The Cool Soil Initiative, a paddock-to-plate partnership that’s supporting farmers to improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on-farm, is expanding with Australasian maize milling business Corson Grain joining the project.
The project is a collaboration between Food Agility CRC, Charles Sturt University, The Sustainable Food Lab, Mars Petcare, Kellogg’s, Manildra Group, Allied Pinnacle, and now Corson Grain.
It is currently working with more than 180 farmers in regional farming systems groups (FSGs) Riverine Plains, FarmLink, IREC and Central West Farming Systems, taking in an area from Euroa in Victoria to Nyngan in NSW.
The Cool Soil Initiative works with farmers to test and validate management practices which can mitigate GHG emissions on-farm, to support the ongoing sustainability, productivity, and profitability of farming enterprises.
Corson Grain General Manager Sales and Innovation, Brett Thompson, said the project provides another opportunity to support its growers.
“The Cool Soil Initiative is a credible scientific and industry-orientated program that delivers tangible results around benchmarking and subsequent productivity improvements for growers while also contributing to our wider ESG strategy,” Mr Thompson said.
“The Initiative does this by providing opportunities to advance sustainability practices on-farm and to increase productivity through trialling new soil health practices such as increasing soil organic matter and yields with nutrient management and enhancing water efficiency for farmers, at the same time making a meaningful difference to the environment.”
Cool Soil Initiative project lead, Dr Cassandra Schefe is pleased to see the growing influence of the project.
“The Cool Soil Initiative is a world-first concept, providing on-ground support to farmers while enabling transparent sustainability and emission reporting through the food supply chain in an accountable, scalable framework,” Dr Schefe said.
“The addition of Corson Grain demonstrates the validity of our approach and the potential for national impact.”
Corson’s maize gritting mills at Warwick in Queensland will provide an initial point of expansion of the project, paving the way for the expansion of the Cool Soil Initiative foot print into the northern maize growing region of Australia.
Corson Grain is a family-owned Australasian maize milling business that has been part of the agricultural landscape for over one hundred years in New Zealand. With two mills and a headquarters based in Gisborne New Zealand, Corson first entered the Australian market in the early 2000s with the acquisition of the Defiance Maize Products mill in Warwick Queensland. The subsequent acquisition of another maize mill in 2022 at Darlington Point NSW has provided Corson with a wide maize contracting footprint across Australia and New Zealand.
The Cool Soil Initiative was founded in 2018 when Mars Petcare partnered with the Sustainable Food Lab, Riverine Plains Inc and Central West Farming Systems. It was expanded in 2020 with investment from Food Agility CRC, Kellogg’s and Allied Pinnacle. The farming systems groups have also grown to include FarmLink, and the IREC.
Photo: Amanda Durand, Australian Sales and Innovation Manager Corson Grain, Johannes Roelgen of Tyunga Farm in Brookstead, Dr Cassandra Schefe Cool Soil Initiative project lead.
Media note: To arrange interviews contact Food Agility CRC Communications Officer Emily Malone Emily.Malone@foodagility.com 0411281791