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Soil carbon an opportunity for Tassie farmers

soil structure

Environment Minister Greg Hunt recently (18 March) spoke about the opportunities that will become available for Australian producers where … “farmers keen to improve the condition of their land would have the added benefit of being able to earn revenue from abatement projects that build carbon in their soils.”1

While we’ll have to ‘wait and see’ what the approved soil carbon methodology looks like, NRM South will be keeping a close eye on opportunities for Tasmanian farmers as the Australian Government begins to implement its proposal.

During the announcement of the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce (19 March), Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce noted that Tasmanian fruit and vegetable industries contribute about $240M per year to our local economy, and soil carbon, and sustainable property management could present further opportunity for the industry.

NRM South Extension Officer Andrew Winkler who has done some work with this industry says there are opportunities for growers to reduce on-farm emissions, and work towards more efficiencies that may lead to increased productivity, reduced costs, improve fertiliser efficiencies and maintain or increase soil health. He says there are a number of ways growers can consider emissions, and believes soil carbon might be worth exploring for some growers.

“The horticulture industry has greater emissions intensity per hectare than other farming sectors. The basic principles of addressing climate change through carbon sequestration and emissions reduction, is sound. Growers have the potential to increase their bottom line, and also contribute to reduced emissions.

“At the very least, building soil carbon (thereby improving soil health) and reducing your emissions is good for land, good for productivity and ultimately, good for the ‘bottom line’”, Mr Winkler explains.

NRM South has a strong focus on assisting producers to maximise the returns from productive properties. Our Regional Landcare Facilitator works with farmers to understand and undertake sustainable farming practices that will not only benefit the crop but may also improve the condition of the farm and the surrounding environment.

The organisation supports farmers throughout the whole southern region with facilitators that can deliver extension services. These facilitators cover; the Hobart and Kingborough area; the Huon Valley and Channel; the East Coast and broader Glamorgan Spring bay area; Upper Derwent and Central Highlands, and the Sorell and Tasman Peninsula regions.

Producers interested to discuss their property should contact NRM South on 03 6221 6111 or visit our NRM Facilitator page

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