Explainer.. what we did & why
With your help and involvement we collected soil and feed samples to generate a preliminary assessment of soil fertility levels and pasture quality... and total Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) stocks to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential constraints to increasing pasture biomass production and hence SOC on this property.
We took the least amount of samples to gain the greatest level of insight into how the soils of the property ‘work’.
Remember also, our sample points were selected as a result of generating soil strata, ie production areas of similar type, but at a much higher level of grouping than would be done in a registered Carbon Project so they provide indicative rather than absolute results at this point in time.
Sample Points logged on: 2022-Dec-09
Key points to be aware of are:
We sampled to strata, ie areas of similar type and characteristics to gain insights for the property Soil analysis is completed for two purposes: a) Identify the constraints to plant production and anything that may limit future plant biomass production and hence constrain future soil Carbon increases, via minerals levels, key ratio’s, pH, conductivity and in some cases total element present as distinct from the plant available portion (eg phosphorous), as this provides insight into potential gains we may expect through enhanced grazing management and overall provides insights to optimise strategies for improvement
b) Using the CFI approved methodology to estimate the current SOC stocks. This is a significantly more accurate method than the standard soil Carbon values provided in any historical soil tests you may have completed, as it uses actual core bulk density, gravel content and gravimetric Carbon%
Topsoils were sampled 0-30cm, in single cores per site, to allow Carbon modelling and identify limitations to pasture production (and hence future Carbon production). 0-30cm was used to replicate what any future baseline soil testing will be undertake, to provide reasonable comparison for change over time between this preliminary assessment and baselining. Subsoils were sampled 30-50cm primarily to: provide preliminary assessment of current soil carbon stocks for the full soil depth sampled, and identify mineral constraints to achieving deeper plant root volume production within those subsoils and hence the likelihood of increasing at depth as a result of any improved grazing management or other management interventions. note, any future baselining event will likely include subsoil depths from 30 to 50-100+cm. Pasture feed samples were also taken to: confirm flow of soil nutrient into pasture biomass, at the same site, and hence better understand if nutrient truly is ‘limiting’ plant production. This means the plant mineral levels, the composition of lead matter, ie nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur, etc versus where they ‘should’ ideally be for plant growth to be limited by rainfall, rather than soil nutrients, and feed quality results... being the attributes important to livestock consuming it, ie the Protein, Energy and Fibre composition, which then provides a very good gauge and differentiator of both underlying soil quality and livestock performance. This can provide insight intopotential management interventions to improve intake etc.. eg supp hay/protein/lick whatever. It is important to note plant quality and mineral content changes through the season, the results here are not to be taken as definitive for the season... they are useful more as a gauge / reflection of whether soil mineral levels are making it to the plant, and hence Livestock, or whether there are factors limiting production to work on in the greater plan for production improvements. Note that not all samples collected on the day were necessarily analysed, samples are reviewed to achieve optimal coverage for modelling in a preliminary assessment to keep costs viable.
use these sites in future for any subsequent testing you undertake, irrespective of Blueprint Trial use these sites for regular monitoring of soil and pasture change over time