A new practical guide on assessing soil carbon promises to answer British farmers’ key questions at a time when many are looking to understand their soil health. It was produced by Duchy College, Plymouth University, Rothamsted Research and the Farm Carbon Toolkit.
The guide lists and answers key questions for robust on-farm monitoring of soil carbon and associated indicators of soil health. This is particularly significant given the recent announcement of the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme, which is reliant on a consistent approach to soil sampling.
“In the Soil Carbon Project we were trying to understand the relationship between farm management practices and levels of soil organic matter, as well as issues around how we monitor soil carbon,” says Stephen Roderick, project management at Duchy College.
Carbon sequestration plays a key part in climate change mitigation, but soil carbon’s importance goes beyond sequestering as much as possible, says Andy Neal, research scientist at Rothamsted. “What’s much more important are the co-benefits of getting organic matter into soil – organic matter affects how much water and nutrients the soil can store, and can limit the carbon footprint,” he says.
Source: The Farming Forum