Measuring Soil Carbon Changes in Real-time a Step Closer with $3.2M Government Grant

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Farmers are a step closer to accessing low-cost soil carbon data thanks to a $3.2 million Commonwealth Government grant.


Stage 1 of the research study into soil carbon measurement saw Agrimix and QUT soil scientists collaborating to establish a network flux towers across Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

The towers have been remotely measuring carbon and water flows into and out of plants and soil at a rate of twenty times per second, every day of the year.

This data has enabled the natural processes driving plant growth and carbon sequestration to be understood in greater detail. Combined with internationally recognised soil carbon models, it has created a robust platform designed to inform farmers about their land management in real time, and potentially earn carbon credits, for a fraction of the cost of current carbon measurement methods.

Stage 2 of the project will soon be underway, thanks to the Commonwealth Government’s $3.2M investment.

“With this funding, an additional fleet of portable CO2 flux towers and IoT (Internet of Things) sensors will capture the diversity of soils, climates and management strategies. They will be deployed for three to six months to provide in-fill data for soil carbon model calibration, validation, and verification.”, says QUT soil scientist Professor Grace.

What’s Next for the project?

Professor Grace says, “We are targeting $3 per hectare a year to provide this vital information using integration of CO2 measurement, critical biomass remote sensing, and soil carbon models.

By the end of the project, the integration of the tools and platform will be developed and demonstrated on multiple farms and be ready to scale up for industry rollout in Australia and abroad.”


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