Carbon Farming interest and obstacles in Austria

Date: 08.10.2023
On 22nd September Austrias co-creation workshop took place on-site of Carbon Farming Technique fiel trial at Poysbrunn, Lower Austria. About 50 farmers participated to get familiar with Carbon Farming technique “diversification of crop rotation”, particularly with the cultivation
experiences and benefits of the dry-tolerant C4-millet crops of the botanical families Panicum, Sorghum and Setaria, that are introduced and tested on the field. A major obstacle for cultivating additional crops are rare sales opportunities such as farmers with livestock. Agricultural companies tend to buy new crops only in big quantities. That is why farmers cooperations could help to initiate crop diversification.
At the workshop were also discussed the agricultural water efficiency and the key role of plant roots and their interaction with soil microbes for (longterm) carbon sequestration. The challenge of measureing and evaluating a dynamic process like carbon sequestration was discussed and methods of analysing different fractions of SOC and their role for carbon sequestration were introduced and discussed.
Beside scientific challenges to accuratly measure carbon sequestration, farmers also identified possible obstacles in liabilities and financial risks within carbon farming business models, if well-executed carbon farming techniques would not lead to increasing, maybe even decreasing SOC contents at any time within a contract period.