Carbon sequestration: the answer is under our feet

Australia’s National Soils Advocate and Chair of Soils For Life, Major General Michael Jeffery, has urged extreme caution in reaction to calls to dramatically reduce our cattle, sheep and pig herds in an effort to cut global carbon emissions.

“The suggestion from Oxford University that millions of animals would have to be culled from Australian farms in order to meet agriculture’s share of the 26% to 28% cut to carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 ignores the tremendous potential of healthy soils to absorb carbon”, General Jeffery said.

“The science and our research at Soils For Life shows that well managed, productive and resilient paddocks, with sufficient time for resting, can increase the carbon levels in our soils”.

“Our case study farmers can demonstrate that their cell grazing techniques, including the use of perennial, rested pasture, can reduce methane emissions and sequester more carbon into the soil”.

“Carbon is the main building block for all life, including in grass, cattle and soils. Flowing carbon is also responsible for keeping life above and below ground functioning, because it carries the energy all life needs”. 

“There is huge potential for farmers who adopt regenerative practices by restoring and sequestering carbon in their soils to achieve substantial tradeable soil carbon credits generated from the drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide”.

“To this end, I have urged the Government to direct the development of a cheap, quick and accurate broadacre soils carbon measuring system, which would establish a permanent record of the capacity of our farms to sequester carbon through good management of their soils”.

“Reducing our livestock numbers because they emit methane would have severe economic implications for Australian agriculture and the industries that depend on it, and for no good reason”.

“The suggestion totally ignores the fact that the answer to sequestering carbon lies right under our feet”, General Jeffery said.


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