Introduction to Carbon Calculators
Farm baseline accounts include all emissions on farm, emissions from purchases and inputs such as fertiliser, feed, and electricity. These are classified as Scope 1, 2 and 3.
- Scope 1: All emissions on-farm from agricultural activity
- Scope 2: Emissions from the production of purchased electricity
- Scope 3: All emissions associated with producing inputs such as fertilisers, herbicides, veterinary services etc.
It is best for individual farmers or consultants to go through the process of developing a baseline carbon account for their own individual farms to tailor the inputs to that specific enterprise. The quality of the results is dependent on the quality and detail of the data used, so accurate farm records are important.
The calculator used for these examples is the Greenhouse Accounting Framework (GAF). Using the Cropping GHG Accounting Framework (G-GAF), the Sheep & Beef GHG Accounting Framework (SB-GAF), and the Dairy GHG Accounting Framework (D-GAF). These tools were developed and maintained by Primary Industries Climate Challenge Centre and the University of Melbourne.
These calculators use MS Excel spreadsheets and are freely available to download. The tools also align with the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) method. They are simple, intuitive to use and utilise data that should be readily available for a farmer. These tools provide a snapshot of a single years GHG emissions, they report the emissions as carbon equivalents (CO2 -e) of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O).
For mixed farms the spreadsheets do require combining the livestock and cropping calculators results outside of the calculators themselves.
The tools are freely available to run your own farm here.