What does it cost?


The cost (in Australia) is usually significantly less than what the accountant charges for preparing the farm tax return.

Surprisingly, for this number of samples, the cost of measuring soil carbon on a 90 ha cane farm in Northern NSW and 10 000 ha mixed use farm in Western Australia is about the same.  We have found that areas of commonality, known as unequal strata, does not vary significantly with farm size and therefore number of sample locations do not vary greatly.  Our method developed by University of Sydney requires, in order to minimise error to trade carbon and to produce a quality carbon distribution map, between 60 and 90 samples depending on the local factors of the farm.  With a specialist, trained experienced soil sampling contractor around 100 locations can be sampled to 30cm in one day.  When driving between locations on the farm increases such that sampling takes longer than a day, sampling costs increase.  But laboratory and calculation costs remain the same.  Thus, the limitation becomes not the number of samples but the time taken to travel between sampling locations in a day.

Combustion methods are currently the cheapest.  The advantage of the combustion methods is that nitrogen can also be measured for less than $2/test extra. Any laboratory with national accreditation in combustion methods assessment can be used. 

When accredited sampling and testing contractors are used sampling and laboratory costs are between 80-90 % of the costs. 

The cost of calculation and royalty of the research institution makes up the residue.