The aim of this research is to provide farmers with a scientifically-validated and scalable model of broad-acre and interrow orchard systems, designed to increase carbon stores in agricultural soils while simultaneously improving yields, water use efficiency and climate resilience. Through scientific and economic validation and extension, farmers can integrate carbon-centric methods into their enterprises and have the opportunity to participate in the soil carbon market.

There are two cover-cropping research projects currently underway: (1) Farming and (2) Orchard. Each project involves companion intercropping with a selection of best fit species, allowing for the accumulation of root and top biomass, which is then crimp rolled or sprayed out to terminate at various timings.

Planting Tagasate by seed with ‘Kermit‘ SCQ’s dedicated fodder planter, on Ben Kerin’s property at Trundle NSW.


Tagasaste (also known as Tree Lucerne or Cytisus proliferus) is a drought hardy, highly nutritious and palatable legume fodder shrub and contains a similar nutritional profile to lucerne. This shrub can planted in alleys and maintained at browse height for sheep and cattle. The power of this shrub in a farming/grazing operation is two-fold: (1) Tagasaste is a legume, so it increases the nitrogen fertility for plants growing around the drip line; (2) Planted in ‘hedge-rows’, tagasaste also provides wind protection for the inter-row and a zone of rainfall infiltration around the roots, increasing overall capture storage and recovery of every drop of rain.