Soil Carbon is front and centre in global agriculture because of the growing understanding of its role in farm productivity and the value in creating systems to grow soil Carbon levels. Whether for accessing Carbon credit markets, maintaining access to sustainability-focused supply chains, or building a resilient farming system.
At Precision Agriculture we continue to support our customers with services and insights that accurately measure and monitor soil Carbon stocks.
So how does the process work, and how does it look?
To illustrate the process, we have permission to share aspects of a recent Carbon Baseline project we undertook for a customer in Southwest NSW. Our customer’s objective was to identify his current soil Carbon levels, to an Emissions Reduction Fund standard. The Carbon Baseline will be utilised to inform strategic development plans for their 10,000ha property.
So, what did we do and what did it cost?
- Firstly, we created Carbon Estimation Area (CEAs) and Strata using the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) via our professional in-house GIS team in consultation with the grower
- We then sampled the property using the ERF protocols, but with non-randomised sampling, as the grower wants to retest from the same location in the future
- We included sampling for Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium, and CEC, to maximise the efficiency and scope of the data we collected
- The simple report maps his strata and clearly shows where his samples have been taken
- Our grower customer understands that to get his Carbon levels up, he will need to apply targeted management practices, and the insights we were able to provide on his other soil properties will assist in that process
- Our grower can look at the raw results for each point and understand the estimated Carbon stock levels by strata
- To Carbon Baseline this farm costs around $3 per hectare which met the grower’s budget and expectations, given their objectives. This grazing property is in a low rainfall zone
- In higher rainfall zone areas, the cost for recent jobs averages $10-$20 per hectare
- Our customer does not want to enter a long-term ERF project at this time but wanted to understand his current Carbon and nutrient levels.
Our customer will now use this baseline data to build his Carbon strategy as a part of his development plans for the property.