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Increasing carbon in your farm soils - business benefits

Financial

The two strands to financial benefits are lower costs and increased productivity. These both have a positive impact on profit levels.

  • Lower costs
  • Cultivation costs are reduced
  • Weed burdens lower
  • Fertiliser use reduced
  • Increased efficiency
  • Yields increase on healthy soils
  • Marketable yields can be higher due to lower losses to pests and diseases

Profit is simply calculated from income minus costs. An efficient system is one which maximises outputs using the inputs provided. Even if overall yields are lower than a system using more inputs, profits can still be higher.

Resilience

The ability of farm businesses to withstand external forces is increasingly important now, and will likely be more so in the future. This includes price rises and availability of artificial fertilisers, fuel & oil, and other manufactured inputs. Soils with higher carbon levels make an important contribution to the resilience of businesses by:

  • Reducing inputs - e.g. artificial fertilisers and pesticides
  • Lower costs - through reduced inputs and fewer machinery interventions
  • Better natural resources - a healthy and fertile soil is any farm's best asset

Soils

The soils of any farm are its greatest asset, so soils that are in good health are key to any successful business. Investing in soil is the most important long term asset any farmer can make.

  • Virtuous circle of health: healthy soils - healthy crops - healthy animals
  • Nutrients - a biologically active soil has more available nutrients and a more stable pH

Other

Other benefits to your business include:

  • Marketing - a lower carbon footprint is attractive to some customers
  • Climate change - reducing your business' carbon footprint makes you part of the solution, not the problem
  • Sequestration payments - it's possible that carbon sequestration payments to farmers will be available in the future