Agribusiness

Loam Bio, GrainCorp launch soil-carbon collaboration

Grain Central, May 24, 2022

Loam Bio is working with GrainCorp on a project to help growers monetise soil carbon. Photo: Loam Bio

A PROGRAM to increase the amount of carbon stored in agricultural soils is being developed to link Loam Bio’s soil-carbon inoculum technology to GrainCorp’s grower customers.

The collaboration has been announced today at the National Carbon Farming and Conference Expo which is being held this week in Albury, NSW.

Loam Bio co-founder and chief product officer Tegan Nock said the goal was for growers to become active in the carbon market, while increasing productivity and driving better soil health and resilience.

“Our goal is to make the benefits of increased soil carbon available to growers, including improved soil health, diversified revenue streams and greater resilience to drought,” Ms Nock said.

“Backed by years of scientific research and on-farm trials, we have developed a microbial seed coating that increases a plant’s natural ability to store carbon in soil.

“Working with GrainCorp will help us to ensure a smooth pathway for growers to build their soil carbon and access the carbon market.”

Ms Nock said Loam Bio was working with growers this season to plant barley and canola crops that have been inoculated with the company’s novel soil carbon-fixing technology across 1500 hectares in New South Wales and Victoria.

GrainCorp’s chief innovation and growth officer Jesse Scott said the pilot program was part of the company’s broader strategy to build a sustainable future for the agriculture industry.

“We’re excited about the potential of Loam Bio’s technology not only to improve soil health and resilience in a volatile climate, but also to help growers capture value by diversifying their revenue streams,” Mr Scott said.

“We’re confident in the science and we’re hopeful that the results of this pilot will show us how to provide the best support for growers to maximise their outcomes.”

The program will develop and facilitate methods of trading soil carbon specifically designed for farming businesses, giving farmers a fair price and a transparent economic opportunity for their new commodity.

“As the carbon markets quickly evolve and expand, we want to make sure they do so in a
‘farmer-first’ way,” Ms Nock said.

“This program enables us to collaborate with GrainCorp to deliver potential carbon-trading
mechanisms for farmers to generate and trade carbon credits.”

Loam Bio is an Australian biotech company based at Orange in NSW, and with research collaborations in Australia and North America which has developed a microbial seed coating to boost a plant’s natural ability to store carbon in soil.

It markets its inoculum as enabling farmers to capture and store stable carbon in the soil while gaining significant environmental co-benefits, such as increased soil health, nutrient-rich crops and higher yields.

GrainCorp has the largest grain-storage and handling network on the east coast of Australia, and operates more than 150 regional receival sites and seven bulk port terminals.

GrainCorp stores and markets wheat, barley, canola, sorghum and specialty commodities, connecting growers with more than 1000 end-market customers across the food, beverage, edible oils and animal feed industries.

Source: GrainCorp, Loam Bio

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