How can the new online tools help farmers understand their carbon role?

Farmers spend their days managing carbon in the landscape, but probably never think of their role in those terms. A new online portal being released by the Australian Farm Institute provides them with the opportunity to better understand their carbon management role.

The Australian farm sector may only account for 2% of Australia’s gross domestic product, but takes responsibility for the environmental management for over 50% of Australia’s land mass. This responsibility makes participating in carbon farming projects an ideal mechanism by which farmers can be recognised – Australia wide – for their efforts towards sustainable land and natural resources management’.

‘But for farmers to participate in carbon farming projects, they need to fully understand the opportunities’, explained Adam Tomlinson, Senior Research Officer of the Australian Farm Institute. ‘Therefore it is very important for farmers to have access to the right carbon farming tools, to support decision making and action’.

The Australian Farm Institute has developed a range of tools to support farmers considering participation in carbon farming projects. These tools include videos on carbon science, carbon industry structure and on-farm case studies, PowerPoint presentations, case study analyses and an online question and answer portal.

The Institute has also enhanced the capabilities of the FarmGAS Calculator with an extra financial modelling tool. This development was also a collaborative effort with the University of Southern Queensland as project partners (see here).

‘Farmers, researchers and advisors can now use the FarmGAS Calculator to compare the emissions reductions and financial performance of various carbon farming projects by generating marginal abatement cost curves. The information generated provides a quick comparison of the cost effectiveness of different methods of greenhouse gas mitigation and carbon sequestration’ Mr Tomlinson said.

The decision support tools have been launched on the Institutes Carbon Farming Tools webpage (see here). Essentially, the decision support tools will illustrate what farmers can get out of emissions management projects, such as productivity benefits, the potential to generate and sell carbon credits and the promotion of biodiversity and environmental sustainability of Australian farms. 

Farmers, land managers and their advisors can also obtain carbon farming DVDs by contacting the Institute via email info@farminstitute.org.au or telephone 02 9690 1388.

The carbon farming tools have been produced by the Australian Farm Institute and supported by funding from the Australian Government.

More information is available on the Institute’s website or from the Australian Government Extension and Outreach program.

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