Improve soil health, fertility and production with a Soil Carbon Project.
A soil carbon project is one of the land-based options that are available under Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative legislation, designed to increase the storage, or sequestration, of carbon within agricultural soil.
What’s under your feet is great for business.
What is Soil Carbon?
Soil Carbon or Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is the carbon stored in the soil as a component of soil organic matter, including plant and animal matter in the soil that are in various stages of decay. It is directly related to agricultural productivity as increased carbon stocks improve water holding capacity, nutrient availability and soil fertility. Additionally, increasing the production of plant biomass can increase organic carbon in soils. So, we have a positive feedback loop: more soil carbon can boost plant growth, and more plant growth can increase soil carbon.
What is a Soil Carbon Project?
A carbon project involves the landholder implementing active management practices to build soil organic carbon within their system. This increase in measured carbon stocks is converted to carbon credits that can be sold.
Soil Carbon Management
Just starting out? We can help you determine if a soil carbon project is right for you
Put simply, Soil Carbon is a balance between management, inputs and biological processes that build soil carbon and those that decrease it. Stop doing the things that reduce soil carbon and implement those that increase it.
How to improve Soil Carbon within your system
There are many ways to improve soil carbon within your landscape and farming system. We have outlined some general practices that impact these stocks.
1 System Management
Managing livestock, green manure cropping systems, multispecies pastures or cover crops, compost extracts and land-use rotations can all have a positive impact on your soil carbon stocks. Land uses and management systems that generate more organic matter and retain it on-site tend to have higher soil organic carbon levels.
2 Legumes & Perennials
Addition perennial pastures and legumes into a rotation or pasture system can greatly improve the carbon potential within the soil. This is due to the principles of increased biomass, growth cycles of perennial plants above and below ground, coupled with the legume balance of nutrients and biology.
Looking after the biology of the soil is critical to the rate of carbon storage. Firstly, increasing biological activity has the potential to increase plant production and vice versa. Therefore, healthy biological activity within the soil enables stronger root systems and plant growth, and more root growth feeds microbial activity. Secondly, increases in biological activity can help create aggregates and pores and provide a more stable soil structure for soil carbon to be stored. In addition to this, organic carbon is a food source for a range of organisms. This highlights the cyclical relationship between microbes, plants and soil carbon.
4 Conventional Practices
Traditional tillage removes the surface carbon and vegetation and also compromises the root system of plants. In addition, a decline in carbon inputs (including from plant growth), increases in soil temperature, soil compaction or inputs that disrupt soil biology can all disrupt and lose previously stable soil carbon.
Increase Soil Health & Fertility
Roots play one of the most important roles in building soil carbon
Roots and root exudates play a vital role in soil carbon formation. Roots make up much of the living biomass in healthy landscapes and tend to stay in the soil once removed from the plant. Exudates, or the substance around the root system, help to promote stable aggregates within the soil as well as feeding the essential biology that helps store SOC.
Diversify your income
Many management practices that increase SOC also improve crop and pasture yields
Soil biology and chemistry is complex, but there are simple ways to build the carbon content in your soils that not only complement your core farm production enterprises but enable you to positively enhance your cash flow and business projects.
Be part of the solution
Help in the mitigation of climate change
If more carbon is stored in the soil as organic carbon, it will reduce the amount present in the atmosphere and therefore assist in reducing global warming.
Starting a Soil Carbon Project
Steps of a Soil Carbon Project
There are essentially six steps to running a soil carbon project.
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Select Carbon has a process that we take you through to determine if a soil carbon project is a good fit for you. Select Carbon shares in this investment with you to ensure that we are committed to working together. Additionally, a set of complete paddock soil tests will be conducted and the results included with this report.
Registering the project with the Clean Energy Regulator.
Measurement of existing soil carbon levels across your project down to at least 30 cm, and up to 1 metre.
A new management activity to build soil carbon must be implemented across the whole project area. Select Carbon can help with aligning this with the future direction of your business.
Measurement of soil organic levels 2-5 years after the baseline measurement.
Reporting and issuance of carbon credits
Calculate the difference in soil carbon between measurement rounds as prescribed by the method, submit reports and generate ACCUs (Australian Carbon Credit Units).
Soil stores more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial biomass (trees) combined, and for this reason has been seen as an important tool to mitigate climate change.
We have the expertise to help you through all stages of your soil carbon journey.
Our team will talk you through the carbon project and the current and future management of your property to ensure this method fits into your broader business and land management.
Starting with initial discussions, we can progress to the due diligence stage. This is an in-depth assessment of your project area and business in relation to a soil carbon project.
Once we both establish that continuing this project is going to be profitable and productive for you and your business, we help facilitate the registration of your project, coordinate the baseline measurement and offer support to ensure maximum success.
Register your Interest
Carbon Farming Projects
Still got Questions?
If you have a question about something that isn’t covered here, you can view our FAQ’s or send an inquiry through our contact form.