Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

We’re digging the Cool Soil Initiative

There’s nothing quite like being able to see research in action.  That’s what happened when small groups of farmers took to the soil pit at a number of field days held as part of the Cool Soil Initiative.

Dr Cassandra Schefe in the soil pit at a Riverine Plains Field DayCSI farming systems group project partners, Central West Farming Systems, FarmLink and Riverine Plains, hosted the events to introduce farmers to the project which aims to investigate opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) on-farm with a focus on improving soil health.

The project is working with up to 200 farmers who manage over 700 000 hectares of land, over the next three years.

Graham Centre senior research fellow in spatial agriculture Jon Medway said the aim is to better understand how crop management practices, such as rotations and stubble management, impact on soil health and GHG emissions.

“The field days were a great opportunity to catch up with participating famers to discuss both the project plans and a wide range of soil management issues at the heart of managing soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions and farm productivity,” Mr Medway said.

“Soil pits give farmers the opportunity to see what’s going on beneath the surface of the soil and there’s no better place to understand how soil characteristics respond to and influences management practices than standing in a soil pit with our resident project soils expert and Cool Soil Initiative Project leader Dr Cassandra Schefe.”

“For farmers in the Riverine Plains area, soil pH is a key soil health and productivity concern, with subsoil acidity and the incorporation of lime being especially hot topics of discussion at the six meetings hosted by Riverine Plains.”

The ‘Cool Soil Initiative’ is a Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project with Charles Sturt University through the Graham Centre, the not-for-profit Food Sustainability Lab, and manufacturers Mars Petcare, Kellogg’s, the Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle. It’s working with farming systems groups Riverine Plains, FarmLink Research and Central West Farming Systems.

Find out more about the project on our website or contact your farming systems group to find out how you can be involved.


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