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Climate Action on Farms

The Climate Action on Farms project has been designed to increase carbon sequestration and mitigate loss by encouraging farmers to adopt simple practices to make their enterprises more profitable and sustainable.

Introduction

The project implements on-ground trials, demonstration, extension and monitoring programs which will decrease carbon loss and increase the soils’ carbon potential and operates in the west of the South Coast NRM region between Kendenup and Bremer Bay until June 2015.

Six demonstration and trial sites are being implemented to:

  • Compare soil carbon profiles of perennial, annual and cropping land management systems.
  • Measure and monitor the sequestration of soil carbon with increasing establishment time.
  • Compare the sequestration of soil carbon by native perennial grasses, to annual crop and a non-native perennial system.
  • Restore a degraded site to demonstrate carbon sequestration and mitigation on marginal farmland.
  • Crop an existing perennial pasture to show the integration of carbon in an annual production system.
  • Integrate alley farming in a traditional system to show the benefit of carbon sequestration and improved agricultural productivity.
  • Trial the impact of different herbicides on the re-establishment of perennial species in annual cropping systems.

The project is being monitored by:

  • Collecting baseline soil information, including macro-nutrient profiles, Phosphorus Buffering Index (PBI), carbon (using CSIRO’s Soil Carbon Research Program (SCRP) methodology) and bulk density.
  • Establishing pasture cages on trial sites to compare above-ground production of perennial species.
  • Conduct an economic review to inform farmers of the costs and benefits of implementing change.

Cropping into Kikuyu

Capitalising on Perennial Forages

THIS spring, we will be launching a pioneering project to help farmers capitalise on perennial forages suited to the South Coast and simultaneously reduce methane emissions intensity.

Capitalising on Perennial Forages will collect data by trialling and demonstrating a variety of grazing systems designed to reduce methane emissions by increasing animal growth rates and reducing the time for livestock to reach market weight.

Methane emissions testing usually occurs in laboratory conditions, but this new method, developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), will be one of the first times testing has been conducted in the field.

“We will be using a vacuum tent which captures and records animals’ omitted methane levels,” South Coast NRM carbon farming project officer Charlotte Powis said.

“This tent is the only one of its kind and is being used for projects across Australia, so it’s really exciting for South Coast NRM to be involved in this cutting-edge research,” she said.

Livestock will be grazed on different perennial species and taken through the tent to measure the methane emitted - the first round of these measurements will take place at Cranbrook in late October.

Data from Capitalising on Perennial Forages will show how to best utilise farming practices to adapt to a changing climate, maximise marginal land and provide the best landscape-scale opportunity to protect our unique region.

This project is funded by the Australian Government until June 2017.

Vacuum tent

The vacuum tent will be trialled at Cranbrook this spring. Pic: CSIRO.

Short Films

Why is Soil Carbon so Important?

A Day in the Life of a Soil Scientist

Built for this Country

Microbes in the Classroom

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Contact details:
Tel: (08) 9845 8537
Fax: (08) 9845 8538
Email:info@southcoastnrm.com.au

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Opening hours
Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm
Contact details:
Tel: (08) 9845 8537
Fax: (08) 9845 8538
Email:info@southcoastnrm.com.au

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