Sustainable Carbon Cropping Practices

Project Updates

Our researchers can be called upon by other CSU research centres for their input into integrated projects.
One such project is looking at how farmers manage cropping stubble with the aim of making practices both
profitable and sustainable.

VaughanHigginsAssociate Professor Vaughan Higgins, a social scientist, has been brought in to evaluate a project run by the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.  The project Enabling landholders to adopt profitable and sustainable carbon cropping practices is a three year project (2012-2015) funded by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“What the broader project is seeking to do is conduct field trials on a select number of farms across NSW and Victoria to test several stubble management scenarios to see which work best at sequestering carbon,” says A/Prof Higgins.

His role was to conduct interviews with six grower groups and 11 growers prior to the trials taking place which he did, with Graham Centre colleagues, last year in Holbrook, Condobolin, Geelong, Temora, Jerilderie and Wagga. The main purpose of the interviews was to get some baseline data on landholders’ stubble management practices and what their views were towards the relationship between stubble management and carbon sequestration.

The three main findings so far are:

  •  Despite widespread interest in,and the use of, stubble retention,burning remains an important management tool for many landholders
  • Burning remains an important option for landholders due to a range of challenges associated with stubble retention
  • The use of stubble retention to sequester carbon is a low priority for landholders

The next round of interviews will be done next year, after the trials have been conducted.

 

About ilwscsu
The Institute for Land, Water and Society is one of four Centres of Research Excellence within Charles Sturt University, Australia. Its principal focus is on integrated research which contributes to improved social and environmental sustainability in rural and regional areas.

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