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Agriculture's big role in sucking up our carbon

One of the country’s foremost experts on genetics, plant biology and now studying soils, Professor Justin Borevitz from the ANU’s School of Biology, says Australia can take a leading international role in sequestering carbon, and farmers can play a big part. In the latest interview in the Soils For Life video series, Professor Borevitz says Australia can “ first - stop digging. However we suck almost as much carbon out of the air as we have dug up to clean up our mess. It’s in the order of giga tonnes. We can smash it, no problem”. “If we were to invest and integrate our agro-ecological systems ....

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Climate change: Farmers have the answer

Australia’s National Soil Advocate, former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery, has called on the major political parties to cut through the climate change debate and recognise that farmers have much of the answer to sequestering carbon. In a proposal submitted to the Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Agriculture and Water Resources, Environment and Climate Change, General Jeffery quotes numerous scientific studies that show that healthy soils have the capacity to absorb sufficient CO2 to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement target. He has called on “the next Australian government to commit to prioritising the promotion and resourcing of a rapid transition to regenerative farming practices ....

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ALP support for school gardens welcome

Australia’s Advocate for Soil Health and Chair of Soils For Life, former Governor General Major General Michael Jeffery has welcomed the ALP’s announcement that it would provide $6 million in funding to support the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. “SFL has been a strong supporter of Stephanie’s Program, which encourages schools to establish a kitchen garden to teach our young people how to build healthy soils, how to grow healthy food, and how to prepare it. We feature Stephanie’s work at a Melbourne school on our website, at Stephanie Alexander “, General Jeffery said. “Her goals to reduce the level of obesity and ....

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How Bryan Ward got through the drought: Soils For Life field day

Not far from Albury, NSW, Bryan Ward has been quietly ignoring the drought and sustaining a highly profitable operation on less than 160 hectares. Bryan fattens premium quality pasture fed Angus steers for the JBS Swift assurance program. His meat is sold primarily to the USA and quality restaurants in Australia. Soils For Life will hold a special Field Day at Bryan’s farm, “Illawong”, on Wednesday, May 8th, and the media is invited to attend. The day will include a paddock tour and presentations from Bryan Ward, David Marsh, leading regenerative farmer and grazier from “Allendale”, and Assoc. Prof Richard Thackway with an ....

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Beetles rule

According to one of Australia’s foremost experts on dung beetles, these tiny animals are the secret to carbon capture and clean water. In the latest in the Soils For Life video series, John Feehan OAM describes the crucial role that dung beetles play in facilitating water penetration, introducing carbon, and removing nutrients and chemicals from our waterways and oceans. “Every single day, our 28 million cattle drop half a million tonnes of dung a day over this tired burnt out continent. And if there’s ever a continent on this planet that needed every gram of this valuable material being put underground and put to good use, ....

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20 landholders, one 50 km creek, and a unique regenerative success story

The latest case study from Soils For Life traces a remarkable collaboration amongst farmers to regenerate a whole catchment on the NSW Southern Tablelands, and over 20 farms which depend on it. The Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project is unique, long term and broad. With the guidance and co-ordination of The Mulloon Institute, 20 landholders are working collaboratively to repair and rehydrate the creeks, gullies and agricultural landscapes of the catchment. It has also presented an opportunity for those land managers to develop a baseline understanding of the catchment’s condition as a whole. The goal has been to reverse the ....