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National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory To Be Established

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The government has announced it is investing in the establishment of a National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., said through the investment, Teagasc, on behalf of the Department, will commence intensive monitoring of carbon emissions and removals across a range of Irish soils.

He said: "How we manage the carbon locked up in our soils, and support farmers to implement practices that build carbon must be built on robust science. This investment will create a significant bank of knowledge and information that will allow us to target and reward actions that remove carbon and store it in our soils. Farmers are best placed to be play a proactive role in this area and I am confident they will have a positive impact in the initiative.

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"There is a need to improve the data in the National Inventory to accurately reflect the actual emissions and sequestration from grasslands in order to verify progress towards our targets. Further, there is a lack of data available for determining the change in soil carbon stocks in grasslands on organic and mineral soils in Ireland due to a lack of relevant research, data collection and monitoring infrastructure."

The National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory will comprise up to 10 'Flux Towers' on agricultural systems across a range of soil types adding value to existing projects including; the industry co-funded Teagasc SignPost farms and the Agricultural Catchments Programme.

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