© 2019 by QAAFI's Farming Systems Research Group

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Climate Risk

  How Can Farmers Fight Climate Change?

With millions of hectares of land under cultivation, it makes sense that farmers can do things to mitigate climate change. Thanks to new methods coming into use and being taught at schools like the University of Queensland, they are. These methods fall under the title of "carbon farming," and are meant to not only reduce emissions, but help to sequester carbon into plants and soil.

 

On many farming plots, multiple environmentally-beneficial methods are being used at once. Some of the most notable of these are green methods of weed control. A good example is maximum groundcover, which uses plants that are compatible with main crops to completely cover the land. This not only blocks weeds from sprouting, but also sequesters plenty of carbon into the cover crop.

 

Other carbon farming methods reduce climate risk by keeping the remains of old crops around longer than traditional farming would, replacing man-made fertilizers with natural alternatives like compost and manure, and through a number of related tactics. Together, these methods can make a farm into an environmentally healthy place that captures carbon emits little to no unwanted substances.

 

Since this type of farming is new to many – including those already in the business – universities are essential for spreading the knowledge of these methods. A degree in agronomy will let new entrants to food production start off with all of the tools they need to make their farms into parts of the solution for climate change. Current farmers can also return to school so that they can reduce climate risk to their operations and remain competitive with new farms.

 

For those in Australia, the University of Queensland is a great choice for new or continuing education. Its courses explain the many possible methods, how to do them, and when they should be used.