Quantifying Soil Carbon Sequestration in Kiwifruit Orchards: Development of a Sampling Strategy

Markus Deurer, Hasinur Rahman, Allister Holmes, Steve Saunders, Brent E Clothier, Alistair Mowat

There is growing concern that many existing land management practices for food production are releasing additional carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

If we can show that producing perennial fruit crops can enhance or maintain carbon storage, this may allow greater differentiation of New Zealand products in environmentally concerned markets such as Europe.

Generally, higher soil carbon contents increase the soil’s ability to filter excessive amounts of nutrients and contaminants, to reduce the run-off of nutrients and erosion, to act as a net sink for greenhouse gases, and to reduce the need for precious water resources. Regional Councils already monitor soil carbon contents as a public good in the sense of soil health and its environmental benefits.

Currently, there is no standard methodology to verify claims of carbon storage in kiwifruit orchards, which might be needed in future stewardship initiatives or to participate in carbon trading schemes.

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