STEVE Whitsed's enthusiasm for creating carbon in his pastures is obvious as he details the process.
With Australia's system of carbon credits now operating, he says as he regenerates the pastures on his organic dairy farm, he also has the capacity to build a folio of carbon credits that can be sold on the open market to companies looking to offset their emissions.
Mr Whitsed farms at Corryong in the upper reaches of the Murray River in Victoria.
He is the third generation of his family to farm the land he now works. His parents John and Merrilyn Whitsed are still actively involved.
John and Merrilyn moved to certified organic dairy farming in 1998, when they realised their high-input, high-cost farming practices were not going to be sustainable for the future generations they planned on passing their farm to.
Mr Whitsed said, "like many farmers we've had our challenges. We've stayed the course during the highs and lows and always aimed for continuous improvement.
"We were invited to join the Organic Dairy Farmers Co-op in 2004 after closing down our micro processing plant."
Fast forward 15 years and the Whitseds' organic farming practices have grown to include regenerating their soils with a new system for building soil carbon.
Today his son Steve and grandson Keenan run Global Soil Regeneration, a contracting firm that uses the Soilkee Renovator system to help farmers improve the health and quality of their soils in the Albury-Wodonga area.
The Soilkee Renovator was invented in West Gippsland, Victoria. It tills the land, spreads a thin layer of soil across the top and seeds it at the same time.
Mr Whitsed says this invigorates the soil, boosting nitrogen levels. He puts down either a mixed summer or winter pasture with the renovator, mixed species pastures that don't resemble permanent pastures of yesteryear.
"Building soil carbon increases topsoil, improves water-holding capacity, increases worms, soil biology and reduces the need for fertilisers, it's better for the environment and saves farmers money," he said.
The Whitseds will be demonstrating the Soilkee Renovator at the 9th National Carbon Farming Conference next week in Albury, NSW.
- The National Carbon Farming Conference and Expo starts on Monday and continues until Thursday. On Tuesday the annual awards ceremony will be celebrated. Country music star Tanya Kernaghan will perform, as will environmental scientist Khory Hancock, also know as The Environmental Cowboy. For bookings phone 0429 821 425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This story first appeared on The Land
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