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Increasing the quantity of carbon stored in agricultural soils has the potential to offset emissions of GHGs to the atmosphere.
However, realising this potential is technically challenging when soil carbon stocks are already high as they are in New Zealand, potential changes in soil carbon are small and spatial variability is high.
The current NZAGRC programme has two components:
- Testing specific management practices that may increase the long term soil carbon store in field situations, and identifying factors that influence the stability of current or newly added soil carbon
- Developing and using models to predict how a range of management practices may influence long and short term soil carbon storage
We have also supported international work to map on farm soil carbon.
Professor Frank Kelliher, AgResearch
Dr David Whitehead, Landcare Research