Elephants in the room and have a happy, happy… bubbly… time

December 20, 2012 Louisa Kiely

Back on the job! Sorry for absence over the last few weeks although may have caught up with many of you on the old ‘social media’ – call it ‘post conference’ exhaustion! Having cleared the first few piles of material however, the sheer weight and interest of what is going on pulls me back again to spread the word.

Announcing the Website Revolution!

Many moons ago, we dreamed up a megasite – in fact a ‘webtropolis’ and it is now live! We’ll have much more general information for you, as well as many ways of moving forward with your carbon farming and even energy efficiency goals and aspirations. We’ll have places where you can let us know what you are thinking, and a place for innovations as well. We’ll be working hard over the break to develop it further!

New Training Announced

Yes, we are entering the ‘digital age’ like never before! We’ve figured out the technology and we will be holding our very first Webinars in early February – Check back for dates as I’ll be beavering away getting the materials ready.

Soil Carbon… on and on and on

Meanwhile, in the face of continued ‘discussion’ between science and practice on what can be done in soils, Michael has uncovered the ‘theory of the outliers’ and managed to have a chat to Dr Jeff Baldock about these ‘unexplained’ results. We’ve identified with Dr Jeff Baldock of CSIRO that our carbon cockies and indeed the 19 wonderful farmers in the Major General Jeffries program and others could well be the ‘outliers’. That is those who have shown that they CAN do more, store more and keep more than is commonly understood.

We hope to put a research project application in around these areas, using the ‘Good Doctor Baldock’ and our fabulous Carbon Farmers. Stay tuned!

Elephants in the room

1. Is the CFI an ‘intensive industry’ only space? 

As well known advocates of soil carbon and broadacre farming in the ‘carbon farming’ space, we pose the question: Is the CFI destined to be for Councils, those who burn savannah and intensive industry only? While I am very grateful for the ‘Environmental Plantings’ Meth – and this is the first one which can be undertaken by a broadacre farmer – Where is soil carbon and nitrous oxide reduction from altered fertiliser use?

Nowhere on the Government site can you see what is happening within the bowels of the ‘soil carbon working group’ or the nitrous oxide side – I have suggested more transparency to the Department, so hopefully it’s not a sin to be able to be informed on such things.

2. The mystery of the ‘meth’. 

While there are many and various ‘Grant Applications’ open, of which we are part of a few (stay tuned), and which will result in many great training opportunities, we remain prisoners of the difficulty of ‘methodology interpretation’. Have a look at an approved one on the Government site.

The problem is, they are highly technical, and difficult to read (Greek, we say!). Without a ‘Plain English’ version of each, how is a well informed landholder going to be able to decide which one is best for them? No use educating everyone on a process that once it gets to the point of project implementation falters on this difficulty? Let me work on that one!

Conference Wrap-up

Well, did we raise the profile of what farmers can do in this space? Did we deliver it in Plain English, and did we show the step by step guide? Yes we did. Is it still complicated, and long winded and New?Yes it is.

This is a ‘journey’ and a process new to all. Its complex because you are selling information – But consider this – This is the ONLY thing you can sell, where you get to keep the product – Yes, you will keep the carbon you store, for instance, and the benefits of reductions in nitrous oxide! (Thanks to Peter Richardson of Object Consulting for pointing this out). Conference slides are also available at the Conference program page, and included here for your reference:

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Alistair Handley Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Alistair Handley (2344 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Angus Maurice Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Angus Maurice (13965 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Brian Murphy Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Brian Murphy (4593 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Darryl Paulhus Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Darryl Paulhus (3113 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Freddy Sharpe Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Freddy Sharpe (831 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Jennifer Lauber Patterson Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Jennifer Lauber Patterson (1439 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Kellie Waters Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Kellie Waters (1946 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Mary-Anne Wilson Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Mary-Anne Wilson (345 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Mobile Pyrolysis Plant Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Mobile Pyrolysis Plant (6951 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Peter McGee Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Peter McGee (690 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Peter Robertson Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Peter Robertson (633 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Romily Webster Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Romily Webster (1790 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Shane Joyce Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Shane Joyce (15013 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Tony O'Hara Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Tony O’Hara (494 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Virginia Young Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Virginia Young (1918 KB)

Carbon Farming Conference 2012 - Wayne Sharpe Carbon Farming Conference 2012 – Wayne Sharpe (1387 KB)

We had a terrific line up of Carbon Cockies and Shane and Shan Joyce were thrilled to take out the top honours.

I’d now like to, of course do the Merry Christmas thing – and wish you a calm, peaceful, time – full of as much sleep, grog, sand and water – or whatever it is you need to rest awhile and recharge the batteries! We’ll be back early next year – and we are calling 2013 – THE YEAR OF THE SOIL CARBON METHODOLOGY.

Yours, as ever  – humble carbon servant. I can be reached on 02 6374 0329, or email louisa@carbonfarmersofaustralia.com.au.

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