We asked the first question of Minister Combet after his presentation to MP Rob Oakshott's Land Use Forum Thursday last. "The $20million Soil Carbon Research Program will only provide one fifth of the data needed to drive a comprehensive soil carbon sequestration model, according to sources inside the project. Will the Government meet the challenge and fund the balance of the work so farmers everywhere can have access to offset trading opportunities?" Minister Combet: "No." (It was a longer answer than that, but meant the same thing. He said they have to balance the budget. We're trying to balance the biosphere.) So now we know.
1. Grazing Management as a basic practice to use animals to transform the soil.
2. Pasture Cropping to stimulate native grasses.
3. Compost Teas using local compost to feed the soil microbes.
4. Biological Inoculant to address microbial community gaps.
5. Soil Stimulants to awaken microbes to action.
6. Water Management to rehydrate the landscape, reduce erosion and build biomass.
7. (Perhaps) Deep-ripping to start, subsoiling ongoing.
No one does just one thing when trying to increase carbon. It is always a portfolio approach. And it is not 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. It = 111. Potentially.