We need livestock to create one of the few viable solutions available to mitigate climate change. Good agricultural practices can move carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil.
There are seven farms which have negative net carbon emissions for the duration of this study. That is amazing! It completely changes the narrative of the negative impact of dairy farming.
Rebecca Burgess, founder of the Fibershed project says that, “our soils have a carbon debt; the atmosphere is gushing with carbon. The carbon over our heads is literally in the wrong place” and this couldn’t be truer.
Keeping the soil covered is important for soil conservation. The abundance and diversity of food for soil organisms is what determines a soil’s natural productivity.
Graham’s keynote presentation, Managing N and C to maximise farm performance, truly resonated with the audience. Many of the farmers in attendance are already in transition towards sustainable farming while others are not quite there yet.
The ultimate goal is a healthy soil, with a fully functioning soil food web. One of the important steps in achieving this is ensuring the correct diet for the microbes which make up the full food web.
I would hope that by now most farmers have heard that building soil carbon has huge advantages. Both from a productivity and an environmental perspective. How do you go about building soil carbon?
Carbon is one of the indicators that can be used to test for soil health. Soils with higher soil carbon are usually indicative of healthy soil. Those with low carbon indicate the opposite. Watch this simple demonstration showing how to test for carbon in soil.
Soil carbon helps with moisture retention and can get you through dry periods. Farm management practices should be wired towards sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere!