Soil Carbon Is Hot Topic

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

There were 120 participants at the Soil Carbon forum held at the Boorowa Ex-Services and Citizens Club last month.

Also known as the black coal of the soil or humus, Soil Carbon was the hot topic at the first of two forums held recently in the NSW South-West Slopes.

The event, hosted by Boorowa Community Landcare Group and NSW Farmers, supported by South East Local Land Services and ACT NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

The two main speakers were Dr Susan Orgill soil research team leader at NSW Department of Primary Industries and Dr Terry McCosker OAM the founder and Principal of both Resource Consulting Services and Carbonlink.

David Marsh from ‘Allendale’ Boorowa said that while the rain of research findings and the explanations of the emerging carbon markets had the audiences struggling to keep up at times, they all counted themselves fortunate to be there.

“Susan gave a very clear presentation of the pathways of management that can lead to increasing soil organic carbon, including the benefits of full groundcover, planned grazing and adequate recovery for pastures,” Mr Marsh said.

“Terry navigated us through the history of the emerging soil carbon markets and the steps to registering a carbon project and what it entails.”

Over the past 12 months, the price of a tonne of carbon dioxide moved from $18 to $50 due to the fact that the world is awash with big emitters looking for places to offset their emissions and places to park the emissions are undersupplied, a situation largely driven by the acceptance by many nations to be net-zero by 2050.

Two district landholders, Rhonda and Bill Daly from Young and Hal and Maggie Rikard Bell from Crookwell, spoke about their experiences registering soil carbon projects.

Mr Marsh said a highlight of the forum was the hour-long question and answer panel session.

“So often these programs run short of time and the questions session is cut back or dropped and the opportunity is lost,” Mr Marsh said.

Since these recent forums, there have been announcements from the Federal Minister David Littleproud about the possibility of engaging in biodiversity offsets in the future.

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