This section introduces the issues Australian farmers may face in the future - how climate change may affect agriculture, the importance of soil carbon, the concept of 'carbon farming' to reduce greenhouse emissions, and the bottom line benefits, including the potential to earn income through the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund.
Climate threats to Australian agriculture
Leading scientists and academics have been resolute in their research findings which determine, if global development continues without effective mitigation of greenhouse gases, the impacts on Australia will be severe.
Even with our best efforts, climate change is likely to have significant impacts on agriculture in Australia (though there are differences in vulnerability depending on region and products).
Click here to find out what the main threats climate variability has on Australian agriculture.
The importance of carbon in the soil
Carbon which is stored in soil is an incredibly important part of the wider carbon cycle which is a fundamental part of life on earth. ‘Soil organic carbon’ (SOC) – the amount of carbon stored in the soil is a component of soil organic matter – plant and animal materials in the soil that are in various stages of decay.
Soil organic carbon is the basis of soil fertility. It releases nutrients for plant growth, promotes the structure, biological and physical health of soil, and is a buffer against harmful substances
Click here to find out more about carbon in the soil.
What is carbon farming?
The phrase ‘carbon farming’ means using farming methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and/or capture and hold carbon in vegetation and soils.
Carbon farming can cover small changes in land management – like introducing no-till cropping, stubble retention, agroforestry, or methane-reducing feed supplements.
At the other end of the scale, it can mean developing an integrated whole farm plan to reduce emissions and maximise carbon capture. It includes those activities that earn Australian Carbon Credit Units through the Emissions Reduction Fund.
Find out more information about carbon farming here.
Win-Win carbon farming practices
There are several ways farmers can adopt new practices into their existing farming systems, which will help increase soil organic carbon and enhance farm productivity.
This section looks in particular at practices which relate to soils, livestock, trees, fertilisers and energy use and how implementation of new methods of practice can bring environmental and productivity returns to farmers.
MYCFI ‘YOUR CARBON FARMING GATEWAY PROJECT
This website aims to assist farmers, land managers and other stakeholders across Australia to learn about the CFI, discover how to commence and manage a project, see what projects are already happening and get in touch with people and organisations that can help.
myCFI has been developed by Climate Friendly and supported by funding from the Australian Government.