New investment in innovative Australian soil carbon measurement technology

Joint media release with Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction the Hon Tim Wilson MP

The Morrison Government is continuing to back Australian agriculture by helping farmers improve the health and quality of soil. 

We're supporting new technologies, which will increase the productivity of Aussie farms, while reducing emissions through soil carbon sequestration.

The Morrison Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is investing $1.6 million in Downforce Technologies Limited to scale its technology to measure soil organic carbon.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Downforce Technologies Limited has identified Australia as its first market for the technology, which reflects the potential of Australian soils to store carbon.

Analysis for Australia's Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan shows increasing soil carbon could reduce our emissions by between 4 and 16 per cent. 
 
Reducing the cost of soil carbon measurement to less than $3 per hectare per year is a priority under the Government’s Low Emissions Technology Statement and one of six priorities under the Technology Investment Roadmap. 
 
Australian soils contribute around $63 billion per annum to Australia’s economy through agricultural production.   

“Australian farmers have long been on the front line of reducing emissions through innovative practices,” Minister Taylor said.  

“The Morrison Government is a strong supporter of new technology to help farmers to improve soil condition, and generate new sources of income through the Emissions Reduction Fund.”

“Industry has reported the cost of measuring soil carbon abatement is the most important barrier to uptake of soil carbon projects.”

“Alongside this investment through the CEFC Innovation Fund, we have also committed $50.7 million for a National Carbon Innovation Challenge to help advance technologies that will reduce the cost of measuring soil carbon.”

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said that "the potential of soil carbon sequestration offers our agriculture and land sectors, and the communities built around them, the opportunity to earn additional income while contributing to Australia’s journey to carbon neutrality.

“We’ve led the world in carbon accounting standards through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS) and now we’re doing the same in soil carbon,” Assistant Minister Wilson said.

Soil organic carbon sequestration can play a crucial role in reducing emissions in Australia’s agricultural sector. It can also help improve agricultural productivity, soil resilience and has the potential to create a new revenue stream for farmers.

In December 2021 the Government released a new Emissions Reduction Fund method for soil carbon projects, to make it easier for farmers to generate income from increasing soil carbon.

The Government has also committed $7.9 million in the 2020-2021 Budget for a National Soil Carbon Data Program to collect and analyse soil carbon data. 

More information about this CEFC investment is available on the CEFC website.

Media contact: 

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120