Understanding Soil Carbon on Farms


This session will look at how carbon is stored in soil and how farmers can measure, improve and take advantage of the high carbon storage capacity of well-managed soils. Questions addressed will include the potential of soil carbon in mitigating global climate change; how organic and mixed farming help contribute soil sequestration and the difficulties in measuring soil carbon. This will be an interactive session and the audience will be encouraged to share their own experiences and put questions to the panel.


Laurence Smith
Laurence is Senior Sustainability Researcher at the Organic Research Centre. His reseearch interests include sustainability assessment and cost-benefit analysis of farming systems; life cycle assessment and product carbon footprinting and on-farm energy production and carbon sequestration, with particular regard to anaerobic digestion. Laurence has written papers on the energy efficiency of organic farming, carbon footprinting for farming and the role of organic agriculture in tackling climate change.
Twitter @orgrescent
Jonathan Smith
Jonathan runs Scilly Organics, growing fruit and vegetables that are sold locally on the Isles of Scilly. From five acres he runs a small box scheme, has a small roadside stall and supplies cafes and restaurants. A founder member of Transition Scilly, Jonathan has been heavily involved with community initiatives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the resilience of the community. He also co-founded Climate Friendly Food, going on to write and develop the CFF Carbon Calculator. This is a free online tool available to farmers and growers that allows them to accurately assess the carbon footprint of their farm businesses. Jonathan is also a Committee member of the Organic Growers Alliance and is actively involved with the national community of organic growers.
Twitter @FarmCO2Toolkit

Joanne and Richard Mudhar
Joanne and Richard run The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm, Suffolk’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Scheme. Before becoming a farmer Joanne worked as an engineer for many years, during which time she “moonlighted” as an allotment holder and smallholder in Suffolk and Normandy, learning essential skills for her future farming career. Between them Joanne and Richard manage a community supported agriculture scheme and have built an affordable low-power remote monitoring system for the farm which automatically posts real-time farm pictures, temperature logs and more to the internet via their website: oaktreelabs.co.uk.
Twitter @OakTreeLCF

Richard Page
Richard is the managing director of AR Carbon Ltd. He has wide experience of business development in both horticulture and agriculture and in a career that has lasted over 25 years has work for many high profile business, most recently as the business development manager at Laverstoke Park. In 2013 he won the Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation challenge with his idea known as Carbon Prophet. The aim of the project is to drive new revenue streams into farming through monetising the process of sequestering carbon within agricultural soils.


Audio recording


Laurence Smith slides

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