Tuesday, January 03, 2012

By Crikey, it’s all good for soil carbon

The following appeared in Crikey 23 November, 2011:

Graziers are often perfect candidates for carbon soil sequestration projects, because grazing lends itself to carbon, says Michael Kiely, from Carbon Farmers of Australia, a not-for-profit company encouraging farmers to enter carbon markets. CFA is pushing for its own soil sequestration method to be approved, which employs the use of buffer pools for storage.

Kiely also noted that farmers shouldn’t put all their eggs in one methodology basket. “The focus on sequestration is misleading because there are several levels of offsets that can be accessed at the same time from the same set of practices,” explained Kiely.

He added that methane emissions reductions from animals, reduction in nitroxide emissions from changing fertiliser practices, environmental plants and strategic plantings could all be implemented at the same time by farmers. “The whole portfolio put together in a method that exposes farmers to an acceptable level of risk is the ideal operation of the Carbon Farming Initiative,” said Kiely.

Although, he did suggest the potential carbon farmers exercise caution: “We recommend a beginner should not commit to changing their whole operation in one whole swoop, just put 200 hectares aside.

The other thing that motivates carbon farmers is a love of the land, to treat it well and give it the best chance to perform,” added Kiely. “One of the great rewards of the carbon farming is seeing the land respond with joy to the rest, resuscitation and regeneration.”

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