Increased Soil Carbon Dramatically Increases Farm Profitability

Media Release 12 June 2018

ASM, a Canberra based carbon farming advisory company, is helping Australian farmers build healthy fertile soils and profits by using carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere. Two of ASM’s (Australian Soil Management) farm clients, De Bortoli Wines and Select Harvests (almond industry) have confirmed that increases in soil carbon is having a huge impact on their bottom line.

“I am astounded”, said Peter Reynolds, Senior Technical Officer Select Harvests, “we have seen an increase in soil carbon stocks of 0.3% and an increase in almond kernel weights of between 12 and 30% depending upon variety and this indicates a $1.2m increase in farm income on this 400 hectare farm”. “This change in soil productivity is so profound that we are going to change our management practices to adapt to improving the soil biology of our farm”.

Select Harvest Almonds

Dr Greg Bender, the CEO and co-founder of ASM who have been running these trials of Active Carbon Farming techniques said “that the soil test results on the almond and grape trials shows an increase in important soil parameters and a trend towards a better balance of nutrients but the real indicator of soil improvement and productivity was a 0.3% increase in soil carbon for the almonds and a 1.0% increase for the grapes”.

“Plants use free carbon dioxide out of the air to capture carbon”, says Dr Bender. “We are working with land managers to make sure more of this carbon ends up in soils. Our work with the NSW EPA is showing that recycled organics can play an important role here. Currently, most Australian soils hold less than 50 tonnes of carbon (as organic matter) per hectare when they have the capacity to hold more than 200 tonnes. The government’s carbon abatement scheme now means that farmers have an additional income stream from storing carbon which pays for their efforts in building their soil fertility.”

“These economic opportunities are only going to increase in value”, said Dr Bender, “as we are now seeing more and more governments, companies and world leaders recognising the importance of carbon farming to the environment”. The OECD believes that US$100 trillion in climate compatible infrastructure investment will be needed between 2016 and 2030 to meet the Paris climate change targets.

“It’s time for the Australian Government to help Australian farmers become active carbon farmers and seize these opportunities, it is good for you and great for Australia” says Dr Bender.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Dr Bender:

Contact Norman Marshall 0414 287 326