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The quest for carbon credits with soils


Image by Austin Ban via Unsplash

It seemed like we weren't making anymore soil... until Niels Olsen invented the SoilKee Renovator! Mr Olsen used this to build more soil on his property in Gippsland, Victoria. He was given the title of 2019 Carbon Farmer of the Year and vastly improved the health of his land. He also made history as the first Australian farmer to earn carbon credits through the federal government's Emissions Reduction Fund in March.


Image by Niels Olsen

The Olsens used the SoilKee to sow peas, oats, barley, rye, corn vetch, chickory, plantain, brassicas and the tillage radish. This smorgasbord can be grazed several times, but food for livestock isn't its only purpose. The mass of plant roots stores carbon, improving fertility, aeration and water-holding capacity, allowing the soil to support multiple plants.


He converted that 50 to 60 millimetres of topsoil into 200 millimetres of topsoil in the last five years.


His soils have gone from holding 3 percent of carbon to more than 10 percent, which is helping the soil retain its valuable water. The main benefit is the yield increase and being able to grow fodder in the tougher climates.


Matthew Werneke, managing director of carbon development company, who facilitated his carbon credit payments says, "Most farmers when they hear carbon credits think about trees, whereas what we're doing with soils is we're not taking land out of production, we're actually enhancing the productivity of the land and getting a level of carbon credits creation similar to what you would get with trees."


They are getting many orders of the SoilKee both domestically and internationally, and working towards speeding up their production of the machines.


Read the full article here:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-08/dollars-from-dirt-the-farmer-making-money-from-healthy-soil/11486346

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