Carbon farming in action on the farm on the right. The National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo will discuss ways to earn carbon credits while improving farm productivity.

Carbon farming in action on the farm on the right. The National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo will discuss ways to earn carbon credits while improving farm productivity.

Investing in our future with the Carbon Farming Initiative

Investing in our future with the Carbon Farming Initiative

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Learn all about carbon farming and how it can put money in farmers pockets while cutting C02 emissions, at the National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo this August.

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This is advertiser content for Carbon Farmers of Australia.

Millions of dollars are being earned from carbon farming, and farmers have a huge opportunity to enter this new and large market, according to Carbon Farmers of Australia (CFA).

The potential for carbon farming to become a significant export industry, and its benefits on a domestic scale, will be among issues discussed at the National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo in Albury from August 5 to 8.

"In the coming years, demand from the international community will be large," CFA director Louisa Kiely explained.

She said Australia's massive area and technological sophistication made it ideal for carbon farming,

"It is also one of the few countries allowing farmers to improve their soil, shade and shelter on their farms and to reduce emissions from beef herds to earn a carbon credit," she said.

"In Australia we have a structure called the Carbon Farming Initiative under which there are various methods for farmers to earn a carbon credit.

"At the conference, the two methods we focus on are soil carbon and tree planting methods.

"Soil carbon increases lead to better water holding capacity and better soil structure - 'into drought later, out of drought sooner' is the potential. We can turn off as many lights as we like, and indeed we need this to happen along with other efficiencies such as solar farms and wind farms, but it's the farmers who really are the VIPs - they are the only ones who can draw down the current load of carbon dioxide out of the air and store it in trees, soils and vegetation - and it's the only way we can reach Paris Agreement climate change targets."

Questions answered

Louisa said many were interested in and had questions about carbon farming but there were few options to learn about it. To this end, next month's event would be a one-stop shop for information about the industry.

"We have world-leading methods so that farmers can earn a decent 'Carbon Dollar'," Louisa said.

"I get many inquiries from overseas. They say: 'How did you guys get this going? We haven't got anything like it.'

"There's currently no course a farmer can go to learn this info - essentially it's the 'school of hard knocks'.

"We're putting together education here including a field day, a conference with the most up-to-date information and step-by-step processes where farmers show other farmers what they are doing to earn a carbon credit.

"The National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo will bring together all of the major players and project developers. Come along and ask them all the hard questions.

"We have 30 exhibitors all involved in this industry, from the CSIRO right through to companies with solutions for improving your soil carbon and everything else. In the early days, we were told it would never happen, but in disseminating this information at this event in this way we are 'mainstreaming' this industry."

Carbon Farmers of Australia director Louisa Kiely urges anyone interested in carbon farming and regenerative agriculture to attend the conference.

Carbon Farmers of Australia director Louisa Kiely urges anyone interested in carbon farming and regenerative agriculture to attend the conference.

The conference will answer such questions as:

  • It's complex and complicated, right?
  • Are there $$ in it?
  • Which 'method' is good for my farm?
  • Do I need a 'Carbon Project Developer'?

Louisa said there was a perception it was only 'the big players' who could benefit from carbon farming.

"The method we talk about (soil carbon) is suited to 100 hectares and up, and (at the conference) we're going to talk about exactly what these farmers are doing."

Indeed, Victoria was a hotbed of carbon farming activity, Louisa said, with 100 hectares a not-uncommon farm size in that region and ex-dairy farms being used for carbon farming following a challenging period for the dairy industry.

"We need to remember trees provide shade and shelter in the drying, warming trend - climate change - and in light of this, diversification of income is so important. What's also amazing is landholders can sell the product (carbon dioxide) but the benefits stay on the farm as improved productivity."

Assistance available

All Australian farmers can attend the National Carbon Farming Conference & Expo for half price thanks to an anonymous benefactor who has agreed to underwrite 50 per cent of the cost of all the educational events on the program. CFA had applied for pre-approval for the conference to be eligible for farmers in NSW to receive RAA drought assistance for training, but unfortunately the assistance was not forthcoming.

However, the generous offer by the benefactor means primary producers (those who obtain more than 50 per cent of their income from primary production, including carbon farming) qualify for the reduced rate.

National Carbon Cocky Awards

The National Carbon Cocky Awards 2019 are open to all those Australians achieving excellence in carbon farming techniques, regenerative agriculture, emissions reduction, carbon trade and associated services. They will be presented at a gala presentation dinner at The Commercial Club, Albury, on Tuesday, August 6.

"We have been amazed at the standard of the applications - these stories will inspire and encourage others," Louisa said.

This is advertiser content for Carbon Farmers of Australia.

The story Investing in our future with the Carbon Farming Initiative first appeared on The Land.

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