Livestock and Carbon

Page last updated: Wednesday, 22 April 2020 - 3:23pm

DPIRD is committed to supporting livestock producers and the wider industry in their understanding of carbon emissions by enterprise and is taking mitigation action towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The Livestock Branch's new ‘Livestock Carbon’ project has two priorities:

1. Demonstration of carbon emissions mitigation and abatement through Katanning Research Facility becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030.
2. Understanding of and enhanced tools for Mediterranean mixed farm emissions and options for mitigation

This project supports the livestock industry to meet community and consumer’s expectations on environment and welfare.

Katanning Research Facility Carbon Neutral 2030

As part of the Western Australian Government’s commitment to emissions reduction and the sustainable mitigation of climate change, DPIRD identified the Katanning Research Facility (KRF) as an opportunity to better understand the emissions arising from agriculture, and particularly livestock production. This baseline organisational carbon footprint assessment enables the development of a sustainable emissions reduction strategy, with the goal to achieve carbon neutrality for the research farm by 2030. This timeline fits Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) industry objective of the Australian red meat industry being carbon neutral by 2030.

KRF is a 2000ha mixed sheep and grain property in the Great Southern of Western Australia and runs research flocks such as the Genetic Resource flock, the Yardstick flock as well as hosting a range of short-term experimental flocks in conjunction with other research institutions.

Focus activities on KRF in 2020

At the end of 2020 we will have a detailed carbon footprint of the Katanning Research Facility, including a carbon intensity measurement of sheep meat, wool and grains. This will form the basis of a strategy to mitigate emissions including a focus on land use change, revegetation and sheep productivity.

The results of the baseline study and plans for mitigation will provide opportunities for demonstration and trials of new methods, products and pasture systems.

Opportunities for carbon mitigation in Mediterranean livestock enterprises

To build understanding and knowledge of carbon emissions and mitigation opportunities for livestock producers, DPIRD will conduct carbon accounting workshops, in conjunction with MLA, for sheep and beef producers, consultants and advisors working in the sector.  It will work with research partners to build better tools for producers to do carbon accounts that are suited to our Mediterranean mixed farming systems.

Focus for 2020

An understanding of the sheep and beef industries' contribution to the State’s carbon account is important for managing risks, while also considering the affects an evolving sector might have on the State’s agricultural emissions. DPIRD will undertake a whole of industry carbon footprint for the sheep industry in late 2020.

Key initiatives

Carbon accounting media and workshops for sheep and beef producers

  1. Sheep and beef producer workshops, partnered with MLA
  2. Resources for staff, advisors and consultants on WA livestock emissions

Carbon accounting and carbon footprints

  1. Carbon account and mitigation strategy for KRF
  2. Carbon footprint for the WA sheep industry with scenario modelling for understanding change
  3. Understanding/mapping co-benefits of revegetation, soil management and animal management

Tools and adoption of carbon neutral plans

  1. Developing tools for carbon accounting in mixed enterprises
  2. Whole-farm planning resources for carbon mitigation
  3. Developing a program to increase the adoption of existing mitigation technologies and methodologies (genetics, shrubs, novel feeds, ameliorates)

If you are a sheep or beef producer in WA and are interested in participating in our carbon accounting workshopsm please contact Mandy Curnow at 

Contact information

Mandy Curnow
+61 (0)8 9892 8422