The Soil Carbon Project aims to improve carbon flow into the soil in cropping systems and pasture, increasing the adoption of appropriate and specific methods for each system to achieve maximum results.
The Soil Carbon project will target areas of the mixed farming and grazing sector including Westbury, West Tamar, Fingal Valley and the North East to identify and extend the costs and benefits of highly diverse pastures in improving soil health and livestock performance. The project will also focus on the broad-acre cropping industry across Northern Tasmania, specifically in the target area between Westbury and Ross.
The project will work across the grazing sector and broad-acre cropping industry to;
Tasmanian agricultural systems have relatively high organic carbon content due to climatic and soil influences. However, cropping systems often involve tillage and many areas in Tasmania have been cultivated for 200 years. This long history of tillage and fallows in Tasmania has led to significant declines in soil organic carbon and overall soil health.
Year-round availability of moisture and nitrogen though irrigation expansion could potentially result in further soil carbon decline, however through improved irrigation and soil management techniques, carbon gains are possible.
Delivery methods of this project will vary between cropping and pasture systems.
Soil Carbon (Crops) delivery methods will include:
Soil Carbon (Pasture) delivery methods will include:
Knowledge sharing of both below and above ground results will occur across both systems.
Return to the Land Program.
Increasing target farmers' understanding of hillslope erosion.
Raising awareness of the limitations in productivity caused by soil acidification in pastures.
Providing important core agricultural services within the NRM North region.