Study focuses on soil health
A University of Western Australia study based in Wagin could lead to improved pasture productions and soil health for South West farmers.
A study published by scientists from UWA jointly with farmers is one of the first to address the role of temperate perennial grass pastures in contributing to soil organic carbon in south-western Australia.
Professor Lynette Abbott said temperate perennial grass pastures are currently an uncommon choice in this region but have the potential for future development.
“This farming system is unusual and novel for the region, and land managers Caroline and Rob Rex are acknowledged as early adopters and innovators,” Prof Abbott said.
“They are engaged in a constant process of experimentation and adaptive management to trial practices that will improve perennial pasture production and soil health.”
She said although officially credited carbon farming projects have had limited adoption in Australia, there are likely to be many innovative farmers engaged in farming practices that actively sequester carbon, not captured by national carbon accounting frameworks.
“For individual farmers, the co-benefits of carbon farming such as improved soil health and improved pasture production are likely to be more important drivers of new practices than financial compensation for carbon credits,” Prof Abbott said.
“For information on soil organic carbon to be used by farmers, it must be salient to farming goals which are unlikely to centre on carbon, but rather on the farming system, soil health, or co-benefits of soil carbon.”
Land manager Rob and Caroline Rex.