Climate Smart Agriculture
Farm soil carbon - a win win
The global benefits of increasing soil carbon
Increasing soil organic carbon by 0.4% per year in the top 30-40cm of our global agricultural soils between 2020- 2050 could have the following agronomic and social benefits:
- Boost maize, wheat and rice production by 23.4%, 22.9% and 41.9% respectively- worth USD $135.2 billion or approx. AUD $204.2 billion per year.
- Store an additional 37 billion m3 of water in soils, reducing global irrigation demand by 4% and saving an estimated USD $44 billion or approx. AUD $66.5 billion per year.
- Sequester approximately 1 Gigaton CO2e per year which would avoid social/economic costs of USD $600 billion or AUD $906.2 billion per year through climate change mitigation.
How more soil carbon would benefit agriculture and society
Holistic Carbon Agronomy
With carbon as the central metric of success, Australian land managers can design and manage landscapes by considering the carbon management zone- from the top of the troposphere to the bottom of the aquifers.
This approach involves harnessing and managing the free resources available to the farm- water, nitrogen, carbon, sunlight, gravity & wind.
It also increases drought resilience and captures maximum monetizable environmental goods & services (EGS) such as carbon and biodiversity credits.
Through scientific and economic validation and extension, farmers can integrate carbon-centric methods into their enterprises and have the opportunity to participate in the carbon market.
A holistic approach to farm management harnesses ecosystem services to maximise soil carbon.
This is integral to cropping methods and grazing strategies that build and store soil carbon whilst bolstering yield outcomes and climate resilience.
Nature’s free inputs
Managing above and below-ground biodiversity and the small water cycle allow farmers to harness the free inputs that nature provides.
- Remnant Connection Connecting existing remnant vegetation incorporated as windbreaks & shelterbelts.
- Tree Lines creating biodiverse multispecies tree lines as strategic windbreaks & shelterbelts.
- Fodder Trees connecting remnant vegetation via fodder tree / shrub alleys as biodiversity connectivity.
- Paddock Perimeter & Block Plantings creating moisture trapping microclimates via vegetation paddock perimeters and internal paddock block plantings that host various native animals.
- Agroforestry & Hort Trees timber & fruit/nut treescreating ecological environments for biodiversity.
Conserving remnant vegetation
Feral Animal Control to protect native animals
Strategic grazing for fire hazard reduction and understorey health
Managing on-farm water flow maximises water efficiency, pasture & crop growth and subsequent carbon sequestration.
redistributing water flows evenly across the landscape to rehydrate the watershed aquifers.
slowing water speed in drainage lines.
farm-over contour banks
Strategic dam structures
Strategic Vegetation Water Interception Traps
using biodiversity and or agroforestry plantings to trap excess overland water flows.
reefs, mangroves, wetlands and land-to-ocean runoff management.
Integration of on-farm renewable energy and agricultural
production systems for increased soil carbon sequestration
Energy audits to assess the on- farm energy use C02 footprint of fuel, fertiliser, electricity and
embodied energy in the supply chain.
Solar combined with grazing systems
Wind turbines combined with grazing systems
On- farm hydrogen production powering tractors and trucks
On- farm renewable energy powering vehicles & irrigation pumps
Nutrient capture- animal manures, composting, wastewater management
Recycling plastic wrap and other on farm waste streams
Min / zero till
Root Mass Stimulation
Soil Carbon Inoculum
Crop specific soil carbon-fixing fungal inoculums.
In furrow liquid extracts & ferment
pH Soil Amendments
100% Groundcover, 100% of the time.
High stocking density with short grazing periods & long rest periods.
Fodder Alley Sequestration Trees
Tagasaste- Lucerne Tree
Leucaena- Sub tropical legume fodder shrub
Desmanthus- Fodder Legume shrub
SaltBush- Undersown & inter row seeded with hard seeded legume annuals & Lucerne
Kurrajong Fodder Tree- slow growing, long lived
Native Fodder Trees- Soil & environment specific, e.g. Mulga, Myall, Wilga, Wattle, Rosewood
Fodder & Grain
Time controlled grazing
Dual purpose multi-species fodder and grain crops
Perennial Multispecies Legume based