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How do farmers choose the carbon farming practices?

Regenerative Agriculture Scientific Article

Article: How farmers approach soil carbon sequestration? Lessons learned from 105 carbon-farming plans

Authors: Mattila, Tuomas et al.

Publication: Soil and Tillage Research

Year: 2021

In this study, 105 Finnish farmers were trained for the basics of carbon farming and instructed to make a Carbon Farming Plan for one of their fields. The Carbon Farming Plans were evaluated by a team of experts and through soil carbon balance calculations.

In addition, potential nutrient limitations and the existing carbon stock were identified from soil tests. The assessment of the plans indicated high potential for additional soil carbon storage. The quality of most plans was good. The largest carbon storage potential was estimated for measures with large additions of nutrient-poor amendments, such as biochar and paper mill sludge, or in grazing.

The farmers favoured measures with relatively low carbon storage benefits but high potential benefits for soil structure and productivity. The magnitude of planned carbon storage over 5 years on most farms was so small that it is challenging to measure it through soil sampling. This finding supports the earlier conclusions that a combination of modelling and soil sampling is needed to verify the carbon storage.

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