Soil Carbon in the Monaro Region - Abigail Jenkins

Soil Carbon in the Monaro Region

By Abigail Jenkins

  • Release Date: 2015-08-31
  • Genre: Reference
  • Size: 9.62 MB

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Monaro Farming Systems (MFS) is a regional landholder group initiated and developed in September 2007. The group was set up, primarily, as a knowledge- and information-based organisation, to help farm businesses to be more profitable and resilient in the long term. In this way it allows peers and researchers to work together to improve practice and innovation in farming systems. The group has over 100 individual members, from the Bombala, Cooma-Monaro and Snowy River Shires. These members manage approximately 30% of the privately held land on the Monaro region (over 80,000ha) and are responsible for approximately 40% of agricultural production. 

The Monaro soil carbon project aimed to demonstrate the impact of farm management strategies on the concentration and stock of carbon in soil over a two year period. Eight different land-use systems were identified by members of the Monaro Farming Systems group. The practices of interest included liming, nutrient management, introduced perennial pastures and minimum disturbance cropping. In addition the project looked at increases in biomass production within the context of reducing DSE emissions intensity and any offsets required for increases in stocking rates associated with production gains.

Monaro Farming Systems members wanted to compare the influence of soil type, rainfall and land management on carbon stocks. 

The questions they wanted answered were:

Does minimum disturbance cropping influence carbon stocks over a 2 year period?

What is the effect of ‘parent material’ ie. shale, deep granite and basalt (ascending texture, fertility and structure) on carbon stocks in the Monaro region?

What influence does ‘aspect’ have on carbon stocks in a system with optimum sequestration potential ie. fertilised, permanent, perennial pasture system?

Does liming introduced pasture increase C sequestration?

What effect does soil fertility have on C stocks in the Monaro region? 

What effect does pasture age have on the potential of a phalaris perennial pasture to sequester carbon. Does age create a ‘ceiling’ on sequestration potentials?