GrainGrowers panel talks carbon at Innovation Generation

Grain Central, July 19, 2023

Carbon panelists Sarah Hyland, Tyler Crawford, Bob Nixon and Todd Price at the 2023 Innovation Generation conference held this week at Adelaide’s National Wine Centre. Photo: GrainGrowers

MEASURING carbon and its impact on on-farm productivity may be a mystery to some, but the 200 attendees at the GrainGrowers annual Innovation Generation conference are one step closer to enlightenment.

The carbon panel hosted by GrainGrowers policy manager sustainability and natural resource management Sarah Hyland featured Western Australian grower Bob Nixon, Rabobank head of client sustainability Crawford Taylor, and Nutrien Ag Solutions sustainability field manager Todd Price.

The panel did their best to illuminate the audience on the often-confusing subject of carbon in agriculture.

Ms Hyland outlined a range of motives for understanding the on-farm carbon position.

She said the motives for understanding the on-farm carbon position could include identifying opportunities to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement activities, or simply to understand a carbon footprint and look to minimise emissions as a matter of principle.

Mr Price advised that carbon-curious producers should start by setting up a carbon account to establish an emissions baseline from which to work.

Mr Nixon reinforced the significant co-benefits of participating in GHG abatement activities, such as increasing biodiversity from revegetation, and improved soil health and resilience.

Mr Taylor explained that ACCUs were a financial product and could be classed as an asset for a successful emissions reduction or carbon project.

He said the ACCUs can be traded or sold to organisations looking to offset their carbon footprint; the Federal Government can also purchase them to help decarbonise Australia’s economy.

Mr Nixon put forward the position that growers should not go down the path of selling ACCUs to other sectors.

He said monetising the carbon and biodiversity value in the growers’ business through grain sales and adding significant value to the social license of the Australian agricultural sector was more advantageous than selling ACCUs to other sectors.

Ms Hyland said the GrainGrowers climate change policy, endorsed by the National Policy Group, supported reducing emissions and the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector and all sectors of the Australian economy.

The policy targets a 15 percent reduction in grains emissions intensity by 2030, and halving embedded emissions in inputs by 2040.

GrainGrowers online resources to help inform decisions around carbon include Climate change policy and Carbon & Cropping Report 

Innovation Generation has been run for 16 years.

The three-day event is a networking opportunity for young farmers, bringing together a mix of speakers, panel discussions on emerging agriculture, practical workshops, off-site tours, and social functions.

In addition to the carbon measurement, attendees have heard about the application and on-farm adoption of cutting-edge technology, agricultural career opportunities and skills of the future, and women in agriculture.

Source: GrainGrowers


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