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Improving soil carbon potential through healthy soils

Sponsored Content, 19/02/2024

HEALTHY soil is the cornerstone of a thriving and resilient farm, and livestock producers who are looking to understand the potential of their land to sequester and store carbon need to start with the fundamentals of soil health.

That’s the view of accomplished soil scientist, Dr Elaine Mitchell who, speaking as part of a recent Atlas Carbon webinar, said it’s not just about pasture levels.

“Producers who are exploring the potential of soil carbon, and how to take farming practices to higher levels of profitability and resilience, have to first understand the history of the land and take a good look at what’s going on underneath the surface,” Dr Mitchell said.


“The fundamentals of soil health are pivotal to increasing the potential for carbon storage and the development of a capability index is an important first step – to have an idea of where soil carbon levels currently are, and more importantly what is possible and probable in the future.”

As Dr Mitchell explains, when it comes to soil carbon potential, there are three main areas to consider.

“Firstly, the capacity of the soil to store additional carbon. Has there been a history of previous carbon drawdown and does the land have capacity to bounce back and regain some of the carbon lost in the past?,” Dr Mitchell says.

“Secondly, there has to be a step change in the amount of carbon that’s being delivered to the soil and the amount of biomass being produced. Can subsoil restraints or mineral deficiencies be overcome and what practice changes are needed to essentially kick start the system into a new equilibrium?

“Finally, what is the ability of the soil to retain additional carbon inputs – factors such as soil temperature, moisture levels, clay content and having adequate mineral surfaces in the soil are crucial.”

Dr Mitchell is collaborating with carbon services provider, Atlas Carbon, and sister offering MaiaGrazing, to provide landowners with valuable insights into potential carbon changes over time.

Atlas Carbon, a soil carbon project developer, offers a custom cost-benefit report to help estimate what a soil carbon project can deliver for your property for free.

To watch the full conversation with Dr Elaine Mitchell click this link, or follow the QR code below.


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