DATA is becoming more important to farmers, and that presents a challenge, FarmLab CEO Sam Duncan said.
"Farmers have a job to do, and that job doesn't necessarily involve looking at spreadsheets and calculating equations," he said.
FarmLab, which assists farmers to map and analyse land to make better decisions about environmental management, provided eight local farmers with a tool to assess their property.
The soil carbon project aimed to educate farmers on improving soil health and drawing carbon out of the atmosphere, Bubbogullion 100 Landcare group member Wayne Chaffey said.
"Just by getting healthier soils, it means we have healthier plants, healthier animals, and that way healthier people," he said.
The project was formed following Carbon Accounting Workshops facilitated by Landcare Farming and Integrity Agriculture and Environment for participants to develop soil carbon management techniques.
And, raise awareness of opportunities to enter the emerging carbon and biodiversity markets.
Producers were trained in using remote sensing imagery to help understand and monitor natural capital, such as soil carbon levels and biodiversity, and detailed the results of their projects and shared practical measures to increase soil health.
Scientists presented at the field day on May 25, breaking down how to use the analysis and data.
"A farmer gets a spreadsheet with all these numbers, but it's pretty hard to unpack and understand whether they're good or they're bad," Mr Chaffey said.
Nothing about carbon farming excites Department of Primary Industries (DPI) soil research officer Karl Andersson.
"Organic matter and resilient and productive soils excite me," he said.
"Because that's the basis. That's what we need. That's food and fibre."
Mr Andersson's tips for healthy and fertile soil include understanding landscape and variability of a paddock, and sampling both the good and bad soil, but refraining from mixing them.
"The plants tell you the story," he said.
Carbon farming has become popular in the last few years, Mr Duncan said, but there's still a lot of uncertainty about how to increase soil carbon.
"So what we're encouraging people to do is just collect that data, collect that information, digitise it, use it to tell a story about what you've done, and the impact it's had on your land," he said.
While farmers should know the data and information is there, they can also rest easy.
"This is what consultants and agronomists really exist to do," Mr Duncan said.
"Is to do that translation on behalf of the farmer."
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