Australia’s first soil carbon trading pilot
Are you interested in getting paid to make changes to some of your land management practices to store soil carbon on your farm?
Competitive bidding between farmers to have their soil carbon sequestration activities funded will be integral to the first trial of a government-sponsored soil carbon trading scheme in Australia.
You can apply to take part in Australia’s first government-sponsored soil carbon trading scheme, to be trialled in the Lachlan Valley.
I was pleased to recently announce the scheme, which will be piloted in the Canowindra, Cudal and Manildra areas for up to five years.
This is a first that Governments throughout Australia are expected to watch closely, as it could influence a national scheme for sequestering carbon in soil.
It is an exciting project which aims to find the best way to pay farmers to store carbon in their soil, while still achieving profitable and sustainable agricultural production.
Around 300 farmers in the trial area are eligible to apply to participate in the pilot.
The pilot will provide a better understanding of the potential of soils to sequester carbon, how a market-based scheme can tap into this potential and the best ways to get farmers to participate.
Successful applicants can enter into contracts with Lachlan CMA to receive financial assistance over the period of the trial.
These contracts can be based on verified increases in soil carbon, the adoption of standardised management techniques that increase soil carbon, or a combination of both.
Soil samples will be sent to NSW DPI laboratories at Wollongbar where LECO technology will be used to test carbon levels.
The trial will also contrast different farming techniques such as conventional cropping, minimal till cropping and various aspects of livestock production.
Information sessions for interested farmers will be held in July at Canowindra, Manildra and Cudal.
Further information is available from the Lachlan CMA by calling 1800 885 747, or visiting www.lachlan.cma.nsw.gov.au
Congratulations to our four farmers who have been chosen as finalists for this year’s NSW Farmer of the Year Award.
Norm Smith from Wellington is a fourth generation Merino producer and was recently announced as one of the finalists.
Also competing for the title are John and Liz Manchee from Narrabri, who run a stud and commercial cattle operation.
Meanwhile the finalists for the 2011 Young Farmer of the Year also include some innovative, passionate and enthusiastic producers.
Marc Greening from Book Book is one of the young finalists. He helps run and market his family’s beef breeding business near Wagga Wagga.
Alan McCormack from Gunning also impressed the judges by his work running a large fine and superfine Merino stud.
Natural disaster relief
Primary producers and small business owners affected by extreme weather conditions in the Mid-North Coast, North Coast and Hunter regions can now apply for NSW Natural Disaster Relief Assistance.
Heavy rain last month caused widespread damage in the Bellingen, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glenn Innes-Severn, Gloucester, Kempsey, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter council areas.
Those eligible can apply for long term loans up to $130,000.
For more information or to apply for assistance please call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au