Aleyna Firat (Project Officer)
In late March members of the Select Carbon soils team was fortunate enough to attend the 2021 Farming Matters conference held by the industry group Land to Market Australia. This 3-day event was based in Albury and consisted of high energy discussions and constant learnings. Regenerative agriculture was a focal point throughout the conference, alongside developing landscape resilience to a changing climate, natural capital and consumer demand (for sustainable produce).
Talks from regenerative agriculture founders and famers firmed basic regenerative agriculture principles such as increasing biodiversity and reducing synthetic inputs and tillage. Allan Savory highlighted the importance of holistic management which involves the management of multiple elements like finance, people, environment and enterprise, not just yield. The potential for grazing to be used as a tool for landscape regeneration and profitability was discussed by several speakers. Walter Jehne, a microbiologist and climate scientist discussed the critical task of building soil carbon stocks to reduce climatic extremes like droughts and floods. Industry representatives such as MaiaGrazing and the Provenir presented products and services that aligned with these regenerative perspectives to help farmers apply their goals. A field trip to Yammacoona Wearn, a mixed livestock and forestry enterprise, demonstrated concepts of regenerative agriculture on a large scale. Highlights form the farm included seeing Keyline contours, touring the Provenir (a highly ethical and mobile abattoir) and listening to the reflections from property owners and managers. On reflection, carbon, carbon farming and carbon credits were words that continued to appear throughout the conference and typically followed with a crowd of questions. Because of the carbon farming buzz, the potential for farmers to integrate projects onto property was outlined and new methods of sampling proposed.