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Sunflowers and Soils

  • 2018 South Coast Soil Health Champion Wendy and Peter Bradshaw talks about their journey to their biological farming system. After a lot of lessons over years, they have had a success in their summer cover cropping to rejuvenate their soil. In this film they show their summer cover cropping site including sunflowers, millets and radishes which has improved soil quality and increased sheep carrying capacity.

Resilience through Perennials

  • Sam Lehmann, a third generation farmer from Cranbrook Western Australia, talks about his passion for a farming life. Working close with his parents, he has transformed unproductive country into land that is now an important and profitable part of his farming business. He shows how perennial species such as salt bush and kikuyu have positively changed the way he farms and the important role his wife and children play in keeping a balanced life and plans for the future.

Applying biochar to increase soil organic carbon

  • Biochar is a type of charcoal produced by heating organic material (plant or animal waste) to temperatures greater than 250°C in a low oxygen environment (this process is known as pyrolysis). From this process, a carbon-rich, stable-structured and inert carbon product is generated.

    Biochar can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere as pyrolysis traps the carbon in the biochar, which otherwise would have been released through decomposition or burning of plant material.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Claying as a method of increasing soil carbon content

  • Spreading clay on light, sandy soil helps to increase moisture, retain nutrients and overcome water repellence.

    Adding clay to non-wetting sands also increases soil organic carbon storage.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Green and brown manuring as part of carbon farming

  • Green and brown manuring are practices where plant material is returned to the soil to improve soil fertility, conserve soil water, reduce weed and disease burdens and increase soil organic matter.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils

  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the primary greenhouse gases causing climate change.

    These emissions can be lowered by using inhibitors, splitting nitrogen applications and using legume nitrogen and minimum tillage. Inhibitors slow the conversion of ammonium to nitrate and reduce the chances for nitrogen loss.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)

Soil amelioration through the application of lime

  • Healthy soils are needed for optimum soil organic carbon. Acid soils cause significant losses in production and biomass, which restricts the ability to sequester carbon.

    Applying agricultural lime may correct soil acidity.

  • (Download this Fact Sheet)