Carbon Cocky: The Secret Ingredient for Big Soil Carbon

September 16, 2012 Louisa Kiely

When you read of farmers increasing the carbon levels in their soils by prodigious amounts you can be forgiven for being sceptical. The conventional view says it can’t be done. But it is done – Carbon Cocky Col Seis has seen soil carbon levels increase 200% in ten years. Carbon Cocky Martin Royds has seen his soil carbon levels from less than 3% to as high as 7% in 5 years. These are big numbers. But they are not out of place in the Soils For Life Report: Innovations for Regenerative Landscape Management: Case studies of regenerative land management in practice 
where each case study has a story of increased production or carrying capacity that is typical of major shifts in soil carbon levels. 

There is historical evidence that big numbers are possible. “Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki collected 41 soil samples around south eastern Australia between 1839 and 1843, average soil organic matter in the top ten most productive farm samples was 20%, with levels of organic matter up to 37.75% – equating to SOC content of 10% to nearly 20%,” says the report. Australian soils can carry large amounts of carbon when there is a Carbon Cocky managing them. 
The National Carbon Cocky of the Year Awards will be presented at this year’s Carbon Farming Conference (23-24 October, 2012).

Subscribe to our blog!

Receive updates via email when new articles are posted.

Subscribe