'Managing the Carbon Cycle'
Ray OGrady Importance of Soil Carbon
This paper reviews the historic loss of 50-60% of soil carbon, and its effects on crop yields, the physical, chemical and biological aspects of soil health and the health and wellbeing of the farming family. Farming practices that influence soil carbon dynamics and the methods and principles of increasing the carbon sink in the soil are discussed. Read full paper
Ray OGrady and Rod Rush The Terra Preta phenomenon
The greatest legacy the Amazonians left to the World was not the famed City of Gold but the Terra Preta. These man-made Indian black earths in the Amazon Basin cover an area the size of France. They hold a secret to carbon sequestration that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. We require only 10% of our productive, degraded lands to absorb the estimated 6.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions to make a carbon negative world possible in our life-time. The question must then be asked Do we need nuclear power to reduce Global Warming? Read full paper
Hamish Mackay Biodynamics: Farmers are the solution
We live in the world we create as growers and consumers, with or without scientific sanction, as we inhabit an increasingly global environment. The environment, global warming, biological farming and increased farm costs are receiving wider consideration and media coverage. Biodynamics is proving to be an extremely cost-effective tool to achieve improved agricultural, environmental, health and social outcomes within the constraints of our contemporary economy. These outcomes can assist farmers around the world solve the agricultural and environmental issues of our time, including Climate Change. Read full paper
Andre Leu Organics and Soil Carbon:
Increasing soil carbon, crop productivity and farm profitability
This paper explains how atmospheric carbon is introduced into the soil and how it stored in stable forms. It identifies the farming techniques that are responsible for the decline in soil carbon and gives alternative practices that do not damage carbon. Increasing soil carbon can reduce the 25% of Australia's greenhouse gases created by agriculture and assist in ameliorating climate change. Increasing soil carbon will ensure good production outcomes and farm profitability. Soil carbon, particularly the stable forms such as humus and glomalin, increases farm profitability by increasing yields, soil fertility, soil moisture retention, aeration, nitrogen fixation, mineral availability, disease suppression, soil tilth and general structure. It is the basis of healthy soil. Read full paper
Bob Wilson Evergreen Farming Group
Evergreen Farming is a farmer-driven group that aims to achieve sustainable Green Farms all Year Round throughout the agricultural regions of Southern Australia. The group started during the 1990's in the Bibby Springs area west of Badgingarra (WA), where innovative producers came together to tackle the issues of rising water tables and salinity. The results were impressive and the network grew quickly.
Through many years of applied research, demonstrations and trials on both sub-tropical and temperate perennial pastures, Evergreen Farming has shown that perennials can substantially extend growing seasons, improve groundcover, increase farm profitability and combat water-logging, salinity and erosion. Evergreen Farming has an excellent working relationship with agribusiness and the research community. Members now span the Western Australian agricultural regions from Northampton to Esperance.
Christine Jones Carbon, air and water - is that all we need?
Soil carbon is the one single, measurable factor that underpins the solution to multiple natural resource management problems. Managing the Carbon Cycle is about turning carbon loss into carbon gain. With appropriate changes to land management, agricultural soils have the capacity to sequester and store large volumes of carbon, thus improving microbial content, biological activity, fertility, structure, stability, resistance to erosion and ultimately biodiversity, productivity and profitability. Increasing soil carbon can significantly reduce the impact of dryland salinity, reduce sedimentation in rivers and streams, improve water quality, improve air quality and decrease the impact of the greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change. Read full paper
Christine Jones Australian Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme (ASCAS)
Climate Change has become a very real issue on the global agenda, be it research, business, political or community. The Australian Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme (ASCAS) will provide a tangible commercial solution to the ever-increasing global challenge of increased levels of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Soil carbon sequestration can be relatively rapid under innovative regenerative management regimes. The ASCAS model is based on financial reward via Soil Credits from the private sector, creating a collaborative and progressive market-based instrument to help address a wide range of environmental issues. The Australian Soil Carbon Accreditation Scheme is a first in the Southern Hemisphere, placing Australia among the world leaders in the recognition of soils as a verifiable carbon sink. Read full paper
The Katanning Workshop program also featured
Ray OGrady The Secret of El Dorado (video on Amazonian black earths)
Ray OGrady Composting and brewing (practical session)
Hamish Mackay Biodynamic preparations (practical session)
Megan Christie Kalga Mundijong and Rob Harper Velyere Dandaragan
Managing groundcover under variable rainfall (discussion session)
See other links on this website for information on the
Kingaroy (QLD) and National (Canberra) events