Using living plant systems and modern farming methods to sequester soil organic carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil fertility
The project aims to trial, measure and demonstrate crop sequencing and new technologies that can sequester organic carbon (C), mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil fertility in crop production systems that have traditionally struggled to accumulate carbon.
Project lead organisation
The land use for the project will be cropping or mixed farming in the medium to low rainfall areas of the Western Australian Wheatbelt. Three sites will be used to establish a geographic spread with the support of grower groups.
An upper limit for C storage will be determined at each site using a ‘MaxC’ treatment which loads the soil with off-paddock sourced organic matter. This will provide a benchmark for other crop sequencing treatments such as summer cover cropping, pasture and soil amelioration treatments. Trials will also assess C stabilisation treatments with the aim of minimising losses of C from the system and look to establish a long-term crop sequence.
The project will use a farming systems approach to investigate three potential new methodologies for C sequestration and nitrous oxide mitigation using crop sequencing (including summer crops, cover crops and pastures), soil C amendments and soil amelioration. These will be trialled in small to medium size plots in fully randomised designed experiments.