Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services*.
Through careful observation, we manage each pasture dependent on its needs, utilising the following techniques:
The first step to the land restoration process involves analysing the microbial activity in the soils, through a combination of chemical, physical and biological testing. This then allows our custodians to isolate key requirements and develop pasture plans that will introduce species to mobilise nutrients and re-boot the natural cycle.
Biodiverse pastures offer greater nutritional value through increased mineral, protein and phosphorous levels which can reduce the need for supplements and enhance animal performance.
The practice of soil carbon sequestration is often conceptualised and discussed in terms of storing carbon – but really the idea is to change the flow so that the carbon entering the soil is greater than the carbon leaving it. Soil organic carbon formation starts with the process of photosynthesis, which harnesses the sun’s energy to make carbohydrates by combining hydrogen atoms (acquired from water molecules) with carbon atoms (from carbon dioxide). These carbohydrates are used by the plant for energy, building plant biomass, and are exuded into the soil via plant roots to feed soil organisms. When these plants eventually die, soil animals and microorganisms decompose and transform the plant material (above and below ground roots and shoots), and in doing so release carbon-rich compounds into the soil.
This productivity can be increased, for example, by maintaining greater ground cover, altering grazing practices, and introducing legumes and deep-rooted perennials. If soil organic carbon becomes chemically bonded to soil mineral surfaces (i.e. clay) or is encapsulated within soil aggregates it can remain in the soil for decades or even centuries, as it is protected from microbial decomposition. A sustained increase of plant inputs to the soil, particularly under favourable soil conditions that promote long-term carbon storage (e.g. soils with a high clay content), will generate an increase in soil carbon stocks over time.
The effectiveness of Packhorse’s regenerative agriculture approach will be measured by Carbon Link Ltd (an independent provider consisting of a team of scientists, engineers, farmers and business people) through testing the levels of soil organic carbon (SOC).
Packhorse will then work with the Emissions Reduction Fund to deliver and develop the changes required to increase the SOC levels in the soil.
After five years, Carbon Link Ltd will retest the SOC levels and then the Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) will be issued.
An ACCU represents 1 tonne of CO2 and can be held or sold on the open market.
Carbon sequestration will continue to be measured over 25 years.
A simple explanation of carbon sequestration in soil through regenerative agricultural methods and animal impact