AgriProve, Australia’s leading soil carbon farming developer announced the establishment of a national cash prize for carbon farming at the National Carbon Farming Conference and Expo in Albury on Sunday.

The AgriProve 20/20 Olsen Prize for Soil Carbon Farming recognises the Olsen family who was issued with the first soil carbon credits under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) in March this year and gives farmers an incentive to match the Olsen’s achievement.

Managing Director of AgriProve, Matthew Warnken said, “Building soil carbon with regenerative agriculture has outstanding potential to scale because it enables farmers to improve the productivity and resilience of their farm, while earning income from carbon credits and improving their profitability.”

“Mainstreaming regenerative agriculture will have a material impact on reversing global warming.  But to get there we need to move fast. That’s why, we are offering a $20,000 prize as an incentive for action,” Mr Warnken said.

The prize is designed to drive innovation in regenerative agriculture, encourage farmers to register projects under the ERF, and build an evidence base for soil carbon farming.

Victorian farmer Niels Olsen is honoured that AgriProve has set a challenge to encourage farmers to match his achievements.

“The testing we’ve done shows it is possible to achieve 20 tonnes dry matter yield per hectare and a 20 tonne increase in soil carbon sequestration, in a year,” he said.

The $20,000 will go to the next farmer that achieves this remarkable standard.

20 tonnes of dry matter yield plus an additional 20 tonnes of soil carbon abatement per hectare in a 12-month period, under an ERF project.

AgriProve has secured $150 million to pay farmers for building soil carbon over the next ten years, so farmers have a guaranteed market for their carbon credits.

Other actions AgriProve will be announcing at the conference to help remove barriers to participation in soil carbon ERF projects include:

  • the launch of the first online farmer platform for soil carbon projects
  • the first 50 farmers who register for a soil carbon project online will receive a 50% discount on the cost of soil sampling * Conditions apply. Capped at $2,500

Matthew Warnken and Niels Olsen will speak together at the conference on Tuesday 6 August in Session 2 at 11.45am – 12.15pm