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

Carbon 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 significant changes. Lack of local market to sell other crops can be a limiting factor
  • Roadmap and time horizon:5-10 years
  • Cost:need to be assessed case by case
  • Investment:investment might be required in new machinery, processing plants and product sales ramp 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 Carbon 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 satellite
  • 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

Carbon 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
  • Investment:investment might be required in 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 Carbon storage through humus build-up, reduction of nitrous oxide through less fertilizer, better soil structure, etc.
  • What to measure:hectares 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

Carbon 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:investment might be required in 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 Carbon build up in soil
  • How to measure:farmer records and check / 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

Carbon storage due to the coal input

How to get it done

  • What is to be done:fine-grained granules of plant charcoal are, for example, 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:between €400-€1000 per ton 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 Carbon storage due to the coal input
  • What to measure:Carbon 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

Carbon 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:higher Carbon sequestration but might also lead to higher emissions through animal production. overall impact on GHG emissions may be negative
  • Roadmap and time horizon:1-5 years
  • Cost: about €100/ha of seed costs to establish grasland
  • Investment:none
  • Financing:own resources, national schemes

How to measure, assess impact and whom to talk to

  • Impact:questionable impact with Carbon storage through humus build-up as well as better soil structure, water storage and buffering leading to less eutrophication
  • What to measure:Carbon 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 implemented 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

Carbon 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:50h/ha-120h/ha of manpower plus cost of about 50 trees/ha at 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 Carbon storage through wood growth and erosion control
  • What to measure:Carbon 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 suit farming concept and region. For instance, agroforestry with trees is not suitable in Flaachtal area where AgroCO2ncept is located, but hedgerows are
  • References:AgroCO2ncept (www.agroco2ncept.ch), Agrocsope and Agroforestry (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 can be 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 €1’000s for sensor and system but will lead to water and cost savings
  • Investment:A few €1’000s 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, Carbon 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)