This is an important question to ask. The ideal answer being they partner with an education and training company that can teach and support you in the implementation of the changes needed on your land to meet the eligibility requirements of the project. The training and ongoing support completes the loop and truly provides an end-to-end service.
Soil carbon farming is a relatively new industry. Therefore, it’s attracting many new operators some with limited experience and no track record. Ask your aggregator how long they’ve been in business, what’s their history and how many hectares they have sampled commercially for producers in Australia. Look for a team with inhouse scientists, mapping experts and project managers with an impressive record in research.
It’s important to compare upfront and ongoing costs of potential aggregators. A low start-up cost may look attractive on the surface, but can be deceptive, as sometimes the upfront costs are not absorbed, rather moved into ongoing costs where they can outweigh any ﬁnancial beneﬁt. Ask to see their costs model and most important the estimated returns and methodology employed to reach the estimates.
A major barrier to entering a soil carbon farming project is the paperwork. Some aggregators are end-to-end, meaning they work on your behalf to complete the necessary documentation. The beneﬁt here is in time and expertise, leaving you to get on with the business you know best. Ask them if they offer the full end-to-end solution.
The Emission Reduction Fund or ERF methodology requires a minimum of just 9 cores per Carbon Exclusion Area (CEA). However, we believe a much higher sampling intensity for soil carbon projects is required to reduce variance and optimise the potential Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU’s). By only completing the minimum number of cores per CEA, this results in greater variance or standard deviation of soil core sample results. The higher the variance, the less ACCUs that will be credited. Go for deeper soil samples (1200mm) and a greater number of core samples to maximise your project outcomes.
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