A cross-centre project with the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Project leader Prof Deirdre Lemerle (Graham Centre), Dr Iain Hume (NSW DPI), Ms Toni Nugent (Graham Centre), Ms Deb Slinger (NSW DPI), and Associate Professor Vaughan Higgins (ILWS)
This project, which was managed by the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, broadly involves conducting field trials on a select number of farms across NSW and Victoria (Holbrook, Condobolin, Geelong, Temora, Jerilderie and Wagga) to test stubble management practices to see which work best at sequestering carbon. Project Details https://www.csu.edu.au/research/grahamcentre/research/stubble-management.htm
A/Prof Higgins, a social scientist, undertook the social science component of the project. He conducted pre-trial interviews with six growers groups and 11 growers with the main purpose of obtaining baseline data on landholders' stubble management practices, and their views on the relationship between stubble management and carbon sequestration.
Findings from initial interviews and focus groups were:
Further interviews were conducted in 2015, after the trials were completed. A final report has been provided to the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture.
Higgins, V., Love, C., Dunn, T. and Lemerle, D. (2015) Why do farmers partially adopt conservation farming practices: A sociological study of stubble retention in NSW and Victoria, Proceedings of the 17th Australian Agronomy Conference, 20-24 September 2015, Hobart. Available online at http://www.agronomy2015.com.au.
Demonstrations of the latest research, locally, has provided knowledge, confidence and capacity for practice change and landholders will understand possible impacts on soil carbon. The project outcomes will enable policy and inform the practical adoption of profitable and novel techniques to increase soil carbon.
A/Prof Vaughan Higgins,