Soil Carbon – the new cash crop?

Hawke’s Bay to host New Zealand Soil Carbon Conference

The international spotlight will be on Hawke’s Bay when the NZ Soil Carbon Conference is held in Napier in June.

Featuring international experts, renowned scientists and industry leaders, the three day conference will focus on the reality of climate change, biological farming and the huge global opportunity the soil carbon market presents for New Zealand. This opportunity is a view supported by Peter Fusaro, Chairman of Global Change Associates, consultant to US Congress and bestselling author of What Went Wrong at Enron.

“Conservatively, the global carbon trading market is going to be worth $3 trillion. To put that into perspective, $3 trillion is roughly the size of the combined markets for oil, natural gas, electricity and coal today” said Mr Fusaro.

Organiser Nicole Masters, of Hawke’s Bay company Integrity Soils, has created the conference in order to illustrate how effective New Zealand farmers and growers can be at building soils and soil carbon.

“I find the principles of carbon farming incredibly exciting, this really is farming for the future! I would like to see farmers be rewarded for their practices as opposed to being taxed on emissions. There are many good examples around the world of farmers being rewarded credits through improving their soil management techniques” said Ms Masters.

Brent Clothier, Science Leader at the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research will MC the event, which boasts an impressive lineup of both national and international speakers including Louisa and Michael Kiely, co-founders of Carbon Farmers of Australia and Blair McClinton, executive manager of Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Assn (SSCA) to talk about their experiences with the voluntary carbon market.

“The SSCA has been actively promoting conservation agriculture systems to farmers in our province (the largest agricultural province in Canada) since 1987. We have been delivering province-wide extension/technology transfer programs to help drive change to low disturbance direct seeding systems (no-till) which has grown from less than 10% of farmland in 1990 to over 60% today. We have just completed a 3-year pilot carbon trading project with Environment Canada and have learned much through this process, said Mr McClinton.

The Conference will bring together farmers, scientists, politicians and business leaders to discuss the possibilities presented by carbon farming.

“The benefits of improving humus and soil biology levels in the soils are a multitude; through increases in nutrient cycling, nutrient retention, disease suppression, increases in water holding capacity, greater rooting depths and soil detoxification.

“What carbon farmers are finding overseas, is that ultimately the benefits far outweigh any monetary rewards from carbon credit schemes, and this is what really drives me,” said Nicole.

The Conference will be held in the Napier War Memorial Centre on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th June 2009. A third day on Thursday 25th June will include optional field trips for delegates and a strategy meeting for all interested parties.

“The Conference will provide a forum for the unique collaboration between farmers and scientists, to understand each other and soil carbon” said Ms Masters.

Registrations are open now either by emailing or by visiting the Conference website

4 comments on “Soil Carbon – the new cash crop?

  1. Alan Stuart on said:

    Under normal agr. practice,[livestock ,& cropping] ,what rate of carbon accumulation is possible with good bio. encouragement.? From expeience,lime has a great influence, as does natural fertility recycling, as well as corrections of basic macro-element deficiencies, in deepening soil organic matter profile.

  2. Alan Stuart on said:

    I would like to recieve all the proceedings from your conference please .I hope it went well. Judging from the bite you got from Jaqui Rowarth ,your`e being listened to with much interest. Is she a soil scientist? Dont think so.

  3. Nicole on said:

    Hi Alan,
    thanks for your comments, sorry for the delay getting back to you, the dust is still settling for me! Jaqui Rowarth is an Ag Scientist, and funnily enough she was asked to attend, and she was on the AgMARDT board that helped sponsor, so i do find her comments very left field. Its all about education, but thats difficult when people wont engage in discussions. The PPT presentations are avaiable from the conference for $25, otherwise a DVD/mP3 production are coming out in August ($125/$75). Will be a very worthwhile investment. Recieved rave reviews from all attendees and speakers, so looking forward to doing it again next year.
    Nicole Masters

  4. I have been visiting various blogs for my dissertation research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information… Regards.Thanks for the excellent contribution to the discussion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

47,243 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>