Elders cuts out the carbon farming middleman - Elders Rural Services

Elders cuts out the carbon farming middleman

Agribusiness Elders is launching a carbon farming service it says puts the emphasis firmly on farm productivity while cutting out middlemen who normally take a percentage of landholders’ credits.

Elders’ innovation arm, the Thomas Elder Institute, will deliver the carbon farming service in conjunction with selected Elders advisors and Thomas Elder consultants across Australia.

TEI head Dr Michael Wilkes said successful carbon farming projects required an understanding of both carbon accounting rules and sustainable agriculture practices.

“Done right, carbon farming is an investment in the productivity of your land that has the bonus of generating income from carbon credits along the way,” Dr Wilkes said.

“There’s a perception that to get into carbon farming, you need to lock up your land and hand a big chunk of your earnings over to consultants for the next 25 years.”

“But you can generate income from carbon credits and make your land more productive at the same time by increasing soil organic carbon, and as a result the soils ability to hold moisture and nutrients.”

The Elders carbon farming service will help landholders assess the potential for eligible projects, develop land management strategies, and support project registration with the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative. Initial and ongoing measurement of soil carbon reserves, generation of reports and auditing are all part of the service.

“There’s a lot of confusion among farmers about carbon farming and Elders was determined to deliver a service that makes carbon farming practical, manageable and profitable,” Dr Wilkes said.

He said that while farming operations as diverse as cropping, livestock or horticulture could benefit from carbon farming, the cost of satisfying the complex carbon accounting rules and process meant it was most viable for larger enterprises.

“The ability to amortize the upfront costs over large landholdings means they’re normally the most viable projects, but it varies with the soil type, climate and rainfall,” Dr Wilkes said.

“Land with low soil carbon and the potential high rates of sequestration is best, such as land with unimproved pastures, a history of overgrazing or prolonged soil disturbance.”

For more information, contact the Elders carbon farming team.

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