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Eminent Scientist Praises NZ Pastoral Carbon Farmers

Eminent Scientist Praises NZ Pastoral Carbon Farmers

The soil management and measuring practices of New Zealand’s pastoral carbon farmers have impressed the eminent soil scientist Professor Rattan Lal, Distinguished Professor, School of Environment & Natural Resources, Ohio State University. During informal discussions last month at the Agriculture and Environment Research Symposium in Sydney he commented that the 6% increase in total soil carbon achieved by some farmers was well ahead of anybody else in the world.

The Symposium, jointly hosted by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and the United States Studies Centre, brought together world experts to discuss the development and establishment of international research and policy agreements on Soil Security.

Peter Floyd, managing director of eCOGENT and the only Kiwi at the event, says that soil carbon was the number one issue of concern to the scientists present.

“The links between food production, climate change, greenhouse gases, soil degradation and soil carbon are now better understood,” says Floyd.

“Professor Lal was adamant that using farm management practices that increase soil carbon levels is the key to achieving soil security and addressing the challenges of food sufficiency and climate change.”

Symposium speakers emphasised that the world’s soil is the largest terrestrial store of carbon and water. The true cost of soil degradation is being given little attention by governments and policy makers, and this vital store of wealth is being used up by unsustainable management practices.

“The work we have done here shows that pastoral farmers can indeed grow their soils, reduce their carbon footprint and become carbon positive,” says Floyd.

“These are exciting developments, and an increasing number of eCOGENT farmers are benchmarking their soils and capitalising on the many opportunities to sequester soil carbon and secure the future profitability of their farms.”


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