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Your questions answered

Loam has over 70 team members across our 3 R&D hubs that are focused on our foundational R&D, microbial library collection, organism screening, product development, soil sciences, field trialing and data management systems.

Our scientific leadership has been trained at leading academic institutions and have led teams in some of the largest agricultural product development companies in the world. For individual profiles please see our people page.

The product development behind CarbonBuilder has been a comprehensive and systematic process that encompasses cutting-edge scientific methods and rigorous field testing.

We used stage gates to progress potential fungal strains and formulations from prototype through to product launch. The stage gates begin at microbial isolation and genetic selection, and end with large-scale on-farm demonstration sites.

Loam’s microbial library contains over 2000 unique fungal and bacterial isolates from across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. These organisms are sourced from a wide range of both natural and managed landscapes, and span extremely harsh environments to high rainfall zones.

We carry out R&D into the novel groups within our library to deliver new mechanisms and products from our library while adhering to the Convention on Biological Diversity (1993).


While Loam uses cutting edge sequencing technology and genetic manipulation techniques for research purposes, none of the organisms in our product are genetically modified.

We choose to leverage the natural capabilities of the microbial world.

Loam’s mantra is ‘do no harm’ when it comes to our R&D and product delivery.

We work with beneficial organisms that deliver positive impacts on soils and farming systems.

We carry out 4 tiers of screening; genetic, laboratory, controlled environment and field, to ensure that our products have no negative impacts, and preferentially select for additional beneficial outcomes.

The scale of global cropland is immense. Industrialised agricultural practices in broadacre systems have depleted our soils over many years.

Loam’s products are specifically designed to work with major crop types around the world to accelerate the restoration of soil carbon. By developing technologies that can integrate into existing large-scale productions systems, Loam gives farmers the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere at gigatonne scale.

The industrialisation and intensification of agriculture means that there is an enormous opportunity to restore and improve soil carbon and microbial biodiversity, leading to significant environmental benefits too.

On water retention alone, the USDA estimates that every 1% increase in soil organic matter results in 95,000l of available soil water per acre. This contributes to overall landscape function, improving yield and productivity.

In SecondCrop there are no costs for farmers to baseline and register a soil carbon project.

In SecondCrop’s Premium option, Loam covers the cost of feasibility assessment, registration of your project with the Clean Energy Regulator, your custom Land Management Strategy (LMS), baseline soil coring and lab analysis, and ongoing soil coring and lab analysis, project audits, as well as ongoing individual carbon agronomy support.

The only out-of-pocket cost for farmers under the Premium offering is the CarbonBuilder inoculum.

In SecondCrop’s Pro option, Loam covers the cost of feasibility assessment, registration with the Clean Energy Regulator, your custom Land Management Strategy (LMS), the first baseline soil measurement and lab analysis as well as ongoing carbon agronomy.

The out-of-pocket costs for farmers in the Pro Option of SecondCrop is the purchase of CarbonBuilder, subsequent soil sampling and analysis after baselining and project audits.

Direct measurement (physical soil sampling) and laboratory analysis are widely accepted as the most accurate method of measuring changes in soil carbon. Under SecondCrop, we use direct measurement, taking 1m soil cores and analysing soil carbon levels at the 0 – 30cm, and 30cm – 1m depths.

Soil sampling is one of the largest costs in a project, however Loam covers all or some of this cost depending on which SecondCrop project option you choose. The first soil sampling in a SecondCrop project typically happens in year 2-3. Exact timing will differ between projects based on environmental factors, land mangement practices and farmer preference.

It’s entirely up to you.

SecondCrop projects that build soil carbon and demonstrate net greenhouse gas emissions abatement will be awarded Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

You can choose whether you would like to monetise these ACCUs by selling them. Alternatively, you may wish to retire them to offset your on-farm emissions or to save the credits indefinitely. You may opt for a combination of all of the above.

It is important that farmers are able to have the options to do what works best for their businesses, which is why SecondCrop is designed to enable full optionality.

If you sell your farm or there are changes in land ownership, Loam is able to work with the current and future landholder to review the SecondCrop project, and obtain Legal Right and Eligible Interest Holder consents to continue the project with the new owner/s.

SecondCrop projects are 25 years in duration from when the first credits are issued, as per the requirements of the Australian Clean Energy Regulator.

Farmers can choose to exit a SecondCrop project with no penalty or exit cost before the first measurement event (typically in year 2-3), including if they decide to sell the farm.

There are a number of pools of carbon within soils, each with unique characteristics and differing timescales for the release of carbon back to the atmosphere.

Particulate organic carbon (POC) derived primarily from plant material but also from insects, and detritus generated through fragmentation and decomposition of litter and the breakup of pre-existing soil aggregates. POC is considered the least stable carbon pool.

Aggregate carbon (AggC) tends to be more stable as particle size decreases and as layers of protection increase (Tisdall and Oades 1982; Dexter 1988). Carbon in aggregates can be protected from decomposition when the pore network limits diffusion of gases or nutrients. AggC is a crucial medium-stability carbon pool, bolstering the soil’s capacity to sequester carbon effectively while also improving soil condition.

Mineral associated organic carbon (MAOC) is the largest and most stable pool of carbon in soil. Understanding and correctly modelling MAOM dynamics supports management practices that can sequester soil carbon for climate change mitigation, as well as increase soil organic matter (SOM) stocks to support soil health, in the long-term. MAOC is considered a reservoir of long-term SOC.
CarbonBuilder increases carbon levels in both the aggregate carbon (AggC) and the mineral associated organic carbon (MAOC) pools, which are the more stable forms of carbon in our soils.

By establishing symbiotic relationships with plant roots, CarbonBuilder creates fungal networks in the soil around the plant’s root system. As the fungi’s dense hyphal networks grow through the soil, they efficiently pull carbon from plants and the soil and incorporate it into stable soil aggregates through the secretion of compounds such as glomalin, and other secondary metabolites that bind soil particles together. These fungal hyphae will also promote the binding of carbon onto mineral surfaces, increasing the residence time of carbon in soil.

Through these mechanisms, we are able to observe significant increases in both the aggregate carbon (AggC) and the mineral associated organic carbon (MAOC) pools, increasing both the volume and stability of the carbon.

Traditional soil assessments measure total organic carbon (TOC), but it is important to recognise that not all soil carbon is equally stable. Carbon is stored in different forms in our soils and the way we manage soil can determine soil carbon stability.

TOC can be separated into different fractions, such as plant-derived fast-cycling carbon (POC), carbon physically entrapped in aggregates (Agg-C), and slow-cycling mineral-associated carbon (MAOC).

CarbonBuilder increases carbon levels in the more stable fractions, as aggregate carbon and mineral associated carbon, which are less likely to have large seasonal variations expected for particular organic carbon pools.

Our products have been tested in standard fertiliser regimes.

We do not recommend that you apply more nitrogen in your system to support your carbon sequestration. Our agronomists can support your nutrition program to ensure that your soil nutrition is balanced to give you the best carbon sequestration outcomes.

The fungi in our products are beneficial endophytes that support plant growth, particularly in times of stress.

In a review of 18 papers, negative effects of dark septate endophytic fungi on plant performance had not been observed while positive effects were identified on total, shoot and root biomass, and on nitrogen and phosphorus contents (Newsham, K. 2011). The fungi in our products have gone through a rigorous laboratory, greenhouse and field testing prior to being launched. This process has taken years to complete.

It is accepted that increasing soil carbon improves soil structure and thus the water holding capacity of soils. Throughout Loam’s field trialling, we have observed occasional increases in soil carbon and plant available water in treated areas compared to untreated areas. We continue to collect data on this in our R&D program.