Carbon Accounting workshops on the cards

Cows in green pasture
DPIRD and MLA will be holding Carbon Accounting workshops to assist agribusinesses to gain a better understanding of the carbon emissions from their livestock and operations

Broadacre cattle producers interested in learning more about how to calculate carbon emissions from their stock and property are encouraged to register to attend a pilot Carbon Accounting workshop being planned for later this year.

DPIRD held a successful pilot in Perth recently with six mixed sheep and grain farming agribusinesses, hosted by DPIRD with support from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

Leading carbon adviser Dr Stephen Wiedemann facilitated the workshop, which is now being refined to better suit Western Australia’s broadacre farming system.

The workshops are being developed in response to increasing interest from producers in gaining a better understanding of the carbon emissions from their livestock and operations.

Livestock is regarded as the biggest agricultural contributor to carbon emissions, accounting for 70-80 per cent of total Australian agricultural emissions.

The pilot workshop used the University of Melbourne’s calculator to determine the emissions from their livestock enterprise.

There was much discussion about how to improve the model to incorporate WA’s mixed farming systems, while providing a robust, credible tool that effectively captures livestock emissions.

The gathering was presented with various case studies that showed sheepmeat emissions average seven to nine kg CO2 e/kg lamb and about 22kg CO2 e /kg wool, compared with grain, which typically produces about 0.22kg CO2 e /kg of grain.

The autumn workshop for cattle producers will be part of a series of pilot focus groups being conducted around the country to inform the design of MLA’s carbon accounting training manual for industry.

DPIRD also intends to host additional workshops for mixed farmers later in the year.

The workshops are part of DPIRD’s broader activities and commitment to assist WA’s primary industries and regions to address the challenge of a changing climate and create a strong and dynamic future.

The department will continue to work closely with MLA, as well as industry, academia and supply chain stakeholders and invest in research and development to ensure WA is abreast of advances in this rapidly changing global operating environment.

The department has already undertaken a wealth of research and development on a range of fronts over several years to assist industry to adapt to climate variability.

A good example is how DPIRD has supported the grains industry’s ability to continue to produce strong yields in the face of reduced rainfall (see graph).

Graph showing wheat yield against rainfall from 1955 to 2020
Rainfall use efficiency of crops has increased faster than rainfall has declined. Source: DPIRD

DPIRD is in a good position to harness and build on this and other transformational work and contribute to the development of the State Climate Policy, to be released in coming months, and its objective of zero net emissions by 2050.

For more information and to register your interest in attending a Carbon Accounting for Sheep or Beef Producers workshop contact Mandy Curnow, senior development officer, on +61 (0)8 9892 8422