Selecting for carbon

Improving producer capacity to increase soil carbon and groundcover

The issue

Soil in the Australian rangelands has had a long history of degradation. This is limiting red meat and wool production through declining pasture growth and regeneration caused by poor water infiltration. This exacerbates wind erosion, further accentuating the impacts of drought and constraining the landscapes ability to recover.
By focusing on improving pastoralists capacity to increase soil carbon and groundcover on properties in the Western Division of NSW, this project aims to enhance pasture resilience and recovery.


The project will use remote sensing and on-ground data to estimate existing soil carbon stocks on participating properties, and identify areas of the landscape where soil carbon is most likely to be responsive to changes in land management practices.

  • Each participant will be able to prioritise zones for grazing management and identify monitoring points for ground cover and soil carbon changes over time using;
    • the map of carbon sequestration ‘zones’ for their property. This map is based on remotely sensed (satellite) and GIS data
    • practical skills gained such as identification of ‘response zones’ for potential soil carbon sequestration and recognising trigger points for the rotation of livestock (enabling strategic rests) on their properties
  • Participants provided with guidance on implementing soil monitoring

Person taking soil sample from quadrat with hand held pneumatic corer3 figures in rangeland carrying out soil and pasture assessments


fenced off section of rangelands

  • Pastoralists gain skills and resources through action learning groups to improve soil and vegetation condition through grazing management
  • Producer-led Citizen Science soil monitoring pilot established that informs decision-making and creates a pathway for producer-producer learning
  • Pastoralists aware of pathways to to profitably participate in soil carbon projects as part of the Climate Solutions Fund quantified


  • Select carbon
  • National Landcare program


Susan Orgill