What does it mean to be carbon neutral?

Australia’scattle_lick.jpg red meat industry has made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. But what does that mean for producers?

To achieve this Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) have identified several pathways, but for producers, the practices may include:

How can feed additives and stockfeeds help?

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development state that methane-reducing feed additives and supplements inhibit methanogens in the rumen, and subsequently reduce enteric methane emissions. 

The amount of methane expelled by ruminants is directly related to the level of intake and the type and quality of their feed, which is significantly increased by using lower quality feeds. 

By supplementary feeding higher quality feeds including methane-reducing feed additives, producers can minimise the amount of methane produced in the digestive process. This leads to better feed efficiencies as well as the added benefit of adding fats and oils that improve the animal’s diet and increased productivity.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by feeding nitrates to beef is also one of the two approved methodologies under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) enabling producers to claim carbon credits. 

Published: February, 2019

References

Meat & Livestock Australia. 2017, November 22. Red meat industry can be carbon neutral by 2030. Read more.  

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia. 2018, November 8. Carbon farming: reducing methane emissions from cattle using feed additives. Read more

 

Activated Biochar for Plants and Soil Health

TheBiochar Plants v1.jpg benefits of using activated biochar for plants and soil health include: 

Why should I use activated biochar?

Primary producers generally use activated biochar to reduce irrigation costs and fertiliser costs, to aerate a planting media, prevent soil-disease or increase soil fertility.

Aquaculture and irrigation enterprise use activated biochar to filter water, the benefits of carbon filters in the water purification process is widely recognised.

Where do I apply activated biochar?

The most effective place to apply activated biochar for plant production is around a plants root zone.

Mix with a potting mix or soil when you are planting and inject into the seedbed when planting field crops.

As biochar is a form of stable carbon it may be broadcast over a soil mixed with fertiliser, lime and other mineral or mixed with compost and incorporated. Carbon water-filters canisters and aquarium filters may be recharged with specific types of activated biochar. 

Published: November, 2018

 

Activated Biochar in Animal Health and Production

SOFT BioChar Diagram for Animals.jpgAgriculture’s Green stockfeed range are formulated as a complete and balanced diet to suit all stages of animal production.

All of our Green feed additives and stockfeeds contain the key beneficial ingredient of activated biochar. 

What is activated biochar? 

Activated biochar is produced by heating biomass at high temperatures with no oxygen present. It is highly porous and consequently has good absorption qualities.

This means activated biochar is very good at retaining water, toxins and bacteria. These qualities cause activated biochar to slow digestion and increase gastrointestinal tract surface area, allowing for improved FCR and production.

It also allows toxins and bacteria to be absorbed by the activated biochar and not by the animal’s digestive system, leading to improved health and decreased mortalities. 

A number of other advantages have been noted from using activated biochar in animal feed, including:

Published: October, 2018

 

 

 

 Australian Biological and Farming Conference 2018 

SOFTbfclogo2018.jpg Agriculture and Mara Seeds are proud to be part of the Australian Biological and Farming Conference, 2018, held on 9-11th November at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus. 

Mara Seeds and SOFT Agriculture are also pleased to be featured as one of the farm tours, welcoming delegates on Friday 9th November for a tour and lunch at Mallanganee. 

SOFT Agriculture's parent company Mara Seeds, is a large living experiment in biological farming producing soybean, maize, food-grade hemp and pasture seeds.  

According to organisers SoilCare, biological farming is now firmly on the agenda for a growing number of Australian farmers.

This year the conference welcomes noted international speakers along with Australian experts addressing the conference theme ‘Science Meets Nature’. Importantly the speakers will also include farmers who will present case studies from their own successful implementation of biological farming practices.”

To register for the conference please visit https://www.australianbiologicalfarmingconference.org/ 

Published: September, 2018

 

Did you know SOFT Agriculture is FeedSafe® Accredited? 

ASNew_FeedSafe_logo_Blue on White.jpg a FeedSafe® accredited stockfeed manufacturer SOFT Agriculture Pty Ltd meets a commitment to uphold minimum standards in relation to production, storage and distribution of the stockfeeds we produce.

FeedSafe® is the quality assurance accreditation program of the Stock Feed Manufacturer's Council of Australia.

To obtain FeedSafe® accreditation, feed manufacturers are required to undergo annual site audits that are conducted by independent third party food safety auditors.

FeedSafe® is a program aimed at increasing the commitment of the Australian stock feed industry to quality assurance and risk mitigation in the manufacture and use of animal feeds.

Published: June, 2018

 

Australia and New Zealand Biochar Conference 2018

download.pngStuart Larsson, Managing Director of SOFT Agriculture and Mara Seeds, has been invited to present at this year's Australia and New Zealand Biochar Conference (ANZBC18). 

Stuart will be presenting on the topic of "Research has led to a modern Biochar/Reactor Activation plant, designed for cost-effective use in Animal Production and Soils". 

ANZBC18 will be held on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 August 2018 at Southern Cross University Gold Coast Campus, Bilinga, Qld, Australia.

The theme for this year's conference is "Building Viable Biochar Industries" across the topics of Agriculture, Bioenergy, Building, Minerals & Metals, Processing, Waste Management, Water Filtration and Environmental Management.

This event is designed for Growers, Farmers, Foresters, Policy Makers, Biochar Producers, Industry Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Students and interested citizens will also benefit from this event.

For more information including a full programme and tickets to the event please visit https://anzbc.org.au/ 

Published: May, 2018

 

You can't grow if you don't know - Agronomic Products and Services 

news.jpg

FERTILISER is a key input for many farmers involved in mixed agriculture, grazing and horticulture, with a strong emphasis placed on production and profitability. However, poor quality fertilisers, excessive use and inappropriate application can damage soil and lead to nutrient pollution of land, water and air.

Primary producers are commonly sold mineral fertilisers and organic matter blends that contain acidified minerals or waste-products. Some of these fertilisers and organic products can contain highly soluble nutrients that can dissolve soil carbon and leach into the soil water table or contain heavy metals which can accumulate in the soil body.

Recycled organics are purchased for the organic carbon content but can also contain volatile nitrates and toxic heavy metals. The application of these fertilisers with recycled organic matter or other ameliorates such as limestone, gypsum or dolomite has been a common practice to ‘undo the damage’ as soluble fertilisers are known to contribute to soil degradation by acidifying a soil and reduce levels of soil carbon.

Northern NSW mixed farming company Mara Seeds has lived through this ‘production treadmill’ which proved to be unsustainable and counterproductive.

For the past 25 years, this company has been an industry leader because of their incorporation of Sustainable and Organic Farm Management Techniques.   Improving the health of your soil starts with knowing where you are today.

SOFT Agriculture (Sustainable Organic Farming Techniques) provides agronomic support services for farmers to get an independent view of which direction their soils are going.

These services include soil, water, plant and animal tissue testing and analysis, farm mapping and fertiliser recommendations.

SOFT Agriculture uses a three-step testing process:

  1. Collect representative samples
  2. Analyse the sample at our partner Accredited Testing Laboratory
  3. Use the results of the soil analysis to define the nutrient requirements for optimum soil health - your Soil Management Strategy

To compliment the agronomy services, Soft Agriculture also supplies sustainable fertiliser blends which can contain a mix of controlled release minerals, organic compost and biochar or your choice of compatible soil ameliorates.

What is the investment?

The price of the soil sample’s analysis package is $242.00 and SOFT Agriculture are happy to offer our soil testing services, soil management strategy, farm mapping and fertiliser recommendation into this price. 

When you require a soil test or wish to discuss your soil management strategy, please call SOFT Agriculture on 02 6664 5145 or email our Agronomist Leo McLean on leomclean@softagriculture.com.au . To read more about our Agronomic Services please click here.

Published: January, 2018

 

 

Primary Producer of the Year 2017 

Stuart Larsson Kyogle Shire Award.jpgMARA Seeds and SOFT Agriculture have proudly announced that Kyogle and District Chamber of Commerce have awarded them the Primary Producer of the Year for the 2017 Business Awards.

The Primary Producer category was one of many encompassing a range of businesses operating within the Kyogle Local Government Area. 

Published: August, 2017

Image: Stuart Larsson accepting the Primary Producer of the Year award for 2017. 

 

 

 

 

CQ Univeristy Research Collaboration 

logo-cqu.jpgSOFT Agriculture has conducted and funded four years of extensive research and trials with Central Queensland University and lately in conjunction with CSIRO.

Feed additive and fertilisers at laboratory level commercial trials at centre's located over Queensland and New South Wales.

Local trials on Compost production and usage.

Plans are to continue for the next 6 years establishing data and formulas to track for carbon benefits in the future.

Published: March, 2016 

 

 

Outstanding Product of the Year, Carbon Cocky Awards 2015 

cfc2015_logo.pngSTUART Larsson and SOFT Agriculture have been awarded the winner of the "Outstanding Product of the Year" for their organic compost at the 2015 Carbon Cocky Awards. 

The Carbon Cocky awards are held as part of the National Carbon Farming and Expo, in Albury, 7-10 July 2015. 

Stuart was also a finalist in the categories "Oustanding Leadership" and "Outstanding Innovation or Invention". 

Published: July, 2015


© Copyright 2015 Mara Seeds Pty Ltd