G1 – Examination of crop rotations / crop distribution

Description:

The review of crops planted is the cornerstone for further measures on variety selection, soil cover, tillage, etc., as well as for the coordination of all other measures with the cropping system

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer and reduction of all other emissions through optimization

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Implementation of a technical consultation and detailed planning on the farm
Impact
Medium
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Demanding in terms of realisation. Might lead to quite big changes. Lack of local market to sell other crops can be limiting
Roadmap and time horizon
5-10 years
Cost
Need to be assessed per case
Investment
There might be the need to invest into new machinery, processing plants and product sales wramp up. Needs to be assessed case by case
Financing
Own resources, bank loan, agricultural investment funds, national schemes
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
Medium impact through C storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer and reduction of all other emissions through optimization
What to measure
Number of crops grown, ha per crop and waiting period
How to measure
Farmer records and check / measure via satelite
Solution providers
Local extension service
Farmer acceptance
Medium (37% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020). Can be quite demanding and lead to significant changes
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)

G2 – Ensuring soil cover

Description:

The cultivation of intercrops, undersown crops and winter greening is intended to increase crop density and the duration of soil cover on arable land

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer, better soil structure, etc.

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Installation of intercrops and undersown crops based on the overall view of crop rotation and cropping system
Impact
Medium
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Easy to start with. Might conflict with herbicides and field hygene. Some machinery adaptations might be needed
Roadmap and time horizon
1 year
Cost
Cost of seeds ranging from €30-200/ha
Investment
There might be the need to invest into new machinery or to adapt existing ones to be efficient
Financing
Own resources, bank loan, agricultural investment funds, national schemes
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
Medium impact through C storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer, better soil structure, etc.
What to measure
ha of interim and undersown crops established, number of days with plant cover per year
How to measure
Farmer records and check / measure via satellite
Solution providers
Local extension service, machinery producers
Farmer acceptance
High (100% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020). Is an easy measure to start with.
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)

G3 – Crop residue management

Description:

Preservation or increase of the organic soil substance through the targeted leaving and incorporation of harvest residues on the arable land

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer, better soil structure, etc.

How to get it done
What is to be done
Leave normally harvested crop residues on fields and use them to increase crop yields
Impact
Small
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Might conflict with crop establishment. Need of new machinery
Roadmap and time horizon
1 year
Cost
Cost to manage residues very situational
Investment
There might be the need to invest into new machinery to manage crop reminders and to be able to establish the following crops as desired
Financing
Own resources, bank loan, agricultural investment funds, national schemes
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
Small impact through preservation or increase of the organic soil substance
What to measure
Amount of biomass left on field and C-build up in soil
How to measure
Farmer records and measure via satellite
Solution providers
Local extension service
Farmer acceptance
High (89% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020).
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)

G4 – Charcoal application

Description:

With plant carbon, a stable carbon stock can be introduced into the arable soil in larger quantities and permanently removed from the atmosphere

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage due to the coal input

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Fine-grained granules of plant charcoal are f.e. added to liquid manure and spread with it
Impact
High
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Check for local coal production. Avoid transportation. Avoid double counting between carbon certificates for biochar / charcoal production and application (soil carbon sequestration)
Roadmap and time horizon
1-5 years
Cost
Cost between €400-1000 per t of coal. Application of up to 300kg to 3t/ha and year
Investment
None
Financing
Own resources, national schemes
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
High impact through C storage due to the coal input
What to measure
C-build up in soil
How to measure
Soil sampling combined with satellite data
Solution providers
Local extension service, AgriCircle (www.agricircle.com)
Farmer acceptance
High (89% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020).
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)

G5 – Conversion to permanent grassland

Description:

The conversion of previously arable land into permanent grassland promotes the build-up of humus and thus CO2 storage

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage through humus build-up as well as better soil structure, water storage and buffering

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Planning and implementation of a farming concept that includes the use of more roughage either through animal production or biogas
Impact
Difficult to assess with additional emissions created from animal production
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Will lead to more C sequestration but might also lead to higher emissions through animal production. Might overall lead to a negative impact on GHG emissions
Roadmap and time horizon
1-5 years
Cost
Establishing of grasland with seeds cost of about €100/ha
Investment
None
Financing
Own resources, national schemes
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
Questionable impact with C storage through humus build-up as well as better soil structure, water storage and buffering leading to less eutrophication
What to measure
C-build up in soil and emissions from additional animals
How to measure
Soil sampling combined with satellite data and animal farm record data (number of days and weight of animals)
Solution providers
Local extension service, AgriCircle (www.agricircle.com)
Farmer acceptance
Medium (37% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020). Needs to fit farming concept
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)

G6 – Storage through woody plants and agroforestry

Description:

If the location and use permits, rows of trees (e.g. value wood or fruit trees) and intervening crops are grown in combination and hedgerow establishment

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

C storage through wood increment and erosion control

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Creation of a potential and system analysis in order to have an efficient cropping system after establishment. Look for right plant row distance, right exposition, right plant species and allocation
Impact
High
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Needs to fit landscape and cropping system
Roadmap and time horizon
5-10 years
Cost
50-120h/ha of manpower and cost for establishment with about 50 trees/ha with a price of €1-100 per tree
Investment
About 50 trees/ha at a price of €1-100
Financing
Own resources, national schemes, crowd funding
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
High impact through C storage through wood growth and erosion control
What to measure
C-build up in soil and wood
How to measure
Soil sampling in agroforestry line and measure of m3 of wood
Solution providers
Local extension service, AgriCircle (www.agricircle.com)
Farmer acceptance
Medium (11% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020). Needs to fit farming concept and region. F.e. Agroforestry with trees is not fitting in Flaachtal area where AgroCO2ncept is located, but hedgerows are
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch), Agrocsope and Agroforestry (https://www.agroscope.admin.ch/agroscope/de/home/themen/umwelt-ressourcen/biodiversitaet-landschaft/agrarlandschaft/agroforstwirtschaft.html)

G7 – Demand-based irrigation and use of own sources

Description:

Systems are tested and optimized (irrigation density, head, pressure losses, etc.) and their control is supplemented by the use of sensors and / or satellites and precision farming technology

Impact
CO2
N2O
CH4
Energy
Resources

What it does:

With optimal alignment to plant needs and weather patterns, energy and water can be saved, humus depletion and soil erosion reduced, and CO2 storage stabilized

 

How to get it done
What is to be done
Systems are tested and optimized (irrigation density, head, pressure losses, etc.) and their control is supplemented by the use of flow meters and soil moisture sensors or satellite based soil moisture models
Impact
Medium
Potential to be realised and possible conflict of interest
Irrigation should be kept at a minimum and be avoided through improved soil vitality if possible
Roadmap and time horizon
1 year
Cost
A few €1’000 for sensor and system but will lead to water and cost savings
Investment
A few €1’000 up to significant cost if entire system for bigger areas is calculated
Financing
Own resources, bank loan
How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to
Impact
Medium impact through energy and water savings, less humus depletion and soil erosion and stabilized CO2 storage
What to measure
Water use, energy use, C sequestration
How to measure
Soil sampling in combination with satellite data and energy and water consumption
Solution providers
Local extension service, AgriCircle (www.agricircle.com), Raindancer (www.raindancer.com)
Farmer acceptance
Medium (26% of farmers in AgroCO2ncept have implement measures by 2020). Local collaboration with soil sensors can boost acceptance
References
AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch)