school, but he has big plans for the planet and he wants the help of billionaire tech guru Elon Musk. The 11-year-old from Forbes in central west New South Wales has penned an online petition calling for action on climate change.

He is campaigning for the Tesla boss to visit rural Australia to see how storing carbon in the soil could be part of the solution.

STUDENT SEEKS A CLIMATE HERO
22 September 2017

Forbes student Angus Webb has issued an online challenge to business magnate, investor and inventor Elon Musk inviting him to back the Soil C Quest 2031 Project.

Angus, an 11-year-old Forbes North student, is concerned about climate change and increasing levels of carbon in the atmosphere.

QUICK PITCH WIN
21 July 2017

There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere, there’s not enough in farming soil. What if farmers and a fungus could remedy this? 

Local agronomist and co-founder of ‘Soil C Quest 2031’, Guy Webb, put just that proposition forward at the TEDx Sydney 2017 Fast Ideas. 

Mr Webb was one of six people selected from 100 applicants to present their 30 second fast ideas at the conference at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Darling Harbour.

GUY’S SUPERPOWER? CARBON-HUNGRY FUNGI!
20 July 2017

When you have an idea worth spreading, the chance to pitch it at a TED conference is a dream come true. This is just what happened to Forbes agronomist, Guy Webb. Guy was one of 6 people selected from 100 applicants to pitch a 30 second “fast idea” at the 2017 TEDx Sydney conference in June.

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CROWDFUNDING SOIL HEALTH AND CLIMATE RESEARCH 
May 2017

It took a conversation between an agronomist, a farmer, a Landcare coordinator, and a professor of soil microbiology to spark the creation of ‘Soil C Quest 2031’, a grassroots not-for-profit Australian research institute.

It’s come together by the common ideal that improving soil carbon holds the key to improving agriculture, landscapes, and climate change extremes into the future.

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FARMER, MICK WETTENHALL TALKS ABOUT FINDING FUNDS TO TEST CARBON SOIL SEQUESTRATION
18 January 2016

A farmer from New South Wales says he will use modern fundraising methods to get an innovative soil carbon project to the next phase of development.

Mick Wettenhall said he had seen encouraging outcomes from early farm trials in which seed was inoculated with specialised fungi as a way to fix carbon in soils in a cropping rotation.

He said research and farm trials could cost as much as $6 million, and the work needed to undergo specialised scientific peer review.

“At this point in time, we’re currently putting together a crowd-funding clip,” he said.

SOIL CARBON AND THE ROLE OF FUNGI IN THE LONG-TERM SEQUESTERING OF CARBON IN SOIL: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PETER MCGEE
3 November 2015

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is recognised and acknowledged as one of the most important components of the complex and interrelated soil environment. SOC is necessary for producing heathy and sustainable agricultural outcomes.

Producing and maintaining stores of SOC is, in itself, a complex and multi-faceted process that is still the subject of important research. The current, popular body of knowledge about SOC contains unexplained inconsistencies and possible misconceptions that need further investigation.

In the following interview, Associate Professor Peter McGee of the University of Sydney defines and describes the importance of soil organic carbon and in brief outline describes research that may lead to an understanding of the role certain fungi play in facilitating the long-term adding of carbon in soil.

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LOCAL MAN ON QUEST FOR BETTER FARMING FUTURE

Forbes agronomist Guy Webb is one of the leading forces behind a new project which has the potential to revolutionise farming practices.

Mr Webb and his team of fellow farmers and scientists are currently in the process of developing an innovative approach to increasing soil carbon for a more sustainable farming future.

The vision of the project, Soil C Quest, is to double soil organic carbon by 2031 which Mr Webb said would be a solution to the problem of feeding our growing population.

The Soil C Quest team recognise that food security is the foundation for the stability of our global civilisation and that healthy, fertile soil is the foundation of food security.

UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE

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FDI FEATURE INTERVIEW: THE QUEST FOR A PRACTICAL, PREDICTABLE AND RELIABLE METHOD TO BUILD SOIL CARBON IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS: MR GUY WEBB (PART TWO)

The Northern Australia Research Programme is pleased to release its latest Feature Interview: The Quest for a Practical, Predictable and Reliable Method to Build Soil Carbon in Agricultural Soils: Mr Guy Webb (Part Two).

In this second part of his interview with FDI, Mr Webb discusses the role played by soil carbon, the state of Australia’s soils in relation to carbon, an outline of a proposed concept and how it might be implemented.The interview can also be downloaded directly from the Future Directions International website at: http://futuredirections.org.au/publications.html If you have any comments on the interview, or would like to contribute to the work of FDI, please feel free to contact me on +61 8 9389 9831 or email jhartley@futuredirections.org.au

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FDI FEATURE INTERVIEW: THE QUEST FOR A PRACTICAL, PREDICTABLE AND RELIABLE METHOD TO BUILD SOIL CARBON IN AGRICULTURAL SOILS: MR GUY WEBB (PART ONE)

This is the first of a two-part interview with the second part to be published next week. Part one provides the background and history of Mr Guy Webb’s interest and involvement with soil carbon and Australian agriculture. The second part will discuss the role played by soil carbon, the state of Australia’s soil in relation carbon, an outline of a proposed concept and how it might be implemented.

The interview can also be downloaded directly from the Future Directions International website at: http://futuredirections.org.au/publications.html

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SEQUESTERING CARBON FIELD MELANISED FUNGI

know however is if the findings will translate to the field and can such fungi strains be isolated and packaged to farmers for inoculation of our crops and pasture.

You may recall that researchers proposed a process by which the fungi place stable carbon into the soil – depositing carbon rich aromatic melanin compounds into the anaerobic interior of soil aggregates. The significance of this is that when placed there, the carbon is protected from loss by oxidation or from decay by microbial enzymes. So, it has potential for increasing ‘stable’ soil carbon in cropping systems.