Soils are an important global resource for removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. However, when soil is cultivated for food crops, greenhouse gases can often be released to the atmosphere.
A three-year soil carbon study is underway to understand the implications of various orchard management techniques on soil carbon levels. This study will enable the industry to:
- Understand if kiwifruit production makes a net positive or negative contribution to carbon and greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Gain a greater understanding of techniques to reduce our carbon footprint and boost soil carbon, beneficial for soil health and fertility.
By building soil carbon, the soils also enhance their water retention properties, fertility and nutrient levels and ultimately produce better kiwifruit.
According to Alistair Mowat, ZESPRI Innovation Leader, "latest research shows that soils under the cultivation of kiwifruit actively remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere."