Carbon-neutral wool farming in south-eastern Australia

Natalie Doran-Browne, John Ive, Robert Graham and Richard Eckard - Animal Production Science

Type: Webpage
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

An interesting look into carbon-neutral wool farming, greenhouse gas emissions, ways to offset emissions and an interesting study looking further into the finer details of carbon-neutral wool farming in south-east Australia.

This article discusses carbon-neutral wool farming and looks at a study that was conducted on a sheep farm in south-eastern Australia.

Key points were as follows:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are created by ruminant livestock.
  • As a ruminant livestock producer, ways should be sought to offset those greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Producer options for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions include:
  1. Planting trees
  2. Feed management
  3. Flock structure
  4. Breeding management
  • The most effective option for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions is to plant trees. Trees can be beneficial on farms as they can provide shade for livestock, reduce erosion, reduce salinity and act as wind breaks.
  • A study was undertaken on a sheep enterprise in south-east Australia to calculate if the farm was carbon neutral.
  • “The results showed that from when the farm was purchased in 1980–2012 the farm had sequestered 11 times more carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) in trees and soil than was produced by livestock and energy. Between 1980 and 2012 a total of 31 100 t CO2e were sequestered with 19 300 and 11 800 t CO2e in trees and soil, respectively, whereas farm emissions totalled 2800 t CO2e.”
  • An important note to take away from this study is to realise the importance of soil and tree carbon stocks that exist on farm.
2016 - Australia - Natalie Doran-Browne, John Ive, Robert Graham and Richard Eckard - Animal Production Science
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