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Increasing soil organic carbon of agricultural land

Summary

Increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) can improve soil health and can help to mitigate climate change.

Although there is a limit on the amount of organic carbon that can be stored in soils, the large losses in the past means that many Australian agricultural soils have the potential for large increases.

SOC levels are influenced by management practices. Many management practices that are effective in increasing SOC are also effective in improving crop and pasture yields.

This Primefact covers the following topics:

  • What is soil organic carbon?
  • Carbon cycle and soil carbon pools
  • Importance of soil organic carbon in agriculture
  • How much carbon can be stored in soils?
  • Factors affecting soil carbon level
  • Management practices that increase soil organic carbon
  • Some results from the Wagga Wagga long-term trial
  • Farming systems to increase soil organic carbon
  • Role of pasture in farming systems - current research project
  • Measuring soil carbon



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Primefact 735 First Edition

Published: Feb 2008