A cost comparison of soil C measurement methods

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Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim
The high cost of accurately measuring soil carbon mass by soil sampling and laboratory analysis at farm scale has impeded the adoption of carbon farming methods and generation of carbon credits for soil carbon sequestration. Proximal soil sensing methods such as visible - Near Infra Red (vis-NIR) and Fast Neutron Activation Analysis (FNAA) provide a lower cost alternative to standard soil sampling. At the sample rate of 1 / ha soil sampling and laboratory analysis costs A$124 / measure, vis-NIR A$23 – A$37 / measure, and stop & go mode FNAA scanning A$2 / measure. At higher sample rates (22 / ha) with 5m long integrated samples, continuous mode FNAA scanning offers the prospect of affordable (A$0.32 / measure or A$7.27 / ha) soil carbon mapping. © 2013 International Union of Soil Sciences Working Group on Proximal Soil Sensing.
Soils, Cost, Carbon, Fast neutrons, Sampling, Near infrared radiation, Activation analysis, Mapping, Australia, Soil chemistry
Waring, C. L., & Whelan, B. ( 2013). A cost comparison of soil C measurement methods. Paper presented at the Proceedings 3rd Global Workshop Proximal Soil Sensing 2013, Potsdam, Germany, 26 - 29 May, 2013.