Expert outlines how to cash in on carbon

FARMERS heard at a forum at Campbell Town this week about improving productivity and profitability by putting carbon into soil.

Internationally acclaimed educator Dr Terry McCosker, who is an advocate for putting carbon into the soil, told the forum at The Grange farmers can now earn an income from carbon credits.

“It is estimated that at least 50 per cent of the carbon in the Earth’s soils has been released into the atmosphere over the past centuries,” he said.
“It’s really important because it’s the basis of the future of humanity.
“Soil carbon is topical because it’s about food security and in the bigger picture about water security.”

He has worked in research, extension and property management in both government and private sectors for almost 55 years.

Dr McCosker founded Carbon Link in 2007 with the vision of helping farmers to get paid for improving their soil.
“There are more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are humans on the planet.
“Bringing that carbon back home through regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities to address human and climate health, along with the financial well-being of farmers.
“The demand for carbon credits worldwide is growing as we move into a new era of valuing natural resource capital.”

The net value of a tonne of CO2 was $17 a tonne in March now it’s $30 a tonne.
“There is demand for carbon credits in Australia because of lack of supply,” he said.
“The farmer puts organic carbon into the soil, and sells the CO2 credits.
“Big companies are looking for carbon credits, they are not waiting for the Government on the issue. Business is moving on it, which causes the demand.”

Dr McCosker said Tasmania was ideally placed.
“To sequest carbon would want rainfall above 500mm, some clay in the soil. Deeper the soil the better.”

This presents opportunities for all farmers (cropping, grazing, large or small scale) to generate a new income stream by farming carbon that will diversify and stabilise on farm income.

Farmers can now earn an income from carbon credits by registering a project with the government’s Emission Reduction Fund.

The first step towards registering a soil carbon project is to request a free insights report, which Carbon Link can help with.

More information visit: about-soil-carbon/

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