Thursday, June 09, 2011
The Weekly Whines
Last week the Weekly Times featured the DPI's Professor Richard Eckard telling farmers not to get their hopes up about soil carbon. This week it's the CSIRO repeating the same old song: it's too complex... it ties up nutrients... it takes forever... it's too hard to measure... Nonsense. It is not too complex. No matter what type of soil you have, no matter what climate zone you are in, your soil will store carbon and become more productive if you adopt low cost carbon farming practices. Making soil more humus rich does require nutrients, but they don't have to come out of a bag. Where did the components of humus come from before IncetecPivot? Carbon Farming increases soil microbial activity which makes nutrients more available. Does the CSIRO teach that humus rich soil is bad for production? It doesn't take forever to grow soil carbon levels. There is no peer-reviewed science that says so. Neither the CSIRO or anyone else has studied the way carbon farmers manage their soils by using combinations of practices. And as for measurement difficulties, what tosh. Scientists measure soil carbon every day and advise governments on the expenditure of millions of dollars based on these measurements. If it is good enough for science, it's good enough for carbon farming. It remains to be seen what soil carbon doomsayer you've got lined up for next week's edition. It is clear that politicians have stopped listening to scientists on this matter because of the outrageous claims they make that are unsupported by science. The day Monsanto figures out how to corner the market for soil carbon the message will change.
Posted by Michael Kiely at 9:02 AM