This Is How We End Climate Change

Soil Carbon Tests. Big Cheap & Easy

         using Loss On Ignition (LOI)
*Big 2,000 grams sample size
*Dries sample in 30 minutes to 100°C
*LOI Temperatures - 350°C to 550°C
*Complete LOI in 60 to 90 minutes
*Integral weighing in-situ at 100°C
*Accuracy  1/1000
*No laboratory needed. Farm shed OK
With accurate infield sampling kit. Powered 4 inch auger. Powered mixer, Sampling sieves. 


Optics Determine Biosphere Temperatures

The sun determines the average surface temperatures of the solar system's inner planets provided only that they revolve creating day and nights. The Earth's internal heat has almost zero effect on our biosphere's temperature. This applies to any stable revolving planet with Earth like distances from its home star.   


Quotable Facts and Numbers

If we continue to use agrochemicals and fossil fuels, we cannot prevent catastrophic climate change. And those industries know it. Their marketing policy then must be to create doubt, to generate confusion and to totally split opposition to using and relying on their incredibly dangerous products . Below is what they really don't want you to understand


Aus’ Government Dumps Yeomans Methodology

Stopping all the world's carbon emissions today can't stop future centuries of continuous warming. So it's imperative that we start by removing our existing carbon dioxide overload. Sadly, the Department of the Environment and Energy here in Australia is quite clearly not prepared to take the concept of removal seriously.


Instilling Complacency and Money

When the voting public wakes up and begin to understand what is actually happening now with climate change now - and what it means to them - and they begin to appreciate the horror of what is in store for them in the months and years ahead - they will vote for action now. This site says what action that must be. And nobody has a sane "plan B". And there's no time to invent one.


Home Site & Navigating Around This Site

First; You put the Cursor on one of the 13 numbered buttons.
Second: The button turns yellow and the big square on the left side lights up with a summary of what you will find when you open the page.
Third: Leave the Cursor arrow there and Left Click and you have opened the whole page. The lower part of the screen then comes up with all the information.
Forth:Then scroll up or down to find what you want.
Fifth: Click the WHITE HOUSE if you want to go back up to the top of the page.


Written Library & Video Library

We are assembling a collection of meaningful and factual references and videos. They will go here. It will be similar to the Video Library at our  Yeomans Keyline Plow site at---   This new library is going to take me some time to get it up and running. There probably won't be much before Late January 2017-- Allan Yeomans.


Stop Press On Today’s Fictions

The Owners of the Tobacco Industry intended to survive and prosper despite the inconvenience of their products killing millions of their customers. To maintain sales, advertising their own individual brands became far less important than allaying fears in the millions of customers still alive. Their most significant weapon became the well structured manufacture of doubt in the public mind. Was smoking really that dangerous?


Who Is Allan Yeomans

For general introduction Google -- Allan Yeomans Wikipedia -- This gives a good summary. Allan is the originator of the concept of soil carbon sequestration. His concept was first described in his 1989 paper "The Agricultural Solution To The Greenhouse Effect". This paper was his  presentation to the Esalen Congress on Sustainable Agriculture. Big Sur, California January 1990.


Soil Carbon How It Happens

Tell me in a nut shell.

How does soil carbon sequestration work?

How do you take the carbon dioxide out of the air and put it into the soil?

Allan Yeomans answers:  
"Happily it’s a completely natural process. The world’s grasslands illustrate it best and they're the best soils in the world.


Link to Yeomans Plows and equipment

In the early 1950s, on our family farms in New South Whales we developed a system of farm management we called "Keyline". My father was the genius behind the whole concept. He was a geologist and mining engineer originally and turned this expertise onto the problems of water storage and handling for on-farm water storage and low cost irrigation. He understood insightfully the role for the enhancement of soil fertility in all forms of farm management. My role was in equipment design, and i did think up the name  "Keyline" to describe it all.   


How we produce enough abundant, cheap, energy continuously for 7.5 billion people. Without adding carbon to the biosphere.

In round figures we have dumped near a liter of dry ice on every square metre of the Earth's surface. It behaves like a sheet of glass the same thickness and adds to the greenhouse effect. We humans came into existence on this planet when it was covered with two sheets of glass. Now it's got three and we are getting runaway heating. It's crazy to destabilize the  Earth's entire biosphere just to keep the fossil fuel organizations in business


Getting the $10 Trillion to remove the excess carbon dioxide from the air comes from stopping our tax money funding fossil fuels and chemical based agricultural.

Our Global Warming problems are caused by the excess carbon dioxide in the air now. Not the particular rate we are currently adding to that excess. (For how to stop the adding, go to Button 12.)   So our immediate and urgent requirement is to realign the proportions of carbon within the biosphere. We turn atmospheric carbon (as CO2) into soil carbon (as soil humus and organic matter). Each country must accept its historic individual responsibility and pay to make that realignment happen. Countries must insist that neighbors and friends follow suit.

3. Quotable Facts and Numbers 4. Aus’ Government Dumps Yeomans Methodology 5. Instilling Complacency and Money 6. Home Site & Navigating Around This Site 7. Written Library & Video Library 8. Stop Press On Today’s Fictions 9. Who Is Allan Yeomans
2. Optics Determine Biosphere Temperatures 1. Soil Carbon Tests. Big Cheap & Easy 13. Getting the $10 Trillion to remove the excess carbon dioxide from the air comes from stopping our tax money funding fossil fuels and chemical based agricultural.

"The urgent problem is getting rid of the excess carbon dioxide that's already there. Soil can do that.

Emissions reductions must become zero, but that can be phased in over the next two to three decades."
Allan Yeomans. January 1998

Yeomans LOI Soil "Carbon Still"© test takes two hours. Accepts huge 2,000 gram test sample. 550°C

Plus - Yeomans Soil Test Protocol
(for info click Button 1)

10. Soil Carbon How It Happens 11. Link to Yeomans Plows and equipment 12. How we produce enough abundant, cheap, energy continuously for 7.5 billion people. Without adding carbon to the biosphere.

Salvation is three things – – SOIL and NUCLEAR and BIOFUEL 

[April 21  2017]  — Here in Australia we urgently need a simple soil carbon sequestration protocol –
to weigh the soil and pay the farmer

I wrote one way back, but the Federal Dept of the Environment rejected it for non compliance with their general principals and yet systematic soil carbon sequestration is the only viable system in the world for economically removing the carbon dioxide from the  air without reducing agricultural land areas and agricultural food production.]


  March 7 & 12  & 15 & 18 & 25.April 21 2017

The worldwide problem with soil carbon sequestration has been how do you measure the changes in soil carbon levels with sufficient accuracy to pay farmers for doing it.

So we had to fix that game stopping problem. The solution was the development of the CARBON STILL and its soil sample collection system

The unique bonus of using soil carbon sequestration to combat global warming is that increasing the fertility of a nation’s soil automatically  increases the wealth of that nation.


           for LOI Testing and Integral Weighing                    Click here

               for Infield Soil Sample Collection                       Click here

       for Sample Cleaning, Screening and Preparation         Click here

      for Soil Sample Collection and Carbon Monitoring         Click here
for determining changes in organic matter content         Click here


   complies with the latest European Union Standards          Click Here


Using the SOIL PIPE and SCREW AUGER                         Click Here



this is a general guide to how things will work                  Click here


{This work and the Yeomans protocol is the subject of copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process nor may any other exclusive right be exercised without the permission of Allan James Yeomans 2016  ©. The Carbon Still and allied components are covered by various patent applications. (Granted in Australia March 2017)

          Without some system of sequestering the excess one trillion tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere reasonably quickly, runaway global warming of this planet’s biosphere is absolutely unstoppable.
That reality is slowly becoming accepted. It’s also gradually being accepted that soil carbon sequestration, on a massive scale is our only feasible option. Unfortunately, there is just no sane, practical, economical nor remotely feasible alternative.

          And for the critics I say: “Whether soil carbon sequestration works or doesn’t work, it won’t cost us anything to try it. And we would be insane to ignore the possibility of success.”

           The world’s farmers can turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into stable soil humus in huge quantities. It’s not a problem. Farmers throughout all human history have been doing it successfully for millennia. It’s also what organic farmers and biodynamic farmers and many others do consistently today.


           Our farmers can rapidly and systematically increase the humus content, and thus the carbon content of their soils. Individual farmers must be allowed, and even encouraged, to develop techniques for fertility enhancement that best suits their individual farm management system.

    Absolutely no restrictions on a farmer’s inventiveness should ever be applied.
         I proposed the concept of using agricultural soils to combat global warming in talks and papers in the late 1980s. My concept is now widely accepted. Until recently I had wrongly presumed that good and practical testing procedures to monitor soil carbon levels existed. They don’t exist. What does exist is totally useless in the real world. The Yeomans Carbon Still system is designed to fix that problem.

     CARBON STILL for LOI Testing and Integral Weighing

          To test changes in soil carbon the Yeomans Carbon Still with its accessories was necessary. I believe it is the only soil carbon test unit in the world that allows soil carbon sequestration to be very easily and accurately monitored by virtually anyone, and with soil sample sizes that are meaningful and not minuscule. It tests samples weighing up to 2 kilograms (over 4 lbs). It gives quick and accurate and consistent results. The Carbon Still is easy to use, easy to set up in a farm shed and requires only a power supply and access to a basic service station sized air compressor. 
         There are several systems that can be used to determine changes in soil carbon, unfortunately, most involve some form of specialised chemical analysis and additionally, in all these procedures, the actual samples are extremely small. They’re 10 grams and under and 5 grams is common. Worse; some sampling systems only cater for a 1 gram sample size, and some even less. All these systems were originally designed for detailed soil chemical analysis under laboratory conditions. None were for soil carbon sequestration. When they were designed (some in the 1930s) the carbon content, and specifically the organic matter content were generally only of very minor interest.
         It is hard to believe and accept that such tiny samples could give accurate representations of the carbon content of, possibly a 100 ha or 1,000 ha paddock, or even a 10 ha paddock. A few grams is ludicrously small: it’s just not enough for financial institutions to trust. In Australia the Department of the Environment seems to have abandoned the concept of actually testing for changes in levels of organic carbon sequester. (Except for one methodology of the Department’s own design, relating to grazing lands, which seems to have received no significant or meaningful support from Australia’s 157,000 farmers.) The Department have decided to allocate credits to a farmer if he alters his management systems on any area of land in some way stipulated by officers of the Department.
Allowing farmers to design and create any new fast and efficient systems for soil carbon sequestering and receiving credits for using it is not yet accepted by  the Australian Department of the Environment. (But hopefully soon will be.)

          The Yeomans Carbon Still and sample collection system, or something very much like it, becomes an absolute necessity if soil carbon sequestration is to really happen and ensure that Global Warming stops.
           Reality demands that soils can be tested easily, cheaply and accurately. Reality demands that field samples be taken. Reality demands that samples are taken that are of a sensible and practical size and in turn are easy to weigh with high accuracy.


        We therefore built a unit and a system to test individual samples with sample sizes around two kilograms – not two grams and definitely easy to weigh. Weighing accuracy of the Carbon Still comes out at around 1.5 grams in a 2,000 gram sample. That’s 0.075%. So we allow 0.1%.

  Most soil carbon testing protocols use chemical analysis techniques which unfortunately give differing results for different soil types. All also only handle tiny samples. To ask financial bodies to put their trust and money in such testing systems is absolutely ludicrous.
        Coming into increasing favour now, in soil carbon analysis, is the Loss On Ignition (LOI) procedure. Sample sizes are, by necessity for the equipment used,  tiny: 10 grams being the biggest ever used.
        In a LOI test the prepared sample is oven dried with oven temperatures slightly in excess of 100°C The sample is then placed in a desecrater to keep it dry. Then quickly weighed.
        The sample is then placed in an oven with temperature set at a predicated temperature to oxidise the organic carbon compounds.  The surrounding air in the oven oxidises the organic carbon into carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Predicated temperatures vary, usually generally irrationally and range between 350° C and 550° C. From research information and experience we maintain that temperatures much below 500° C are too inconsistent. The recent EU Standards  nominate 525° C  to 575° C. for oven temperatures. (See Note 2  :Among others, this Note refers to EU standard TC WI :2003 (E)  for Loss On Ignition testing for sludge, soil and bio-waste is 550°C + or – 25°C.)
          In existing systems a considerable amount of time is required to bring the soil samples up to the nominated temperature range in the test. This is unavoidable as the oven temperature range has to be relatively narrow for consistency. Maximum oven temperatures must not exceed the higher temperature nominated in the relevant protocol so the soaking of heat into the centre of even a small sample is time consuming. These soaking times are always hours and can often be days.
         In the Yeomans Carbon Still, air at the relevant nominated temperature is forced through the test sample. Heating is therefore almost immediate and temperatures are extremely consistent and controllable. In the Carbon Still sample sizes are around 2 kilograms, drying times are around 30 minutes and the Loss On Ignition procedure is generally less than 90 minutes because of the novel forced air process.
         There is a 100 mm (4inch) diameter vertical tubular inner oven within the Carbon Still. The sample is constrained and held in place to effectively block free air flow around the sample. Air at the nominated temperature is therefore forced down through the sample.
          For drying, air temperatures are set a little over 100°C. When sample downside air temperatures rise to exceed 100°C, drying can be confidently deemed complete, and the sample and its inner oven container can be weighed.


           Throughout the drying and high temperature cooking process, the test sample remains in its tubular inner oven container. This container, with the sample, is weighed as a single unit.
         After determining a dry weight reading, high temperature air is then forced through the test sample to produce ignition. Air flow rates and air input temperatures are manually adjusted to control ignition rates and temperatures.
         With the surface area principle we propose, stones and rocks in the samples can simply be discarded. They need only be brushed a little, to remove any attached fine soil material.
         However: when a soil density based calculation system is used it’s obviously necessary that stones and rocks cannot be discarded. Stones and rocks are a meaningful factor in accurately determining average, soil density. Therefore all stones and rocks in the samples must stay in the samples, and must in turn be ground up sufficiently to pass through a 2 mm screen. This is not necessary when using the surface area principle.

(If a density system is a set requirement of the relevant Authority then this can be accommodated with the this same equipment. The SOIL PIPE and the auger are simply taken to a known and preselected depth. The sample is dried and weighed and knowing the volume of the used section of the sleeve, the dry density is then easily calculated.)

          In the Carbon Still the central tubular oven containing the test sample is mounted in a “see saw” arrangement. Weighings are determined by balancing the see saw. The see saw is initially balanced, approximately, with a couple of heavy weights. Final and accurate balancing is achieved by simply adding water to a beaker or laboratory measuring cylinder placed adjacent to the weights in the balance tray. A pipette is ideal for this weight adjusting procedure.


       After the drying process, and again after the cooking process, some number of  millilitres of water are removed from the beaker to balance, and every millilitre is one gram. It’s simple, easy and very accurate. After the cooking process the sample is cooled using forced cool air so that exhaust air temperatures always slightly exceed 100°C. Condensation cannot occur. So desiccators are not required at all in this system.
          The cubic centimetres of water removed after drying, and the water removed after cooking tells us the original water content of the sample and the weight LOI in grams.
         Some soils are formed from geological material that when heated to the temperatures called for in LOI soil testing release small quantities of water of crystallization (magmatic water). Some release carbon dioxide. This obviously effects the LOI weight loss determinations. However we are not interested in absolute figures, we only want to know what changes have occurred over the previous year. Organic matter content will change but the geological nature of the soil will not. Hence the LOI attributed to the geological base of the soil is irrelevant in soil carbon sequestration calculations. It is also suggested that as the organic matter increases in the soil in a test hole the proportion of geological material must conversely decrease.
        In monitory calculations this is a slight detriment to the farmer. In consequence, it just cannot in anyway lead to some possible overpayment to a farmer for his success in his efforts to terminate Global Warming and catastrophic Climate Change.   



       for Infield Soil Sample Collection

Soil collection procedures and organic matter calculations can be based on the surface area of the sample and the paddock, or it can be a density related calculation.
        When density related, organic matter is determined and recorded as a weight percentage or in grams per kilogram. Often samples are called for at various stratifications in the soil profile. The reality is that combating Global Warming is the whole point of soil carbon sequestration and measurement. Soil samples have to be taken. And those samples have to be measured cheaply, efficiently and with definitive and financially acceptable accuracy.
       We have to remove from our atmosphere that trillion tonnes of excess carbon dioxide that we have dumped there over the last 75 years. No esoteric academic niceties nor luxuries can be permitted to interfere with that essential and absolute requirement.
         Another pedantic and wasteful procedure is for authorities to demand to know, and therefore have determined at what the depth, in the soil profile, the new organic carbon is formed, and whether there is more or less at some specific depth, and whether it might vary over time. It’s a wasteful and extravagant and pointless exercise. It’s another delaying tactic for those industries and countries who have a callous need for global warming to continue unabated.
          The surface area concept is considerably cheaper, more logical and delightfully practical.
          If we have sufficient test sites, and we know the surface area of those sites and the depth the farmer expects to fertility enhance their soil, we have all we need to know. And we can pay them.  And we all win.
          A reliable and workable reward based system for soil sequestration demands easy, reliable and accurate sample collection and collation. This obvious and necessary requirement demanded that practical and suitable equipment had to be designed and developed to suit all locations and all soil types. So we developed the SOIL PIPE concept where, in principle, an auger is screwed into the ground as is common but, in our SOIL PIPE system the auger is enclosed in a metal tube with a known specific outside diameter.


       In operations, as the auger penetrates the soil the surrounding tube follows the auger bit down. The top of the tube is reinforced and may be hammered down to follow the bit. In practise however, the tube almost falls down the hole and simply follows the bit down. A very precisely sized sample is always obtained, quickly and easily.
         Nothing else with reliable accuracy seems to exist and be used anywhere in the world. Unenclosed post hole diggers, tree planting augers and general garden tools, all of unspecified, arbitrary and widely varying designs are invariable recommended. Reproducible and trustworthy results were therefore impossible.
       With our SOIL PIPE  no soil is able to fall into the hole from the sides. This usually happens because of the softness or dryness of the soil being drilled. With the SOIL PIPE, even in hard soil, loose soil, or even sand, the sample size and bulk, being strategically confined by the SOIL PIPE remains precise and consistent.
       Our SOIL PIPE has an outer diameter of 115 mm (standard light wall 4 inch pipe). In operation the Sleeve penetrates down to half a metre into the soil; or less if desired. The Sleeve lengths can, for special operations,  be made longer.  
        In this system the SOIL PIPE fits through a hold in a one metre square Collection Blanket laid on the ground.


       All the soil from the hole, and only the soil from the hole is ultimately collected on the Blanket. Consistency is assured.


       There is a small 4 inch diameter 2 stroke power auger supplied with the Carbon Still. The spinning auger constantly lifts the soil to the top of the SOIL PIPE where it is discharged.


        A fabric material Mini Skirt, confines the discharge so the soil is all collected on the blanket. It generally takes less than a minute to obtain a complete, half metre depth, sample.
          The outer diameter of the SOIL PIPE equates to a calculated ground area. This area consequently bears a known mathematic relation to the paddock area.
In turn the organic carbon content of the blended and screened, heated and tested sample mathematically determines the organic carbon content of the paddock, down to the nominated sampling depth.
         It should be appreciated that as the fertility increases due to changed farm  practises, soil density will slightly decrease. In monitory calculations, (just as was considered with water of crystallization) this is a slight detriment to the farmer. In consequence, it just cannot in anyway lead to some possible overpayment to a farmer for his success in his efforts to terminate Global Warming and catastrophic Climate Change.


     for Sample Cleaning, Screening and Preparation   

  With a Yeomans Carbon Still we supply an electric powered cement type mixer with a capacity of up to 40 kilograms.


         The field samples from the particular paddock are placed in this Rotary Mixer to intermix. Sometimes, if the soil is wet or damp it can clump together into balls. If this happens the combined field samples are best spread on a clean floor and allowed to air dry for a few hours and then remixed. They are best air dried to the point where the material can be obviously and comfortably worked through the Bunk Bed Sieves supplied with the Carbon Still Kit. Direct sunlight should be avoided in the drying process. The material should then be thoroughly mixed to form a homogeneous composite. The composite is then worked through the Bunk Bed Sieves.


Sieves  nest together and when the soil has been worked through a sieve, leaving only the stones and rocks, the sieve is tilted up and the rocks discharge onto the ground or into a bucket as shown. That sieve is then lifted off and the soil is worked through the next finer sieve down. The final sieve has a 2 mm aperture and below that is a tray where the sample material is ultimately collected.


         Sliding heavy block, such as a house brick, back and forth over the material gives quick and efficient screening. There are three sieves mounted on each other with a collecting tray under.


        The top one has approximately 10 mm openings.  The next approximately 5 mm openings. The lower sieve is a standard 2 mm opening sieve. Generally using either a Loss On Ignition procedure or a procedure based on chemical analysis, the biggest of the particles in the material being tested is required to pass through a 2 mm aperture metal screen. I believe this is a sane and sensible requirement and it is in generally use in most laboratories worldwide. 


There are three sieves plus the collector tray in the system. The support frame also serves as a packaging frame. This shows three sieves nestled inside an inverted support frame and held with a bungy cord. Transporting the system is easy. 


The “pack” can stand up, or lay down on any side, or in any way required.



The above shows two sieves and a Collecting Tray under them. Also the red part is a steel rubbing tool, to do the same job as a small house brick mentioned earlier.

       After the material has been worked through the top sieve this sieve is then tilted up to discharge any stones and rocks. (In other systems, where soil density is involved in calculations, these stones and rocks have to be retained and ground down to fit through the final 2 mm sieve.)



       The top sieve is then removed to gain access to the next sieve down. Any fibrous material such as plant roots and plant leaves must be hand selected and discarded in the screening process.       

  Dead or  decaying organic carbon material and soil humus from all the field samples is ultimately located in the lower collection tray. This final well mixed material must be split, possible several times, until a sample weighing around 2 kilograms is obtained. The numerical subdividing of the combined bulk sample can be done by mechanical separation, by “splitting”,  or simply by weight, until a suitable sample size suitable to “cook” in the Carbon Still is obtained.


Finally the Collecting Tray itself is emptied into a suitable container for mixing and splitting for testing in the Carbon Still.

       The final sample is then loaded into the Carbon Still for drying, and to obtain a dry weight balance.
       After dry a dry weight balance has been determined, the supply air is then brought up to the nominated LOI temperature until system exhaust temperatures stabilize. The system is held there for a short “soak” period, around 15 to 20 minutes to ensure complete organic matter combustion.
Samples with high organic matter content require the monitoring of both input air volumes and temperatures. These are easily controllable in the Yeomans Carbon Still. This control is often necessary to prevent excess temperature rises resulting from the heat release from the combustion of the sample’s own organic matter content.


                 The Yeomans Carbon Still. My hand is on the air flow meter.
 The balance arm is to my right.

A dry balance is obtained by adding or removing water from a  beaker after the exhaust air has stabilized at the nominated, above 100 °C temperature.  The input air is then bought up to the nominated LOI temperature, (around 500°C). When temperatures totally stabilize they are held there for a nominated time, generally around 20 minutes.

     When this  “heat soak” is over, cool air is forced through the sample to reduce exhaust temperatures to slightly over 100°C.

       The decrease in weight from LOI is then obtained by reducing the water content of the balancing beaker. The reduction in millilitres is then the LOI in grams from the soil sample.   

      In this protocol the known  “surface area” of the sample bears a known arithmetical relationship to the area of the test paddock. Changes in following years can only realistically be attributed to changes in organic matter content. The geological basics of the soil won’t change.

      The quantity of carbon dioxide sequestered into soil humus on that paddock, up from the previous original base line determinations is a simple calculation.

    The farmer must then be payed the carbon dioxide equivalent of that increase in soil carbon.

    Then finally when the trillion tonnes excess carbon dioxide is gone from our atmosphere, so too will be the creeping cancer of climate change.




(Note added 14 September)     The CFI Initiative Act 2011 I understand to be the first legislation in the world where a Government agrees to pay its farmers for soil carbon sequestration. I produced my first paper on my concept on 1989 so it has taken 22 years for it to become law anywhere in the world. Here it is administrated by the Department of Environment and Energy.

They naturally require suitable protocols on how a system should function. Unfortunately the actual sequestration of carbon into agricultural soils has become a very poor second to the Departments creation of detailed and restrictive protocol creation and their insistence on a farmer’s utter compliance.

I compiled the following Yeomans protocol in late 2016 early 2017. In March 2017 the Department made it obvious it would not be passed and anyway, it was not in their appropriate and approved format.  So I did another one. This time I followed the format  of their own hugely detailed (but totally unaccepted by the Australian Farmers) methodologies.  This “Yeomans Protocol ” I finally completed in late April 2017. The Department, and some people in their working groups that I was able to find, were immediately sent copies.

The Department didn’t like it and won’t approve it.  But for Australia and the World’s major agricultural countries it’s essential it is approved. So I’m not giving up.

For the complete Yeomans Protocol and the Department’s  obfuscation go to Red Box number 4. 



      Protocol for Monitoring Soil Carbon Levels  
                 for Reward Based Soil Carbon Sequestration  


        Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is modifying its optical properties causing more solar energy to be retained in the biosphere. The excess heat is in turn destabilizing world weather systems.

       Enhancing the fertility of the world’s agricultural soils could entrap more carbon dioxide than any other sequestration system currently proposed and thus combat this excess heating of the Earth’s biosphere.
       Financially rewarding land owners is the most effective means of encouraging the process of sequestration of CO2 into their soils. The sequestration occurs by enhancing the fertility and the organic matter content of those soils.

      For a reward system to operate the changes in the carbon content of the soil must be capable of being measured and monitored in a practical and reasonably efficient way. A protocol along with suitable equipment was therefore needed to ensure consistency and accuracy in measurement.

         The protocol described here is deliberately not based on needing to know the total organic carbon in a soil sample taken from a selected area.  In this protocol only the changes in total organic carbon need to be known. The quantity of carbonates that will release CO2 on heating is irrelevant. Likewise the water released from clay materials within the sample is irrelevant. The change that increases the LOI weight can only be attributed  to the increased change in organic matter content of the soil. An increase in the organic matter content of a soil sample must automatically decrease the content of clays and carbonates in that test sample. The increase in organic matter content is therefore slightly masked to the detriment of the farmer and definitely not to the detriment of the paying authority.
       In Australia a protocol for monitoring changes in organic matter content must meet the requirements of the Australian Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee (DOIC). The Federal Government announced the formation of DOIC on 27 October 2010. As at September 2013 no approval has ever been issued to any specific body or organization for a protocol to monitor the carbon levels in agricultural soils in Australia. An update at November 2016 also shows no approvals based on measured increases in soil carbon levels. No current soil carbon analysis system used by any organization, for any reason, anywhere in the world is sufficiently reliable nor sufficiently practical to have been adopted and approved for use in Australia by the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee and in turn adopted an Australian farmer. (See Note 4).
          The DOIC has been replaced by the ERAC. (Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee). The ERAC inturn, receives advice and guidance from the STWG  (Soil Technical Working Group). I understand the STWG  discussed this protocol at their meeting on Friday 3 March 2017. As at 24 April no official replies have been forthcoming.

           Additionally, existing soil analysis systems nominate that various soil samples be collected from specific depth bands within the soil profile. The soil densities at these specific depths then become an essential requirement in calculating levels of soil carbon. This requirement is considered excessively cumbersome and totally pointless.
          Existing systems and equipment for measuring soil carbon contents test soil samples of less than 10 grams, often between 0.4 grams and  0.8 grams.  Such equipment requires skilled personnel to operate. Generally such equipment needs to be housed and operated under laboratory conditions. Samples need time consuming preparation.  
        Soil testing procedures currently in use were designed to test soils for the mineral content of nutritional elements. Mineral content is fundamentally determined by the historic geological formation of the subsoil materials. Subsoils can be consistent and remarkably similar sometimes over many millions of hectares. It is presumed that the only significant variation in the soil composition is in the proportion of organic matter within the soil sample.
        Soil organic matter content can and often does vary from paddock to paddock. Soil organic matter content can often be orders of magnitude larger than individual nutritional elements in soils, but such elements are generally consistently distributed.
        For significant soil carbon sequestration vast areas of land will have to be monitored. Testing for changes in organic matter content using soil samples of a few grams or less are inadequate when land areas might be measured in hundreds or even thousands of hectares.
       While meaningful and believable results are a prerequisite for a reward based soil carbon sequestration system, excessively small test samples must justifiable cast considerable doubt on basic accuracies.


The Yeomans Protocol is designed to avoid the above noted difficulties.

       The objective of this protocol is to define a procedure whereby soils in areas typical of sizes common in agriculture can be tested for changes in soil carbon content on a per hectare basis. Those changes then form the basis on which rewards can be paid to relevant land holders for enhancing the organic matter content of their soils.
      It is a requirement of this protocol that test samples can be obtained in a practical, believable and acceptable manner and that testing procedures applied to those samples will produce information of sufficient consistency and accuracy to instill acceptable trust in the procedures.
          It is a requirement in this protocol that a Loss On Ignition procedure be used to determine a base measurement of soil organic carbon for the land area being observed and to determine changes in those measurements over time and that these changes are the determinants on which reward payments to land holders will be calculated. It is an additional requirement that individual samples for test should be of sufficient size to generally preclude errors due to the inherent variability in tiny samples of agricultural soils. It is therefore a requirement that sample weights must, during LOI tests, exceed 500 grams and preferable weigh nearer to 2,000 grams.
        This protocol requires air, or an air gas mixture, at a predetermined temperature be forced through the sample to control sample temperatures and ignition rates. It is also a requirement that no feed gas be allowed to bypass the soil sample. Preventing the bypass of gasses ensures that gasses exiting the test zone will be at the temperature of the sample.

It is a requirement that field sample test locations be determined in an acceptable and random manner.

It is a requirement that the collection of soil samples be supervised by a NATA approved laboratory or an  ASPAC body or any other entity approved by the Australian Department of the Environment , and that soil Loss On Ignition tests be conducted by a NATA or ASPAC approved laboratory,or any other entity approved by the Australian Department of the Environment . NATA is the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia. Other countries or organizations may approve  different testing requirements.

        {The Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council (ASPAC) was inaugurated in 1990, and incorporated in 1991 in Victoria as a charitable society.}

        {Established in 1947, NATA is the world’s first comprehensive laboratory accreditation body, and is still one of the largest.
NATA ls Australia’s compliance monitoring authority for the OECD Principles of GLP.
NATA provides independent assurance of technical competence through a proven network of best practice industry experts for customers who require confidence in the delivery of their products and services. NATA formally recognises that these facilities produce reliable technical results which make the world a safer and more certain place. NATA’s work increases community confidence and trust in a facility’s services, mitigates risk, improves tendering success and facilitates trade}

         It should be appreciated that in the monitoring of total soil carbon level changes by soil carbon sequestration by enhancing soil fertility it is only necessary and only relevant to know the changes in the total weight per unit of area of the carbon based material in the soil. Therefore the surface area of test samples and the arithmetic relationship of those surface areas to the specific land area being tested is the only information required. (To illustrate – the organic matter content in a sample under a 100 mm by 100 mm square, when multiplied by one million is the organic matter content of one hectare of land)
      The depth of sampling is irrelevant provided it never exceeds the Base Line depth nor exceeds relevant Base Line sample weights.. It should be appreciated that, if, for some reason in the future it is desired to increase sampling depth then new Base Line tests can, and have to be established.
      Within this protocol it is a requirement that testing is regularly repeated, and therefore past results from previous years are constantly subject to effective revalidation. Errors in any one year and possible over-payments in any one year are in consequence automatically adjusted the following year.  


       A person or a group is required to monitor test procedures and to approve and authorize test results submitted to the applicable payment authority, e.g. compliance with a NATA  or ASPAC requirements.
         The qualifications and reliability of the test personnel must be determined by the payment authority i.e. The Australian Department of the Environment or their nominee, (the Department) who should then give the necessary approval to such personnel when NATA or ASPAC compliance are not being used. 
       However, to a significant extent the protocol, here described, is self correcting in that errors or exaggerations in test results in any one year, will be observed in test results for subsequent years, and payments can be adjusted accordingly.
       When procedures are not conducted using an approved NATA or ASPAC organisation as an additional safeguard, if required, a checking person from the relevant Payment Authority can randomly test or observe test sequences and ensure relevant protocols are being observed. An authorizing person or group therefore does not require detailed engineering, or agricultural or chemical training. That they be of sufficient honesty and reliability is all that is basically required. Thus an engineering or  licensed surveyor, or a governmentally appointed agronomist, or in Australia a Land Care group, a licensed real estate valuator, a Justice of the Peace, a police officer, a court officer or any reputable person belonging to an organization known to the payment authority can be approved by the Department, will be acceptable.  
       To avoid excessive variations in test results that might occur with unusual land topography it is suggested that an agronomist be consulted to advise on initial test hole location patterns. This is not considered to be essential due to the self correcting nature of the protocol. It is recommended only for the practicality and consistency of the test procedures.


         In this Protocol the organic matter to be determined is based on how much is located under the size nominated field sample test equipment to the depth selected. The organic matter in the paddock is simply a multiple of that quantity at that depth. (See Note 2)
        The organic matter content in this protocol is a figure obtained by a Loss On Ignition test taken to a maximum nominated temperature from a sample taken to the nominated depth. It is recognized that samples taken to greater depths and to higher temperatures, and held for longer durations times could produce higher LOI weight losses. Conversely lower sample depths and lower LOI test temperatures and held there for shorter durations cannot produce higher LOI  weight losses
        It is also a requirement in LOI procedures that samples must be dried to temperatures above 100°C prior to testing. It is also recognized that samples dried to higher temperatures and for longer drying times could produce lower  LOI weight loss determinations.

      It is therefore a basic requirement, and an automatically acceptable determinant, that within this protocol , once Base Line parameters are set and Base Line readings are established then subsequent tests are always acceptable provided only that:

-sample depths never exceed the Base Line depths selected and sample weights must never exceed base line sample weights

-drying temperatures and drying time durations always exceed the Base Line drying temperature and drying times selected

– LOI temperatures used, and duration times held at those LOI temperatures, must never exceed the Base Line temperatures selected and the Base Line duration times.


[April 21 2017 . A “methodology” to conform to the stringent requirenents of the Australian Department of the Environment will be ready by April 30 2017 and will be added at the end of this page. It will cover all aspects of measuring for soil carbon changes in Australian soils. It is being prepared to allow farmers (“project proponents”) to receive Australian Carbon Credits.

        Soils Types – Cropping Histories – CEA Shapes

       The specific land area, the Carbon Estimation Area (CEA) under test must be well defined; for example with fences, or bordered by roads, by creeks, by power lines poles, by contour or irrigations drains, or by using GPS coordinates, and the like. The CEA  may be the entire farm.
       The  CEA should then be subdivided into a number of smaller sub-divisional areas, or “strata”. At least 9 strata  should be created, preferably all with easily locatable boundaries.
       Striatum  need not have equal areas provided that the total number of samples from any Strata is proportional to the area of that Strata.
       If a CEA is too small for a practical division into Strata – say less than 5 ha  – then at least nine  samples, randomly located,  should be takes from that single CEA.
       Within any CEA the nature of the soil should be as consistent as is practical. For example a CEA should preferably not contain both valley soils and ridge soils. It is a requirement that the specific location of sample holes is random within a CEA. It follows that it is feasible that in one particular year all samples could, by chance, be located in the valley floor and the following year all on the adjacent ridge. While this will not affect average results over extended times it will mask year to year variations in soil management practices thus signifacantly delaying the determining of advantageous or disadvantageous farming techniques.  Similarly a CEA should not contain both pasture land and land that is regularly cropped.
      The shape of CEAs are relatively irrelevant and should only be determined by the variations in topography and management practices within the CEA.

      LOCATION OF TEST HOLES WITHIN A CEA      Farming activities such as cropping or cultivation procedures within an individual CEA should preferably be consistent. This is advisable as later sampling locations will randomly cross from one treatment zone to another. If, for practical management purposes, variations are required within a CEA, then additional samples should be taken randomly and  be proportional to the smaller areas. These samples are to be combined, and mechanically reduced, so as to equal the sample size of the original total CEA.
       It is recognized that there are many geometrical and mathematically systems for randomly locating test hole locations within a CEA.

One general suitable procedure for test hole locations. ( for Australia see the sampling procedures described at the end of these pages.

The grid procedure is the preferred procedure in this Protocol, however if an approved testing organization prefers to use another system that is completely acceptable within this Protocol.

Obtain an accurate map of the test area.

Decide to use either Magnetic North or True North for all directional decisions. A grid may be laid out within a CEA in any orientation however the grid lines are best arranged to align with the nearest convenient Cardinal direction.

Lay out a grid pattern on the test area map. Within the CEA individual grid components must be all equal in size. Almost any grid pattern is acceptable: squares and rectangles are the easiest but shapes like octagons are acceptable.

It is best to have around 30 to 40 strata in a large CEA.The number is best determined by the owner, the local agronomist (if the local agronomist is the testing laboratory’s accepted supervisor). and the testing laboratory. The boxes or the intercepts are then numbered.

Locations are randomly selected and test samples are taken in the field from each selected location. Five or six test samples from any strata are generally satisfactory but this number is to be decided by the relevant soil testing laboratory.

The locations need then to be transferred to the infield subdivide and marked there with (for example) a peg.

The locations, and the specific location procedures used must be recorded each time. Samples must be transferred to individual containers and sealed sufficiently to generally prevent free air circulations.

In Australia, where NATA or ASPAC approvals are required that include field sample collections, the individual approved laboratory is to nominate the applicable sample depths to be used. Base Line depths are to be at least 50 mm deeper than all subsequent depths.



      The first year is when the fertility Base Line becomes established. This first test series is important and should be undertaken most diligently. It is also recommended to do several soil organic matter tests in the test area to determine a more consistent and meaningful  Base Line for the area.
       For the next test series, this generally will be in the following year, the procedures are to be essentially the same. 
          In subsequent years, after the first year’s test, the field test samples can be all bulked, unless the land holder desires more detailed information. If samples are bulked then it is a requirement that every sample taken from every area must represent an equal land surface area.
       It should be appreciated that the method of test hole locations need not follow the above procedures. The only necessity is that the method of locating test holes must, as near as is practical, give good and accurate representation of the nature of the soils within the test areas. Also that the specific locations must be located using a predetermined and agreed upon random system of location.
      The locations, and the specific location procedures used must be recorded each time.


       The only significant reason for this protocol to exist at all is to utilize the information collected to encourage the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide into soil by increasing the organic carbon content of that soil. It follows that it is pointless to only monitor soils at depths significantly less than 300 mm. In this protocol 300 mm is nominated as the minimum depth for sampling. Exceptions are only permissible where consistent geological or man made depth limits have been created, e.g. soil located on a rock pad.
       It is logical that for the initial sampling to determine a Base Line reading, the depth of sampling should be the maximum practical for the soil type and the underlining geology in the Paddock in consideration.
       The recommended depth for this protocol is between 300 mm and 600 mm.  The depth to derive a Base Line should always be 50 mm deeper than any subsequent sampling depths. 500 mm is generally a good operational depth with the Base Line being taken to 550 + mm.
In some cases it can be difficult to achieve even 300 mm, so 250 mm or even 200 mm may have to be used.
When sampling, the SOIL PIPE is made to follow the auger to the selected depth. For setting Base Lines the auger must continue on for a minimum of another 50 mm.  For non Base Line tests the auger depth should not exceed the Soil Pipe depth. This is to avoid soil being collected from a larger area than that within the outer Soil Pipe diameter.
          In this protocol determinations are calculated using the surface area of the Paddock and the surface area under which the sample soil is collected. It follows that in any subsequent year, for convenience, shallower depths can be used. The reason being that if the original Base Line depth is not exceeded, then the organic carbon content under the test selected surface area can never accidently exceed the base readings. It can only be exceeded if definite and significant increases in the soil carbon content of the soil have occurred.
       The sample can be any geometric shape of known surface area however a round sample is generally more convenient. Such a sample should have a minimum diameter of 75 mm. However it is recommended that core diameters should be a 100 mm for a variety of practical reasons. There is no objection within this protocol for larger diameters or for variation in actual hole shapes. It is appreciated that the larger the area of the test hole, the higher the expected accuracy.
      Farm post hole diggers are effective and are suggested for sample collection. It is however essential that the walls of the test hole do not collapse into the test hole. Where this is even remotely possible,  a sleeve or Soil Pipe surround must be used.
      It is an absolute requirement that all the material from a test hole must be collected for analysis. It is suggested that a sheet of some flexible material, such as canvas can have a hole cut in it the diameter of the drill or auger. This then should be laid on the ground over where the sample is to be taken. The auger is then located so as to pass through the hole. All the material from the core is then conveniently trapped on the canvas sheet.
      If a large and uncommon rock is encountered that would prevent full core depth being obtained, an alternate core should be obtained at some small and random distance from the failed hole. However if such large rocks are particularly common and would be expected to be encountered in similar numbers in subsequent years then when a rock is encountered, the drilling can be stopped at the depth of encounter, and the already collected soil from these holes should be considered as typical samples for the CEA, and their bulk should be considered as the bulk from those obtaining the nominated depth.
      Loose rocks and stones collected in samples can be brushed and the soil returned to the sample. The rocks and stones can then be discarded. This can be done at any convenient time. Discarding rocks cannot be permitted when organic matter calculations involve soil density. (The Yeomans Carbon Still system does not involve density.)
      Plant material must also be discarded before material testing. As a policy, this should be done at all convenient times.
      The samples from a CEA are then bulked. The bulked material is then divided and subdivided. A reputable sample splitter, such as a riffle splitter or chute splitter or Jones type splitter, commonly used in assaying for minerals in mining, is ideal. Alternatively a “cone and quarter” technique can be used, but although suitable, the cone and splitter technique is considered marginally less accurate.
      The subdividing ratios must be noted. Subdividing the sample is continued until a sample, or a number of samples of sizes suitable to the capacity of the LOI testing equipment are obtained. Sample sizes above 1,000 grams and not exceeding 2,000 grams amply suit this protocol. One sample for the LOI test is generally sufficient The laboratory or a local agronomist may request more than one in unusual circumstances.
The practice of testing samples weighing less than 10 grams is seen as not particularly believable, and in Australia it is definitely not (at  September 2013) accepted for any proposed payment determinations.

      If considerable delays are expected between collection and testing it is advisable to store the samples at reduced temperatures, but not below 4° C. It should be noted that the probability is that delays would slightly decrease the measurable carbon content. Any decreases would be to the disadvantage of the land holder; not to the government agency involved. For Base Line determinations delays must be kept to an absolute minimum.
      The possibility of slight increases in mass from delays in testing is considered extremely unlikely.
     Within this protocol test procedures are to be regularly repeated, often on a yearly basis, therefore past results are constantly subject to effective revalidation. Errors in any one year, and possible over payments in any one year, are therefore automatically adjusted the following year.  

      That is why a local policeman, a court officer, a local government agronomist, in Australia a Land Care group, or a member of any similar respected body would be satisfactory to monitor these procedures.
      Due to the now extreme urgency of combating global warming, it is also suggested that deference should always be given to the land holder, not the payment authority. Delays must be avoided, almost at any cost.

                 TIME OF YEAR FOR TESTING

       Where practical, testing should preferably be conducted at approximately the same time of the year, each year. This is to avoid possible seasonal effects and more specifically to minimize delays in determining the effects of variations in on-farm management techniques. Selecting the time of the year is more a matter of convenience and practical consideration.


Update 4/4/2017

A sample for testing must be screened or sieved through a 2 mm sieve prior to heating. Soil clods of all sizes must be broken down during or prior to the screening. Any remaining plant materials are best removed by hand during the screening process. Any relatively clean stones , collected during screening can be discarded.
      For ease of screening, excessively wet or moist samples can be spread on a flat surface and air dried with a small fan. The fan air temperature must be set at 40 °C for dying Base Line test samples. For non Base Line tests air temperatures should not exceed 75 °C as possible LOI effects might occur and significantly decrease the LOI results. The air drying procedure can proceed the test drying and LOI test by several days but generally for as short time as practical, but not to exceed times requested by the testing laboratory. 
      The 2 mm sieve nomination is for two reasons. The first being that “soil” by convention is generally defined as that material capable of passing through a 2 mm sieve. The second is that the carbonaceous materials being monitored need to be in reasonably close proximity to the oxidizing gasses, and in larger particles oxygen penetration can be excessively inhibited.
      In this protocol a test sample represents a known surface area and a known proportion of the area of the land being tested. The objective is to know the Loss On Ignition weight of the sample. From this, a weight, sufficiently representative of the organic matter content of the test land area, can readily be calculated. The LOI test is not to determine the ratio of the LOI weight to the soil weight, for in this protocol, this is irrelevant. It is ultimately to determine the LOI weight for a nominated area of land, which would be expressed in tonnes per hectare.
This figure is then converted to tonnes of carbon by multiplying by 58% and then converted to equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide by dividing this number by 0.2727.  The LOI weight multiplied by  2.127 is the carbon dioxide equivalent from the soil. 

       In this protocol, the actual specific weight of the sample does not enter the calculations. Only the actual weight losses themselves are relevant.
      In most LOI type tests, it is a requirement that before weighing, samples are pre-heated to above 100°C, and held at those temperatures until the sample is assuredly dried. In some LOI tests the samples are dried to 40 °C and a correction factor is applied to the LOI weights.  In this Protocol Base Line drying exit temperatures must be above 100°C  but not exceed 115°C . Exit gas temperatures must remain within this temperature range for a minimum of 6 minutes and a maximum of 16 minutes. In subsequent years exit temperatures must exceed 115 °C for a minimum of 16 minutes, but with no set maximum time delay. 17 minutes is satisfactory.
      In all soil analysis systems it is a requirement to always weigh samples at some predetermined temperature, usually  room temperature, this generable being because of the type of the scales used in most laboratories. Room temperature soil weighing require samples be cooled down to room temperatures in a desiccator before weighing. This multiple handling of samples has to be undertaken with extreme care to avoid accidental errors and water absorption into the sample from the surrounding air. In this Yeomans Protocol the sample never leaves the central oven, and the oven with its entrapped sample is kept slightly above 100°C during all weighing procedures.
      The Yeomans Carbon Still employs a balancing arm arrangement, in which at one end is a weighing tray, and at the other end is mounted the heating chamber that contains the sample to be tested.
      The Yeomans Carbon Still is pre-balanced with fixed weights so as to be slightly less than the weight of the internal container in the apparatus. A beaker is then placed on the weighing scales and water is added to bring the weight up so as to achieve an exact balance.
      The use of laboratory weights can be dispensed with and a quantity of water can be added to or subtracted from the weighing tray to achieve a balanced and stable equilibrium at any time during the test procedures. The water content of a sample is automatically revealed during the drying procedure.
      After drying and weighing the sample is then heated to the desired LOI temperature and held at that temperature for a nominated time to ensure complete oxidation of all organic compounds.
      In this Protocol the Base Line is determined by creating a stable exhaust temperature of gasses exiting the soil trays between 530°C and 585°C and maintaining this temperature for a minimum time of 40 minutes. (Alternatively, the sample can be maintained at this temperature for 20 minutes, cooled and weighed and then reheated to the nominated temperatures and reweighed until no measurable decrease in two sequential weightings is observed.)

      In all subsequent tests, after the Base Line test, exhaust temperatures should not exceed 530°C and must be held at or below 530°C  for a maximum time of less than 40 minutes. The resultant measured difference in weight is the LOI figure to be used for the sample. Because the Base Line temperatures are higher than all subsequent tests the LOI figures are always conservative. Thus – they are never over stated.

        In the Yeomans Carbon Still the sample is weighed while still contained within the heating oven. Weighings are then always taken at temperatures slightly in excess of 100°C. This avoids any errors that could result from changes in sample moisture content.
        In the Yeomans Carbon Still air is preheated to the test temperature  and then forced under pressure through the soil sample. The forced air flow facilitates accurate temperature control and rapid sample temperature adjustment if required.  But most importantly, it ensures quick and intimate contact of all soil organic materials with the oxidizing gas during the LOI heating procedure.
       In practice, the sample must not be brought up to high LOI temperatures too rapidly, as rapid oxidation of the organic matter within the sample can  occur creating excessive heat. Rapid heating can cause temperatures to excessively increase and, in consequence exceed the maximum temperatures nominated in tests.
      To prevent such possible errors, the test sample is heated, in the intimate presence of air or oxygen, to approximately 300°C and then gradually raised to initiate oxidation and combustion of the materials within the test sample without undue overheating. Means must also be available to prevent excessive rates of oxidation. In the Yeomans Carbon Still this is achieved by reducing the flow and temperature of the supply air to the central container. Should forced cooling be necessary, as might occur with samples containing extremely high levels of combustible materials, then a cool inert gas flow can replace, or be mixed with the air inflow to maintain test temperatures in the nominated range. (see Note 3)
      When the majority of combustion appears to be substantially completed, as evidenced by a general stabilization of tray exit temperatures, then temperatures are raised progressively to the test nominated temperatures and held there until combustion is totally completed.  (Current practice, when not using a Yeomans Carbon Still, suggests the high temperatures should be held at least overnight, and often longer. Additionally the sample size has to be very small. The sample sizes are generally below 10 grams, or even as low as 5 grams, to minimize this long time period for completing oxidation and stabilize LOI effects. By using extremely small samples procedural times can be kept down to to several hours or possibly overnight. Because of the small soil sample sizes it becomes questionable whether they can accurately relate to the organic matter content of large areas of agricultural land.)
      The Yeomans Carbon Still uses pressurized forced convection to ensure rapid and effective and intimate soil air contact. Because of this the maximum temperatures need only be maintained for relatively low time durations ( except for the nominated times when establishing Base Lines.) Some soils need as little as 5 minutes to achieve almost total LOI. When extremely short time periods are used incomplete combustion to carbon dioxide  and carbon monoxide can occur. This can sometimes be indicated by visible smoke exiting the exhaust stack. These occurrences do not measurably effect the accuracy of the LOI procedure.
      When the test is conducted using a Yeomans Carbon Still the test sample is cooled for weighing by both disconnecting the electric heating elements and increasing the air flow by around three fold. Supply air, set at slightly above 100°C is forced through the unit until system temperatures settle at slightly above 100°C. The temperature range suitable for weighing is between 100°C and 135°C. At these temperatures the weight of any water absorbed from the cooling ambient air is less than measurable, so can be ignored.
      In all procedures in this Protocol the weight decrease to achieve balance is determined by what quantity of water is removed from the weighing tray. This quantity is measured using a laboratory measuring cylinder or a pipette to determine weight. This is then the LOI weight decrease to be recorded.
      Using comparative land surface areas, as in this Protocol means determinacy of densities is irrelevant.
      The measure of organic matter content of the Paddock is a simple multiple of the LOI of the test samples.
       Total organic matter content increases from year to year can then be readily calculated and incentive payments to farmers determined.

                 PAYMENT PROCEDURES

  1.    Payments in this protocol are to be based on increases in soil carbon determined by actual soil tests based on Loss On Ignition test procedures. Payments are not to be made based on compliance with nominated and regulated and decreed farm management practices.
  2.     Farmers undertaking carbon soil sequestration by enhancing the fertility and productivity of their soils should be paid or credited at a minimum rate of $10 a tonne carbon dioxide equivalent (See Note 1). There must be no doubt in farmers minds that they will receive this credit fairly and promptly.
    1.    Payments for soil carbon sequestration are to be paid to farmers after any qualifying increases in soil organic matter. Should qualifying increases occur in the first year they should be paid.
      1.    To prevent excesses and valueless administrative overloads, application for payment should only be lodged where expected payments would be around a pre-nominated minimum figure: $1000 is suggested.
      2.    The accuracy of the Yeomans Carbon Still is within 0.075%. It follows that a 0.1% accuracy can safely be presumed in calculations. That 0.1% equates to a rise of approximately 4 tonnes of organic matter per hectare. Increases in organic matter of less than 4 tonnes per hectare, even worldwide are considered too small to be significant in preventing Global Warming.  
      1.    There should be no maximum nor minimum farm size or farm area nominated in this protocol. Provided only that other nominated minimum are not exceeded.
  3.              APPROPRIATE CAVEATS MUST APPLY Any land area for which payments have been made for increases in soil carbon must be subject to a caveat to ensure that soil carbon levels do not decrease in the immediate future. Soil tests must be carried out on the subject land to ensure that the organic carbon content is maintained. If not maintained then they should be re-established. If not re-established then an appropriate caveat should,  in some suitable way, be attached to the land title acknowledging it as a debt to the payment authority. After the 20 year period soil carbon tests are to be undertaken on the subject land once every 8 years for a further period of 24 years. (Other forms of caveats that do not impose more onerous demands on a land owner are completely acceptable within this Protocol)
            When carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere fall below 299 ppm  caveats on the maintenance of soil carbon levels should be made null and void. Additionally, should it become scientifically accessed that Global Warming has become irreversible and beyond human control then  caveats on the maintenance of soil carbon levels should again be made null and void. (It would not be just nor seem fair to impose an ongoing penalty on those people that actually made meaningful attempts to prevent Global Warming and Climate Change).  


THE AUSTRALIA  FEDERAL DEPARTMENT of the ENVIRONMENT currently (2017) still won’t accept the clear and well designed  EUROPEAN UNION’S SOIL TESTING STANDARDS…………..Why is this so?

Over more than a decade, national laboratories in the countries of the European Union have been systematically developing a standard for testing soil carbon content and variations in that content. These standards were approved by the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) on 24 May 2012. They are nominated as European Standards EN 15934 and EN 15935.

CEN members comprise the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.

The preamble to the Standards notes: CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN member.

It surely will be considered by many as ignorance, as negligence or possibly as irresponsible incompetence if CEN standards and procedures are not recognized and accepted as a valid measuring system for determining variations in soil carbon content in Australian soils.

Accepting compliance with European Standards also allows the possibility that Australian Carbon Credits for Soil Carbon Sequestration could be traded within the European Union and additionally, possibly with any country or corporation outside the European Union that generally accept and operate and respect the validity of CEN Standards.


Note 1       The “carbon dioxide equivalent” is the most common figure used in assessing green house gas numbers. Payments to farmers are based on “green house gas equivalents”.

      Of relevance:    The percentage of carbon in soil organic matter varies, generally in a range between 50% and 60%.  58% is a commonly used figure in agriculture and is nominated for use in this protocol, simply for consistency. The carbon content in carbon dioxide is very close to 12/44 or 27.27% . Therefore LOI weights multiplied by 58% gives us the carbon content. That content divided by 27.27% gives us the carbon dioxide equivalent of the LOI weight. In round figures for one tonne of stable organic matter increase the farmer should be credited with two tonnes (2.127) of carbon dioxide.

Note 2    The temperature recommended in EU standard TC WI :2003 (E)  for Loss On Ignition testing for sludge, soil and bio-waste is 550°C + or – 25°C. These temperatures do not specifically cater for measuring variations for incentive payments to farmers, but they do demonstrate the validity of the recommended ranges called for in this Yeomans Protocol.   

     A publication of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers 2006 shows LOI of humic substances in some soils is not totally complete until 550°C.  However this same research showed that LOI occurring after 525°C to be relatively small. The Yeomans Protocol temperature ranges assures that farmers are unlikely to ever receive over payments for gains in their soil organic matter.

     Within this protocol test procedures are regularly being repeated often on a yearly basis, therefore past results are constantly subject to effective revalidation. Errors in any one year, and possible over payments or under payments, in any one year, are therefore automatically adjusted in subsequent years.

     It is appreciated that the subsoil materials from which the topsoil has formed, vary extensively. In some soils LOI may be substantially and significantly completed at lower temperatures. In such cases a lower maximum LOI temperature may be adopted if mutually agreed between the land holder and the testing authority.

     Some soils and subsoils exist where weight loss from chemical changes in the mineral constituents of the soil are of such a magnitude that they mask the weight loss from LOI of the organic carbon constituents. A notable example are the soils in the Piedmont counties of Virginia, USA. These soils contain the mineral gibbsite  (Al2O3 • 3H2O) , and gibbsite has been reported to lose substantial amounts of water at temperatures as low as 300°C.

     As the objective of this protocol is to encourage and facilitate the rewarding of land holders for sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide into enhanced soil fertility, it is acceptable for variations in this protocol to be approved to cater for these effects. Such variations have to be mutually agreed between the land holder and the testing authority.

        In general no modification to this protocol should be disallowed if the modification does not artificially increase indicated increases in soil organic carbon.
     Note 3        Bottled argon could be used however bottled nitrogen is inexpensive and nitrogen is already present in the air flow. Nitrogen is therefore recommended should the unlikely need for extreme cooling ever arise.

     Note 4     These Kyoto considerations are not totally embraced by the DOIC however a significant level of cohesion certainly exists. The DOIC has been replaced by the ERAC. (Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee). The ERAC in turn, receives advice and guidance from the STWG  (Soil Technical Working Group).
Signing on to the Kyoto Protocol almost guaranteed that Global Warming would continue unabated but signing on was promoted so forcefully that it became “politically correct” and essential, to sign on.
      There are several in-field site selection systems discussed in the available literature. None were designed to be a practical, workable, efficient and inexpensive a system for a reward based soil carbon sequestration protocol. They were designed only to make it easy for year to year sampling, monitoring and reporting. Within these systems sample test locations within a generally 25 metre square test plot are randomly located, but the location of the 25 metre square stays unchanged. Its location is always known. Also it is obviously known by the land owner and therefore could be given special treatment with manures and the like. Such a system obviously could not be trusted by any responsible payment authority.

       Unlike the Yeomans Protocol, the unfortunate reality of these protocols is that their sampling complexities are a serious hindrance to the establishment of a workable system, and all for no real reason. Most do not cater for the requirement for repeatable random selection. Most are designed to select test areas that are, as stated, typically of 25 metres square. Also within that square, a further subdivision down to, typically one hundred very small squares, is usually called for. Sample sizes themselves are 10 grams or smaller.

      The Kyoto Protocol stipulates that member countries should report changes in their soil carbon stocks. The stipulated methods of measuring these changes virtually precludes using the results to monitor soil changes that could be of use in rewarding farmers for sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide into soil. SOIL SAMPLING PROTOCOL TO CERTIFY THE CHANGES OF ORGANIC CARBON STOCKS IN MINERAL SOIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION Version 2 of 2007   Reference EUR 21576 EN/2. illustrates the seemingly pointless nature of the protocols. It states that  it was designed specifically to obtain carbon levels and carbon storage in soils as nominated within the (unnecessarily complex) Kyoto Protocols. In these protocols, samples for testing in the various European laboratories invariable call for samples of 10 grams, or less. Also in this EU protocol a huge number of field samples are stipulated and samples are required at many nominated and specific depths.
       Thus the  Kyoto Protocols effectively insure that effective and meaningful reward based soil carbon sequestration never happens.
        Note 5       

        The most current, and useful literature on LOI soil carbon determinations is found in a publication in the European Journal of Soil Science (March 2015 66 320-328). Entitled – Estimating soil organic carbon through loss on ignition: effects of ignition conditions and structural water loss

           It reported on some very recent and useful research done at Wageningin University The Netherlands by a group comprising M. J. J. Hoogsteen,  E. A. Lantinga  E. J. Bakker  J. C. J. Groot   P. A. Tittonell. This group under took many tests with a variety of soil types to study LOI concepts in determining total soil organic carbon. (The Yeomans Carbon Still was, at that time, not available to test.)

        In summary, the researchers noted and reported that :-

(Observation 1)     Wide variations can occur in endeavoring to determine the absolute organic carbon content of a soil sample using LOI, but LOI was still deemed the most practical.

(Observation 2)    Sample weight was important and recommended sample weights of less than 20 grams. It is known that, with large samples heat conduction through the sample can introduced a range of variables.

(Observation 3)    Variations occur with different furnace configurations.

(Observation 4)    Clay and carbonate fractions within the samples introduced additional variables from release of combined water and release of carbon dioxide from clay fraction and soil carbonates.

(Observation 5)     Placement within a furnace would often add another variable.

(Observation 6)     Temperatures for ignition should be 550°C or above.

(Observation 7)     An ignition duration of 3 hours should be used for practical considerations.

(Observation 8)     Variations in initial air temperature has little effect.

We consider that where the object is to determine total soil organic carbon levels these observations should obviously apply to all LOI soil tests. However, to combat rising biosphere temperatures, by rewarding farmers to use soil carbon sequestration, the requirement must only be to accurately monitor rises in those levels, and then to enable us to reward the farmers for these rises.

         With reference to the Yeomans Protocol and to the Yeomans Carbon Still it is suggested that:–

           Observation -1.   Does not apply as the Yeomans Protocol and using the Carbon Still is to determine changes in levels of soil carbon, and not absolute levels.
           Observation -3    Does not apply as only a forced air flow design and a specific configuration is called for in the Yeomans Protocol.

Observation – 5    Does not apply as locations within the Carbon Still do not vary.
          Observation – 6    The Yeomans Protocol uses the same temperature recommended in this Wageningin University paper for Base Line determinations but uses a lesser temperature for all subsequent tests.
          Observation – 7    In the Yeomans Protocol test time duration is determined when establishing original Base Lines and occur when exhaust temperature stability becomes established. For subsequent tests, test times can vary at the operator’s discretion, but must never exceed the time taken to establish an original Base Line.
          Observation – 8    Does not apply as the air supply is a controlling variable and is part of the Carbon Still LOI test procedure.  




The location of the test hole is first determined.
     Two people are required for best operations,


    Depth indicator markings must be placed on both the Screw Auger flighting and on the outside to the Soil Pipe.

    From a practical point of view the exact location of the test hole can  be anywhere within half a metre of the determined location. If a road or a tree, or some other immovable object could interfere with the sampling process, then the location should be moved due north until a suitable location appears. (north for consistency only)

    Clear the immediate area of grass and any debris sufficiently to lay down the Collection Blanket  and pin it down at its four corners.

    Sit the Soil Pipe in the central hole in the Collection Blanket, then put some weight on the soil pipe and screw it backwards and forwards. This will make it penetrate the ground and should be taken down to some easy maximum  depth. A little down pressure with a foot works well.

      Now fit the Mini Skirt.

     Put the Screw Auger in the inside of the soil pipe and start it. Stand with the right leg against a Soil Pipe handle. This prevents the auger from possibly grabbing and spinning the Soil Pipe.    Spin up the auger and allow it to penetrate to just a little below the bottom of the soil pipe.  Spinning up the auger always encourages the soil to rise and discharge onto the Collection Blanket.

     Continue to work the Auger into the ground while continuously working the Soil Pipe so as to follow closely behind the digging faces on the auger.

     The nominated depth is reached when the Soil Pipe bottoms on the Collection Blanket and when the Screw Auger depth marks, line up. The auger should not be allowed to have its cutting blades penetrate more than the soil test nominated depth.

     When the nominated depth is reached, most soil material would have emptied out through the top of the soil pipe and dropped back onto the Collection Blanket      .

     Stop the auger engine and remove the Screw Auger from the Soil Pipe, and clean off any soil attached to the auger, back onto the Collection Blanket.

     Drop the Extractor Screw into the hole and gently screw it down into the loose soil still remaining in the test hole. Slide the Extractor Screw up vertically to allow the loose soil to spill onto the Collection Blanket Repeat this process to the nominated depth until only negligible  quantities of soil are removed each time.

     The Half Moon Cup has a long handle that hooks over the rim of the Soil Pipe and is able to set the depth as required. Use the Half Moon Cup to remove the last of the soil samples. Drop the Half Moon Cup into the hole and use your fingers to fill the Cup. Give the Half Moon Cup a half turn to allow it drop into the area that has now been cleaned. Remove and empty the Cup onto the Collection Blanket . Do this a couple of times until negligible loose soil exists above the nominated hole depths. The Soil pipe is approximately 100 mm, or 4 inches in diameter. One reason this size is used is because it is big enough to put a hand down the hole to find out what’s happening and what the problem might be,  (Hint: cover your finger nails with stickey tape and dirt won’ get wedged under them)

     Using a hand brush clean the area on the Collection Blanket around the hole sufficiently to fit the Cover Plate.

     Now extract and remove the Soil Pipe from the ground and cover the exposed hole with the Cover Plate.

     Collect up the Collection Blanket with its soil sample and spill the sample into a suitable sample bag for transport.

        Appropriately label the sample.

Sometimes the ground can be so hard and compacted that the auger digging blades seem to give up and simply slide around the bottom of the hole without penetrating. To fix remove the digging auger – the one with all the flighting- and fit on the gouging auger. It has two vertical blades each attached at a different radius. Run these at low revolutions but with plenty of weight on the auger. Then remove the broken up soil with the Extractor and the Half Moon Cup as previous.

Sometimes stones or rocks stop the auger from penetrating. If a rock won’t fit up the Soil Tube, and a Base Line is being established, then that  hole has to be abandoned. If it’s not a Base Line hole and it seems deep enough and is through the humus rich layer the already collected soil from the hole will generally be sufficient.

If it’s a small rock use the Rock Ram to break it up or dislodge it then remove it by hand., Be diligent to cover the cavity in the side wall of the hole with the Soil Pipe as quickly as possible. This is to prevent soil falling in and being collected as part of that hole’s sample. Without a Soil  Pipe, or some other sleeve system to encase the soil sample  it is difficult to imagine how soil volume measurements can be consistently trusted.

      As a safety measure it is essential that the test holes be refilled with suitable material and packed down. Soil is usually the best material. It is too easy to put a foot down an unfilled hole. 


(Below is a general guide to how things will work for you and why.
Australia is responsible for 1.17% of the excess one trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide causing global warming.
That’s 11.7 billions tonnes and at  $10 per tonne that’s $11.7 billion per year for ten years.
That’s our obligation and that’s what we  Australians have to pay you farmers to get rid of the stuff.)


When the Yeomans Protocol is approved, this is how it will work

You decide the area on the farm on which you are going to monitor soil carbon levels. It may be the whole farm or just part of it.

The total area is your decision and could be anywhere from a few hectares to hundreds of hectares.

The area is then divided into roughly 5 to 10 sub-areas. You can decide yourself their shape and size.

It’s inevitable that farm areas will often consist of various paddocks and various land shapes and inevitably many with widely varying histories. But that actually doesn’t matter.

Typically sub-areas should separate different topographical shapes. For example the bottom of valleys should be separated from the sides of adjacent hills. Existing fenced paddocks can constitute a sub-area but ideally within that sub-area it’s always good practice to separate uniquely different topographical locations. The shape of these sub-areas is only a matter of convenience. Individual sub-area sizes can vary considerably.  But in analyzing total reading for the farm the number of samples taken from an area can vary to suit. If it is desired to combine all samples and have readings determined for the whole farm, the sizes of sub-areas and the number of samples from individual areas can still be combined arithmetically and statistically to give accurate readings for the total farm area. The number of samples from a sub-area then must be proportional to the size of the sub-areas.

{Theoretically  it is not unreasonable to locate and shape sub areas by simply subdividing the total land area into equal geometrical shapes. However as soil samples are located randomly within each sub divisional area, a locked in geometrical shape could contain both a humus rich valley floor and a barren hill side. Random samples could therefore mask subtle changes in fertility levels. The result could be that useful information related to soil types from various management and cultivation practices on the farm would become much less informative, meaningful and useful to the farmer.}

The number of sub divided sample areas and the number of samples taken from each area and the random location for individual test samples will be specified by either personnel from the testing laboratories or other recognized and approved soil testing authorities. They should work in conjunction with you simply for practical considerations.

The operator supervising the soil sample collection procedure will mix the samples and possibly screen the samples for dispatch to the testing laboratory.

The “Base Line” sampling and subsequent laboratory results establish a “Base line” set of measurements for your farm. So next year you again test your soil. And again the following year. As many times as you like. And you manage the farm whichever way you wish. To save money on testing, only make tests “officially”  if you expect soil carbon increases to have risen significantly to  warrant payment for soil carbon sequestration. Your objective is to both make money from your farming practices and to make money from increasing the fertility of your soil.

      Massive sequestration, throughout the land is essential to beat global warming. And must and will be profitable to farmers. As an example: if you increase the organic matter content of your soil by, let’s say 1%, to a depth of 300 mm or 12 inches, that increase will weigh about 40 tonnes per hectare. Now 40 tonnes of organic matter divided by 58% equates to 85 tonnes of carbon dioxide that you have sequestered into your soil. At $10 per tonne you will receive $850 per hectare. And generally your yields will be higher and your inputs lower.

We know we have a trillion tonnes too much carbon dioxide in the air. And we know that only good farming that enriches the soil can get it out.

      So rest assured; it is you doing us a favour.

Some advocate you should be growing useless trees or let your farm revert to waste land. I think this is all just nonsense. With trees, as the trees grow academic calculations are made and you are ultimately paid for turning your good productive land into waste scrub land. And if the trees burn down, sometime in the future, it seems you still get to keep your money. And global warming is right back to square one.  I say, and most definitely:
Trees are for the birds

Sadly the current soil organic matter sequestration rules in Australia have proved to be hopelessly impractical and worse for they are a positive hindrance in endeavors to combat global warming. For example: Currently it is a requirement that the humus you create has to stay in the soil for 100 years: to prove “permanence”? That’s ludicrous, and to an irresponsible and dangerous extent. They found soil organic matter in the Pyramids and it was 8,000 years old. Those rules just have to be changed and I’m on that. We all have to make realistic and practical tests, and their and simple, applicable procedures the norm.

For stopping global warming, I believe humanity is now entering  the “Battle of Britain” stage. But I believe this battle we now face is a whole lot more serious.

Allan Yeomans