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Soil

Soil underpins the entire farm system. Without stable soils, most food production becomes impossible; and due to increasing demand for food, agricultural land is being more intensly cultivated and farmed, resulting in unprecedented levels of soil degradation. A healthy well-managed soil will support productive and healthy crops and pasture, which in turn supports a profitable and resilient farming system. A soil that accumulates organic matter will sequester carbon, increase fertility and increase productivity - a win, win, win situation.

Click on the links below to explore where emissions originate in soil and how to minimise them.

To download the information below as a PDF, click here.

Subsections

Understanding scale and processes affecting greenhouse gas emissions from different soils and different soil practices is important to get a sense of the importance of soil.
The carbon cycle and where our management fits in.
Soils emit greenhouse gases as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4)
The movement of nitrogen in the soil gives rise to nitrous oxide emissions. It has been estimated that globally, agriculture accounts for between 2-4 million tonnes of nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide arises from soils primarily via the two biological pathways of nitrification and denitrification, as displayed below.
See how soil fits into the methane profile of agricultural emissions
Carbon sequestration - the science
Improving soils by building soil organic matter is a win, win situation for everyone
All farms have biomass of some sort that is already sequestering carbon. By managing these assets well and increasing further the quality and quantity of permanent biomass the potential to sequester carbon and create wildlife habitat increases.